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Gifts that give...and give and give.

The act of giving gifts during the holiday season is wrought with all manner of conflicting emotions, and, often, burdensome decisions. This is especially true for New Yorkers this year. In the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy, we are still a community in varying levels of recovery. Picking a gift for someone who has all they need is suddenly absurd, and receiving gifts yourself can feel a little less than fantastic. We have lost much yet banded together to give our time, money and energy in regaining that loss. All of us at Studio 26 would like to thank you for the generous gifts you dropped off for our partnership with World Cares Center's Sandy recovery efforts. During this season of giving, we encourage you to think about what sustains you, your loved ones and our planet.  If you give the gift of wellness, it is - excuse the cliché - the gift that keeps on giving: it can inspire sustainability. We gathered some ideas in this vein, big and small, for you to consider if you're still on the search!

Thinking globally, what about a gift like a goat, honeybees, or an irrigation system from Heifer International, an organization dedicated to building self-sufficiency and sustainable agriculture in poverty stricken areas? Or make one of your loved ones smile by adopting a marine animal with Oceana (funds will go towards the research, litigation and organizational efforts it takes to protect your animal of choice, and the environment is needs to survive!).

Go local and donate an amount in someone's name to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund through Global Giving to help sustain those in our community who were less fortunate in the storm, or hit up Etsy, where you can find a dizzying array of beautiful goods donating all or part of profits to Sandy relief funds. Of course, there are also many giving options for body wellness/sustainability - where it all begins!

For a gift that starts with the über local (one's home and body), the PlugOut Exercise Bike puts energy back into the power grid by converting energy you expend during your daily workout. You can get T-spheres  here at Studio 26 -  colorful, aromatherapy infused massage balls that can be used for self-massage, and can travel with you wherever you go. If you can't avoid the socks, how about naturally wicking Teko Socks made of organic, chlorine-free merino wool (from environmentally sound farms in Argentina) and recycled polyester, for your fitness-fond friends? A package of sessions with a Studio 26 trainer/practitioner or even just one session, is a gift that holds the potential of personal transformation. How about a 90 minute massage for an overworked colleague, or an introductory Pilates session for your dad?

Make the joy of giving last. Let there be (sustainable) light! Happy Holidays from Studio 26.