The holiday season is a time that people come together to celebrate love and practice gratitude. It is a golden opportunity to spend time with beloved family and friends. However, it may be difficult to celebrate Christmas wholeheartedly with those you love if they are experiencing body image or food concerns. 

One way to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for loved ones during this time of year is to provide them with gifts that are sensitive to their needs as well as likes. 

This article explores potential unisex gift ideas and is based on my own experience and others’ that have been shared across online platforms. I have divided up the gifts into themes to provide greater guidance on what purpose you would like your gift to serve. For two gifts in each category, there is a link leading to a website which sells that gift. 

Calmness through Self-Care Products

    • Room decor (Candles, LED lights, essential oil diffuser and humidifier), Customise candle packaging at ETSY 
    • Skincare (moisturiser, face-masks, bath sea-salts or bath bombs, scented body lotion)   

Golden finds are available at  LUSH 

  • Bodycare (soft blanket, socks, house slippers, silk pillowcase)

Distraction through Arts and Crafts

  • Medium (sketchbook, pads of paper, colouring book, canvas) 

Available at The Sydney Art Store 

  • Tools (gel pens, markers, watercolours, paint, coloured pencils)

 RIOT ARTS and CRAFT is sure to have many options

Clarity through Self-Reflection Tools

  • Writing supplies (stationery including pencils, pens, markers and decor including stamps, stickers)

A unique selection is available at the Washigang Website  

  • Writing medium (blank journal or reflective journal)
  • Self-Care habits journal and workbook 

A favourite of mine sold at DYMOCKS

Intellectual Stimulation through Keeping Busy

  • Knitting/crochet/threading kits
  • Embroidery supplies

An array of kits is available at RIOT ARTS and CRAFT 

  • Origami kit
  • Word search/Sudoku/Crossword books

BOOKTOPIA presents a wide selection 

  • Puzzles (such as lego or Rubix cubes)
  • A book (favourite genre or author)

Immediate Stress Soothers through Sensory Items

  • Putty/slime/dough
  • Stress ball/Slinky
  • Fidget cube or spinner

SPEEDCUBE sells many unique sensory items

  • Miniature zen garden kit
  • Bonsai tree grooming kit

UNIVERSAL STORE stocks a miniature tree

Material Joy through Accessories which Decorate the Body with a One-Size Fits All Approach

  • Jewellery (necklace, bracelet, earrings)

Unisex options are available online at THE ICONIC 

  • Hats or beanies
  • Sunglasses
  • Shoes (favourite style or brand)
  • Bags (formal or tote)

‘Accessory’ tab under ‘Men’ and ‘Women’ at COTTON-ON 

Heartfelt through Sentimental Gifts

  • Inspiration jar filled with quotes
  • Album containing photos of their loved ones/pets/favourite places
  • Hand-written note expressing that you love and value their strength 
  • Personalised jewellery engraved with a motivational word of your choice (examples include strong, courageous, resilient)
  • Daily affirmation cards (written or purchased)

Handmade unique or custom pieces may be ordered via ETSY. Below is an example of some items they create.

Don’t Forget…

You may choose to create a care package containing an assortment of the above items, or feel that your loved one best resonates within a particular category. Whichever gift-giving route you decide to follow this holiday season, remember, your presence alone is stronger than any presents you may give. The quality time spent in activities such as watching a film, cooking a meal together, or chatting over light exercise truly reinforces the love you have for them as they live through their eating disorder. 

As a final note – it is important to discuss with your loved one if they feel comfortable receiving clothing or food-related gifts this holiday season.


An Alex Articulates article