Stumped when it comes to gift-giving this year? Still have a few people to scratch off the list, but don’t know where to begin? Consider giving a military-inspired gift from the heart. It’s easier than it sounds, thanks to this list that will help you shop for men, women, and even children.
A Gym Membership
A man or woman in uniform knows the importance of staying fit. Not only is it required that service members meet certain physical requirements, but having a strong body helps one keep a strong, sound mind too. Army Ranger Derick Carver medically retired in 2010 after an IED caused him to lose a leg, but he didn’t lose his passion for fitness. He opened Bayonet CrossFit in Shelby Township, Michigan in 2013. It turned out to be a hit and soon he’ll open ChagrinFalls CrossFit with partner Jenn Pishko. “CrossFit is challenging physically and mentally. It’s strongly based in community and offers constant variety to push yourself to the next level,” Carver said. Sounds a lot like the military, doesn’t it? Well, Carver draws on his military background to train others. “Intensity and knowing the body’s true limits are my biggest takeaways from the military.” Helping a friend, family member or gifting yourself a gym membership is the great opportunity to mimic the military’s passion for fitness and discipline. While there are countless gyms and personal trainers scattered across the country, those in the Cleveland area can contact Carver for their next move. His 10,000+ square foot facility is set to open January 24, 2015 at 524 E. Washington, Unit H, Chagrin Falls.
Military spouses are suckers for personalized items and monograms, aren’t we? And that’s perfect, because they’re hot items in the world of jewelry right now. “Personalized pieces are so on trend and make gift giving even more special,” Stella & Dot Director and Independent Stylist Mindi Marshall said. “You can create your own story with our individual charm collection or personalize the perfect monogrammed piece for a loved one!” Not only are personalized pieces thoughtful, because they show you had the recipient in mind from start to finish when picking his or her gift, but they’re a nice option for any budget. Charms range in price and you can build a necklace with as many as you’d like. Monogrammed items or having special dates and words engraved is a great option too. “This is a meaningful gift because it’s an everyday, wearable, keepsake piece, something that the recipient will put on right away and never take off again! They’ll think of you when they put it on and anytime they get compliments on it,” Marshall said. She invites Military Spouse readers to shop with her here or call 773-541-1245 for style tips and personal consultations; she serves the entire country, which also means you can ship to friends and family near and far!
Handmade Gifts by Military Spouses
A military-inspired gift doesn’t have to scream pride; instead, it can be more subtle. Consider spreading the love this holiday season by ordering a handmade gift by a military spouse. Supporting one another is something we all know is important, so log onto Etsy or shop around by asking friends who they’ve ordered items form in the past. Marine spouse Carrie Cook is very popular in the Camp Pendleton community, but also ships across the country. She says filling orders fills her with pride and reminds her she has a purpose outside of filling her roles as mommy and wife. “Up until 2 years ago I had always worked. Then we had our son and my husband left for 4 months and then we moved and found out we were pregnant again. Needless to say, we decided that taking time off was best for our family,” Cook said. How does she take time off? She certainly stays busy crocheting baby bonnets, drink holders, hats and more. “This is a creative outlet and allows me to feel like I am continuing to help provide for our family.” Cook says customizing items for recipients shows care about him or her. “Whether it be related to their favorite color or sports team, it shows that you have put extra thought into the gift.” It would be tough to find something Cook can’t make, so check out her sites to see more of her work at Etsy and follow her on Facebook for jaw-dropping, reasonable prices.
Something Made in America
From woodworking shops to urban studios, Dan McCready and his team at This Land are dedicated to scouring the country to find hand-made, American-made products. He celebrates the pioneering American sprit by bringing handcrafted products by America’s finest to people who may not otherwise find them. “We travel across the country to find limited-edition housewares, accessories, jewelry and gifts that connect people with the values of America’s craftsmanship,” McCready said. “The same values that I loved in the military and that made this country the greatest place on earth: hard work, integrity, passion, and creative vision. We’re a mission-based brand because we celebrate our American heritage, support our country’s artists, and give a portion of each sale to support veterans.” Shop This Land’s products and learn more about their mission to help American businesses grow in this month’s magazine.
“When you love someone, you want to give them a gift that is unique and special. It’s so much fun to watch them open this beautiful piece of jewelry and get excited about it,” With You founder Mikki Glass said about the collection’s dog tag-inspired locket. “Then, they find out it’s a locket with a photo of loved one inside…it’s a complete WOW moment that is just amazing for the giver as the recipient.” With You was founded by Glass, a military spouse who knows what it is like to be separated by loved ones. The company’s tag line is “Keep Love Close,” and you can tell she has military spouses in mind when she is designing a new piece for the collection. If she had just one wish for military families and couples this holiday season, she said it would be simply, “It would be that they get to spend it together. It’s so difficult to be separated from loved one and our military families have to endure it far too often. I’ll keep on wishing for happy reunions,” Glass said. Check out the lockets with a modern twist and place your order soon, Christmas is sneaking up on everyone!
A Cold One.
Men are easy to read and easy to shop for. When in doubt, get the guy on your list something related to drinking or a nice bottle of his favorite liquor. How many times have you heard a deployed service member say, “I can’t wait to sit on my couch, turn on the TV, and have a nice cold beer.” They really are simple creatures at times. The DeCap-N-Catch is truly a gadget that will make any man smile. It’s creator boasts of the strong magnet’s capability to catch bottle tops as the beer bottle is being opened. That means less cleaning up for everyone too. “This unique 5×7 bottle opener removes the cap off your bottle and works like magic to instantly catch it with a magnet hidden toward the bottom of the plaque. The opener can hold up to 12 caps and more. The magnets are strong enough to hold up a full 22oz bottle without pulling off the refrigerator. They have slots on the back side so you can mount them on the wall at your bar or out by the barbeque as well.” Tried and true.