Thursday, December 8, 2011

10 Allergy- & Atopy-Friendly Gift Giving Ideas

I'll be honest. The best stuff I've ever received during Christmas or for birthdays has had nothing to do with my allergies. In fact, I can't think of a single present I have ever received that has been allergy-related. I have a received a couple of nice items related to skin care though. But, other than that, while I dub myself "AtopicGirl", that's only part of my life and I don't primarily define myself as an allergic/atopic person.

So, I always told myself I would never make one of these lists. However, there are some absolutely amazing allergy- and atopy-related items out this year that I wouldn't mind seeing beneath the tree. So, you'll have to forgive me.

My list is mostly geared towards adults (A) and teens (T), but some are certainly for the children (C) on your list.

1. MedicAlert bracelets: MedicAlert has totally outdone themselves this year. The understated, army-look silver bands are out. What's in are Swarovski Element bracelets and Roots leather bands. Pearls, crystals, silver links - they've literally got a style to suit everyone. (A,T,C) Range of prices CDN

2. Allergy Apparel skull t-shirts: Allergy Apparel has the coolest and cutest skull t-shirts for kids. If you haven't seen these yet, take a look. My only problem is that they don't have bigger sizes. Great gift for that mischievous little boy or girl on your shopping list. (C only, but wish it were A and T) Range of prices USD

3. OneSpot Allergy Lip Balm: This is an easy and brilliant stocking stuffer. It's an allergy-friendly, petroleum-free, scent-free and irritant-free lipbalm which is more difficult to find than one would think. Great product for any age. (A,T,C) $7.50 CDN

4.Monkey Balm: Another fab stocking stuffer. I'm a big fan of petrochemical-free, natural products for eczema and this is it. (A,T,C) $15.62 CDN

5. Don't Kill the Birthday Girl by Sandra Beasley and Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies by Sloane Miller: As a teen or adult with food allergies, your life starts to include a lot more than just what to eat and not sharing lunches. Dating, parties and a whole host of situations where one's parents aren't around come into play. These are also great resources for the newly-diagnosed allergic adult or the adult with an allergic child on your list. I figured it out firsthand, but there are now some great books by well-known allergy advocates. I think these are key for anyone making their way through life with allergies. (A, T) $17.12 & $18.77 CDN respectively. Both at reduced prices on as of 07-Dec-11

6. Fresh Restaurant cookbooks by Ruth Tal (Fresh at Home, Fresh, reFresh) and Veganomicon: I'll be honest again. I don't actually own any allergy-free cookbooks. My mother tried a couple when I was very young and they were horrible. So, she figured out what would work and as I got older I did, too. So, while things have changed for the better on the allergy-cookbook front, my go to cookbooks are still usually vegan and I use regular cookbooks and substitute accordingly. While the books I've recommended include nuts, there are plenty of recipes which work without the use of them or don't have them at all. (A,T) $17.16 - $23.80 CDN. Reduced prices on as of 07-Dec-11

7. Argan oil: While argan oil abounds, finding a pure source is a little less easy and it's expensive. A regular sized bottle is easily in the $80-$100 CDN range. However, for those with eczema, the price can certainly be worth it and it's something they might not buy for themselves. As with anything skincare related, save this for someone you know very well. (A,T) $98 CDN at Oresta: Organic Confectionery

8. Scotch Naturals nail polish: During my teens and early adult years, I was allergic to nail polish. As the years went by, I started using -free nail polishes - nail polishes that were free of the worst chemicals like formaldehyde and toluene. Recently, even better options have come out. Scotch Naturals is water-based and not only are there 30 amazing colours (I'm in love with Flying Scotsman), but they have a cute kids' line, Hopscotch, with 13 vibrant colours like Red Rover, Red Rover and Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater. (A,T,C) $14.99 USD adults and $11.99 USD children

9. Allergic Living: This falls in the "figuring it out" category. Especially if you have atopy and allergies, pretty much every page has something relevant. Plus, the recipes are always amazing. This is a staple item for anyone with allergies or atopic conditions. (A,T) 1 Year/4 issues $17.69 +tax or 2 Years/8 issues $26.54+tax CDN

10. Epi-Essentials Handbags & Accessory Cases: Epi-Essentials has cute "Grab-and-Go" handbags in cuter colours that can carry your injectors, inhaler, credit cards, keys and more! For people like me who switch between purses, briefcases and totes, they also have accessory cosmetic cases with room for your injectors, inhaler and cosmetics. Great gift for that stylish teen or adult on your list. (A,T) $118 handbag & $68 accessory case USD

Happy Holiday Shopping! Thank goodness mine is done.

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