Getting the perfect gift for your spouse, child, parents or friends can be stressful enough without having to worry about whether you are going to offend someone. But, knowing whether you are going to offend someone is probably the first thing you should think of before heading to the checkout counter. Everyone knows that giving most women a vacuum or a blender for the holidays is likely to get the gifter elbowed in the face, or at least covered in fruit cake. But, is it okay to give someone a health-related gift? Here is a handy list to help you decide whether that scale should go back on the shelf or under the tree.
Health-related Holiday Gift – yes or no?
Why are you choosing a health-related holiday gift for the person you are shopping for? It makes a big difference.
Naughty: You think they need to lose weight, you think they want to lose weight.
Nice: They asked for it or you know it’s something they are interested in.
The biggest thing you need to consider is who the gift is for. It really makes a different.
Naughty: You should probably avoid giving your boss, coworker or business partner a health-related item. There are exceptions to every rule, but it’s typically a safe bet that handing your boss a workout DVD isn’t going to go over well.
Others on the no-no list are the boyfriend/girlfriend and your kids. Your grownup kids- maybe. Your teenagers or below… probably not, but it could be negotiable.
Nice List: You’ll probably be okay getting your spouse a health-related gift, if you’ve talked about it. If you know they are trying to lose weight, getting them a food scale, new running shoes or a Fit Bit could be a really nice gift. Best friends and siblings are probably safe too.
The other big consideration is what you are actually giving as the gift. There are some health-related gifts that are totally acceptable and some that should be avoided, even for the recipients on the nice list.
Naughty: Anything that will make the recipient feel fat is a blatant member of the naughty list. Skip the bathroom scales or anything else to do with weight. Exercise DVDs and gym memberships are in neutral-ish territory and should be avoided unless you know that’s what the recipient wants. You might also want to skip memberships to weight loss programs (unless they specifically ask or have talked about it openly with you.)
Nice: Some fun ideas for health related gifts include sports equipment, new shoes, pedometers, music gift cards, magazine subscriptions or a nice food scale.
You can give healthy gifts without making the recipient feel like you are telling them to lose weight. If you know it’s a sensitive subject or you aren’t sure, skip it and opt for something more neutral. This is one case it’s entirely better to be safe than sorry.