The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

Share Article, the Safe and Easy Way to Give and Request Bitcoin Gifts, Launches Today

GiveBitcoin: The Ultimate Holiday Gift

“GiveBitcoin is a brilliant idea, providing a way for someone to gift Bitcoin while also providing a pathway to educate the recipient over the course of the timelock.” – Fundstrat Co-Founder Thomas Lee

LOS ANGELES (PRWEB) November 22, 2019

GiveBitcoin, the safe and easy way to give Bitcoin, officially launched today at The service allows customers to give Bitcoins to friends and family, timelocks those gifts for a period of time, and teaches recipients about the world of Bitcoin. The goal is to turn recipients into “real Bitcoiners” by the time their gift unlocks.

“Bitcoiners love to spread the word, but it can be challenging,” according to founder Cory Klippsten. “GiveBitcoin gives them an easy, safe way to bring friends and family into the fold. It’s the perfect gift for the holidays.” Fundstrat co-founder Thomas Lee, a GiveBitcoin investor, says, “GiveBitcoin is a brilliant idea, providing a way for someone to gift Bitcoin while also providing a pathway to educate the recipient over the course of the timelock.”

Traditionally, the typical onboarding process to get started with Bitcoin is complicated. With GiveBitcoin, on the other hand, it takes just a few minutes to start an account, there’s no need for a special wallet or technical knowhow, and anyone can purchase their gift using a credit card. Compared to current alternatives, it’s far and away the simplest path to give Bitcoin.

The Los Angeles-based startup was founded in 2019 by tech investor and entrepreneur Klippsten, who wanted to solve problems he experienced with the cryptocurrency. “I was given some Bitcoin at a tech conference in 2014, but didn’t understand how to use it or why it was important. I missed out on the opportunity to start learning about Bitcoin and I also lost the private key so my gift was lost forever. Only later did I realize the magnitude of my loss. On the plus side, I realized there was an opportunity there too. We started GiveBitcoin to dramatically increase the chance that someone will receive a Bitcoin gift safely and get a clear path to understanding it.”

A Team of Bitcoin Leaders

GiveBitcoin’s investors and advisors include many well known Bitcoin advodates, including: Dr. Saifedean Ammous, economist and author of The Bitcoin Standard; Matt Odell, co-host of podcast Tales from the Crypt; Yan Pritzker, author of Inventing Bitcoin; Stephan Livera, host of Stephan Livera Podcast; Meltem Demirors of CoinShares; Michael “The Bitcoin Rabbi” Caras, author of Bitcoin Money; Murad Mahmudov of Adaptive Capital, and the aforementioned Thomas Lee of Fundstrat.

These experienced Bitcoiners recognize the massive hole that GiveBitcoin fills. Pritzker says, “GiveBitcoin will create conscientious Bitcoiners who understand the value of the gift they receive. That, in turn, will help the Bitcoin ecosystem grow and flourish.”

Ammous says, “Anyone who has tried giving the gift of Bitcoin to a loved one knows that the cost of the gift is not only in its monetary value, but in the time needed to explain to the recipient how Bitcoin works, and why it is worth holding. GiveBitcoin offers high quality educational material that frees your time while ensuring your recipient knows what they’re receiving and how to use it, allowing you to save more time and give more Bitcoin.”

Odell comments, “Navigating the nuances of securely using Bitcoin has historically been very difficult for new users. GiveBitcoin is designed to make it much easier with a comprehensive education package built into the flow of receiving your first Bitcoin.”

Trust and Education

GiveBitcoin handles all of the paperwork and works with Prime Trust, a regulated technology-driven trust company that provides financial infrastructure solutions, to ensure that all gifts are secure and 100% owned and controlled by the recipient.

The education GiveBitcoin provides is a key benefit. A 12-part guide helps recipients learn all about Bitcoin so they understand the intricacies of the money they’ve received. Pritzker says, “GiveBitcoin takes good care of the recipient and makes sure a giver doesn’t have to be their Bitcoin IT guy forever.” The fact that gift is timelocked (the giver decides how long the gift is locked before the recipient can access it) gives the recipient time to learn about Bitcoin and make thoughtful decisions.

The GiveBitcoin team aims to have a major impact on global ownership and understanding of Bitcoin. According to Klippsten, the company’s goal is to create 21 million new Bitcoiners, which would be a hugely positive development for the original cryptocurrency. They also have ambitions to take a big slice of the $125B US corporate gifting and $400B global gift card markets by making Bitcoin “the cool gift of 2020,” according to Klippsten.

GiveBitcoin is available today at

Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, GiveBitcoin was founded by Cory Klippsten, a startup operator and investor who previously worked for Google, McKinsey & Co., and Microsoft. The company is backed by investors and advisors including Dr. Saifedean Ammous, economist and author of The Bitcoin Standard; Matt Odell, co-host of podcast Tales from the Crypt; Yan Pritzker, author of Inventing Bitcoin; Stephan Livera, host of Stephan Livera Podcast; Meltem Demirors of CoinShares; Michael “The Bitcoin Rabbi” Caras, author of Bitcoin Money; Murad Mahmudov of Adaptive Capital; and Thomas Lee of Fundstrat.

Wondering how much to tip your mail carrier, dog walker or hairdresser for the holidays? Here’s some help.

NEW YORK ( — Christmas has become synonymous with spending in America. And spending in America goes hand-in-hand with tipping. Put the two together and you have the unique institution of holiday tipping.

For some, the holiday tip is given in the form of a gift, like the cookies received by St. Louis-based letter carrier William Lister. Lister saw them as appreciation “that you serve all year long.”

For others, the cash tip is more than a gesture of kindness. “A lot of our Christmas bonuses are what allow us to make our ends meet,” New York doorman Gil Santiago said. “Whatever we get, we deserve.”

Santiago said doormen are aware of who can afford to tip and who can’t. No matter what the tenant’s likelihood of tipping, everyone gets the same service, he says. “There have been times I’ve paid for things out of my own pocket” for elderly or cash-strapped tenants who requested something, he says.

It’s those who can afford to tip but don’t that irritate him. “Certain [tenants] come around and say, ‘We’ll see you later on.’ That means they know we deserve a tip. But that ‘later’ never comes,” he said.

“Doormen are like elephants,” Santiago said. “We never forget.”

“Tipping is never required,” according to Cindy Streit, president of Etiquette Training Services. “It may be expected in many situations. [but] should be thought of as a reward for excellent service.”

Streit counsels tippers to “follow your own heart and what your pocketbook dictates.” She says generous holiday tips are mainly for “those who serve you all year long and with whom you have a personal relationship.”

“Delivery should occur in an appropriate time in advance for the particular holiday,” she said.

And the final word on what kind of holiday tip to give should always come down to whatever the local tipping or gift custom is, Streit says.

Of course, questions of how much and to whom create a lot of angst for holiday tippers seeking to show their appreciation. They don’t want to offend their recipients with too little money. But like anyone else, holiday tippers don’t want to needlessly over give, either.

In this year’s holiday tipping guide, with Streit’s help, we’ve listed professions that often receive tips and offered guidelines for giving appropriately.

Our quick holiday tipping guide helps gift-givers determine the appropriate way to thank everyone for their service—including babysitters and dog walkers—in a way that works for their budget and lifestyle.

This holiday season, 80% of American families plan to give cash tips or “bonuses” to people who provide exceptional year-round services, like a diligent mailman, hairdresser, or dog walker, according to’s 2019 Cost of Holidays Survey. If you truly appreciate the regular assistance provided by certain individuals in your life, consider expressing that gratitude with an end-of-year gift. While not required or even expected, the special thank-you can show service providers how much you appreciate their above-and-beyond performance.

Jennifer Porter, an etiquette expert in Seattle, says the holidays are a wonderful time to express gratitude to important service people by demonstrating how well you know them. “It’s especially nice to give a gift that’s personalized based on your service partner’s interests,” Porter says. “If a trip is planned, gift a book about the region; if a new grandchild has arrived, tickets to a fun family-focused event. Think outside the gift card and give experiences and items that show you listen and care.”

How Much Should I Tip?

Determining how much to give during the holidays is personal—it depends on the relationship with that person, how frequently you interact, and your budget. A generous rule of thumb is to give the equivalent of one week’s pay for full-time employees or one extra session for scheduled workers, advises Heather Wiese-Alexander, an etiquette expert and the founder of bell’INVITO stationery. Even if you are unable to give a financial end-of-season bonus, there are numerous ways to express gratitude without spending a lot of money.

Who Should I Tip?

So how do you decide who gets a tip? Be realistic about your budget and relationships, and really think about the individuals who make your life easier on a regular basis. This guide can help get you started.

Personal Caregivers (Like Nannies or Senior Living Assistants)

Christmas tipping is a way to thank people for making your life easier, and it’s an opportunity to show people they make a difference. This can apply especially to year-round nannies, daycare providers, or senior home caregivers. According to the 2019 Cost of Holidays Survey, 56% of American families plan to tip their child care providers, and 56% plan to tip personal care providers. Connie Fong, the vice president of brand for, recommends placing cash or a gift card inside an envelope with the individual’s name on the front, then giving it to them in person. Add a personalized note thanking them for going the extra mile, whether that meant flexibility when you were running late or a creative DIY craft project that your loved one still cherishes.

“Remember that you want the tip to feel meaningful from your family, not an obligation, so gifting the tip in person with an envelope and a nice note makes the exchange much more special,” Fong says. “If the exchange can’t be done in person, letting them know ahead of time that you got them a gift is perfectly fine. This lets you tell them where it’ll be located and also gives you the opportunity to tell them that you wished you could have given it to them in person. If you’d prefer for the tip to be a surprise, make sure you leave it in a place they can find it, like the kitchen counter or the coffee table.”

Beauty and Health Specialists

When thanking a regular service provider—like a hairstylist, personal trainer, or manicurist—you can tip up to the cost of one extra session. Those services can add up on their own, so evaluate which people bring the most consistent joy into your life before doling out Christmas gifts. If you cannot afford a gift for everyone, a thoughtful thank-you note can mean just as much to people who helped you throughout the year.

U.S. Mail Provider

If your U.S. Postal Service provider brings Fido a treat three times a week and takes special care to be prompt with your deliveries, you can thank them for a job well done. Postal employees, including carriers, aren’t allowed to accept cash or gift cards, but they are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less, according to the USPS. Choose something appropriate for your mail carrier that can easily fit into a gift bag. “Give a box of chocolate, homemade bread, or cocoa or cider mixes in cute mugs,” Porter suggests. “And remember to include a card with thanks!”

Home, Yard, and Office Service Providers

Consider the value of your living space when brainstorming gifts for handypersons, landscapers, and garbage collectors. Wiese-Alexander suggests cash gifts around $25 to $50 with a handwritten note of appreciation for top-notch home service providers. Gift cards are only appropriate if they align with a place that the receiver will actually frequent, and if they cover the entirety of a purchase, she advises. The maintenance workers in your office building are important to remember, too. Trash collectors or janitors who you interact with frequently receive gifts between $10 to $20.

Also on the list: an office employee or doorman at your residence. Before tipping, check with your HOA to see if a holiday gift is already budgeted for.

Pet Caregiver or Dog Walker

Pets are members of the family, too. If your weekly dog walker is especially good with your excitable fur-baby, consider giving additional Christmas cheer. A gift in the range of $20 to $50 is appropriate for above-and-beyond pet care.

When You Should Skip Holiday Tips

Family doctors, therapists, and dentists are not often able to accept holiday tips—in some cases, there are ethics, guidelines, or laws against it. Instead, consider sending the family holiday card or a personalized note of gratitude. Quite often, seeing your family happy and appreciative is more than enough Christmas thanks for family health providers.

Low-Cost Ways to Show Holiday Appreciation

Outside of holiday tipping, there are many ways to help caregivers and service providers feel appreciated. Send handmade Christmas cards with personalized notes, make holiday food gifts, or give small DIY presents. No matter what you choose, people will appreciate that you thought of them during the holiday season.

Spoil everyone on your list this year!

‘Tis the season, and we know it’s going to be a stressful one. In a year where we’ve all faced major ups and downs, the holidays may not feel as joyous as they normally do, and thinking of what to get your loved ones may seem difficult. However, here at VERANDA, we’re looking at this time as a way to truly connect with our families and to finally get them what they’ve been dreaming about all year long.

As we’ve spent more time together in our homes this year, we’ve been able to discover what chic collectables or quirky gadgets make those closest to us absolutely giddy. Even so, searching for those one-of-a-kind items still can be time-consuming, so we’ve made it easier this year with our handy holiday gift guide. Need to find the perfect jewel-toned glass for the wine-lover in your life? We’ve got you covered. Looking to treat your young fashionista? Boy, do we have ideas you.

Read on to see how you can dazzle everyone on your holiday shopping list!

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The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

All year long, real estate agents are exhorted to stay top-of-mind with their clients — and then comes December, when the competition for consumer attention is fierce.

Do you give holiday gifts to your clients? If so, which kinds work best for you and your business?

Inman surveyed readers to ask what they typically give clients for Christmas. We compiled this guide based on the 229 responses collected between November 7 and 14, 2016, which helped us understand which types of gifts were most popular, and then did additional digging to find a few specific suggestions for each category.

(Don’t miss the other half of this research, which digs into what real estate agents would most like given to them as gifts.)

Do you give your clients gifts?

Survey respondents were split nearly 50-50 in terms of whether they give their clients gifts.

The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

A slim majority of survey respondents who work with clients (50.72 percent) said they do not typically buy clients holiday gifts.

On the flip side, almost half of respondents (49.28 percent) said they do typically buy holiday gifts for clients.

What to buy?

The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

In terms of types of gifts to give, respondents named these as their favored categories:

  • 27.97 percent: An edible/drinkable item
  • 26.57 percent: Other (this included plants, calendars, homemade food items and other items)
  • 20.28 percent: An item for the home
  • 17.48 percent: A gift card to a restaurant
  • 4.90 percent: A subscription to a service or publication
  • 1.40 percent: A gift card to a boutique
  • 1.40 percent: A book
  • 0.0 percent: A gadget or tech tool
  • 0.0 percent: Tickets to a sporting/musical or other cultural event

These were some other options that respondents mentioned.

The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

Big winners: Edible or drinkable items and plants — specifically, poinsettias — were popular options for client gifts.

Big losers: No survey respondents said that gadgets, tech tools, or tickets to sporting, musical or cultural events were gifts that they were likely to give clients (however, write-in responses suggested that some agents do give tickets to events with some success).

Eat, drink and be merry

A (relatively) safe choice for any agent considering a holiday gift is a food or drink item. Nearly one-third of respondents said that this method was how they chose to touch base with clients during the holiday season, and several more respondents wrote in “bottle of wine” or “homemade cookies” in the “other” response category.

Consider client allergies and food preferences before you spend a lot of your own time and money on food or drink items — and local specialties, too. Wine or beer might be obvious choices in some local markets (especially if there is a particular winery or brewery that locals love), whereas in others, you might want to go with honey or fruit instead.

Homemade items are often welcome; if you drop those off when your clients aren’t home, leave a recipe card with the food or drink so they can see whether there are any allergens they should know about.

And food-related items, such as cutting boards, gas or charcoal grills (of varying sizes), or other kitchen or cooking utensils or paraphernalia could be good holiday gift options for clients.

Home sweet home

Personalized (or not) items for the home was another popular category where agents can find lots of gift potential.

Some agents mentioned Nest thermostats — a bit pricey for most markets, but a good client might be worth it. Amazon’s Echo Dot makes the Alexa home assistant more accessible, too.

Many agents drop calendars off, which offers a medium to brand your gift. Most homes seem to be able to accommodate another calendar for the wall, but mass-produced gifts like calendars might get no more than a cursory glance before they are relegated to the recycling bin.

You could be better off with a different kind of seasonal gift, like a wreath or garland for decorating the front door or porch — or even a custom ornament for the Christmas tree with names, dates and/or a picture/rendering of the house.

A personalized “welcome” sign or name plaque for the outside of the house could be other options for personalized client gifts.

If you don’t know the client well enough (or don’t have time) to whip up something specific, you can still think “home-oriented” by bringing them or buying them:

  • Patio furniture or deck chairs
  • Time with a designer/interior decorator
  • Trees for the property
  • Custom planters (poinsettia optional)
  • A fire pit
  • A guest bathroom gift basket
  • Cleaning services

And it’s certainly not the sexiest gift idea, but several agents noted that their clients appreciated home warranties, pest control or other house-related services as gifts.

Agents say ‘relax’

Giving your clients the gift of a little downtime — or an invitation to learn a piece of information they didn’t know about their own neighborhood — can be valuable (and make them smile when they think of you; who doesn’t want more of that?).

If you know of any books published about their neighborhood or city — especially recently — send it over, and if the author is local, you can try to get the books signed before they head out the door to make them extra special.

Personalized stationery (including journals) is one of those items that many people love but few people bother to purchase for themselves, which makes it a commendable gift option. Some sets for your clients that can be used for all-purpose greetings would likely be welcome (and possibly encourage them to put pen to paper more frequently).

Agents also said that they give:

  • Spa gift cards
  • Localized products (food, art, toys) in a local bag
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Golf lessons
  • Gift cards to a close-by movie theater

Family time

Some agents had specific suggestions for clients with families.

If you live in an area with a children’s theater, ask about pricing for family season tickets — they often have good deals, and you might be able to swing several plays for a family of three or four people. Cultural and community-oriented!

Is there a local child-minder you can’t stop recommending? Do yourself a favor and purchase some of his or her hours to gift to your own clients; whether it’s two, four, five or 80, your parent clients will no doubt remember you with gratitude when they leave their kids in good hands on their big night out. (And if they really like the child care, they’ll think of you every time they pick up the phone to book more adult time.)

And custom growth charts for families with kids — especially if they are removable and transferrable from home to home — make excellent gifts for families, too.

The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

For Triangle Ultimate to pursue our vision statement “to build a community that is representative of the Triangle region through the sport of Ultimate” equity needs to be centered into what we do and who we are. Triangle Ultimate recognizes the barriers to access and cultural narratives that have prevented the sport from matching the makeup of the surrounding area. We aim to disrupt the narrative and focus on increased accessibility and innovating engagement, in short, we aim to Level the Playing Field.

Give $65 to Level the Playing Field and give a gift of future play!

Or make a traditional donation to Triangle Ultimate in any amount or sign up to be a Triangle Ultimate sustainer and set up recurring donations HERE.

One way Triangle Ultimate commits to Level the Playing Field:

By implementing a Pay-What-You-Can sliding fee scale for all of our beginner programs (Youth & Adult and School-based programs) when we can return to play safely.

This #GivingTuesday and Holiday Season
Two ways YOU can help us Level the Playing Field

$65 ‘Disc Certificate’
Give a gift of future play – a future program registration – by purchasing a gift certificate that comes in the form of a custom ‘Level the Playing Field’ disc. Give the ‘disc certificate’ to a new friend you want to start playing this Spring, or to an old friend you want to keep playing! The $65 Disc Certificates will cover the full cost of a typical league or program and can be used towards any TU program registration.

$65 Pay it Forward Donation
A $65 donation will cover the cost of a Boys & Girls Club participant in youth rec programming. Triangle Ultimate’s community partnerships have been awarded national support. Through a national nonprofit, Up2Us, we are hiring Americorps Coach positions for 2021 whose work will be to deepen our long-standing engagement with the Boys & Girls Clubs and youth in the Triangle.

Click here to give a gift of future play
and Level the Playing Field

Thank you for supporting Triangle Ultimate on Giving Tuesday and this Holiday season. Your contribution paves the way for our shared work in building a healthy, thriving community through the sport of ultimate, where access to play is not dependent upon income or zip code.

You can always make a traditional donation to Triangle Ultimate in any amount or sign up to be a Triangle Ultimate sustainer and set up recurring donations HERE.

Whether you’re holidaying big or barely holidaying at all this year—health and happiness is tangible for the ones you love.

Show them how much they matter to you by gifting them the first step in their journey to taking better care of their health. Everlywell at-home lab tests allow you to check on your health anytime and anywhere, with fast and easy-to-read digital results in days. They’re a unique gift to remind those you love of how important their well-being is this holiday season and beyond. This year, don’t just send gifts—send care.

We’ve rounded up the perfect holiday gift guide to help you check off everyone on your list this holiday season.

The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

Does the foodie in your life believe they may be experiencing unexpected symptoms after enjoying their favorite meals? Or perhaps they’re looking to try a temporary elimination diet, but don’t know where to start? Help them learn which foods may cause a higher immune response before the holiday feasting begins.

Our at-home Food Sensitivity Test could help them identify what may be causing them discomfort after meals by measuring their body’s IgG antibody reactivity to 96 common foods. Our Food Sensitivity Comprehensive Test measures an even broader set of 204 foods—it’s perfect for the more adventurous eater! Their personalized results are sent directly to their device within days of them mailing in their sample. This could help them prioritize potential food culprits when planning a temporary elimination diet to alleviate symptoms.

For the one who complains about allergies

The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

We all have that one friend who can never stop sneezing. If their favorite phrase is “Allergies are the worst,” give them a gift to explore their suspicions, like our Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test. This test measures their body’s immune response to 40 common allergens like pets, trees, grasses, dust mites, and more, and could help them learn what may be causing their itchy throat, watery eyes, and sneezing. This gift is perfect to help them feel great for the upcoming holidays and get ahead of the next allergy season!

For the health and fitness enthusiast

The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

While we can’t help you check off the Peloton bike on their wishlist, here’s a unique gift idea to help them better understand the ties between fitness and health: our at-home Metabolism Test. Did you know energy levels, weight, and body composition are all influenced by your metabolism and energy intake? When key hormones that regulate metabolism are not within normal ranges, these changes may contribute to weight gain and low energy. The Metabolism Test will tell whether your personal levels of TSH, Cortisol, Testosterone are low, normal, or high. This gift may help them gain a better understanding of potential hormonal influences behind their fluctuating weight and energy levels.

For the one who hasn’t felt like themself lately

The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

If someone in your life has been feeling off for the past few months, they may be experiencing a hormone imbalance tied to thyroid issues. Excessive fatigue, difficulty sleeping, hair thinning or loss, and heat or cold sensitivity are all symptoms that could all be linked to thyroid dysfunction. Our comprehensive Thyroid Test measures the levels of three main thyroid-specific hormones: TSH, T3, and T4 and thyroid antibodies. Their test results could be the first step in helping them understand the hormonal influences behind some of the abnormalities their body may be experiencing.

For the one with a heart of gold

The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

If you’re looking for a way to send the heart emoji in the form of a gift this year, show your loved ones just how much you care with our Heart Health Test. Whether you have a family history of heart disease or you’ve begged them to check in on their heart, show them how they could get ahead of some of the potential risks of heart disease. This test measures Total Cholesterol, HDL, Calculated LDL, Triglycerides, hs-CRP, and HbA1c—which are important markers related to cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure (hypertension), type II diabetes, and more. Show them you care for one of the most important organs in their body by encouraging them to check on their risk factors early—which is a great start for preventing heart disease.

For the special woman in your life

The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

For the woman in your life who likes to be one step ahead of everything, give her a gift that will help jumpstart her proactive health journey this holiday season. Our most comprehensive Women’s Health Test measures the key hormones known to be instrumental in women’s health. Hormone imbalances in women can cause a variety of symptoms, including fatigue and migraines. Remind that special someone that regular health screenings can help them to better understand their overall health and the ways their body changes with every stage of life.

For the guy who is impossible to shop for

The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

Is there a man in your life who seems to have absolutely everything? Skip the usual golf balls, BBQ sets, and ties, and instead surprise him with a unique gift he may not even know he needed: our Men’s Health Test. This test measures four key hormones, including Cortisol, DHEA-S, Estradiol, and Free Testosterone, which are necessary for healthy functioning of the male body. Give him the extra nudge he needs to sort out what may be affecting his mood, weight balance, and energy levels with our most comprehensive Men’s Health Test.

Regardless of where or with whom you’re celebrating this year, don’t just send your loved ones any gift, send them care. Get them one step closer to better health with a quick and easy swab—or help them find their starting point to wellness with the prick of a finger. Make it that much more of a happy holiday from wherever with a gift from Everlywell.

Blood donations are needed all year, but they’re most critical during the holidays.

What is a special present that could come only from you? You may not have thought of this: The greatest gift you can give another human is, literally, life. Donating blood even once can help save the lives of three people — whether they’re newborns needing heart surgery, adults badly injured in car crashes, or people of any age suffering from cancer.

If you already donate, you probably know how important it is. If you don’t donate, you’re hardly alone. While 60% of Americans are eligible to give blood, only 5% of them do — even though someone in America needs a blood transfusion every two seconds. “At any given time, we only have a three-day supply of blood in this country. It’s vitally important that people give,” says Anne Eder, MD, executive medical officer of the American Red Cross.

Queasy? Busy? Unsure where to go? Read on to learn how the blood donor system works — and how you can participate.

Who Gives?

Studies show that the primary motivation for the 8 million Americans who donate blood every year is altruism, while the primary hurdle for those who don’t is inconvenience. Yet most communities offer places to give blood, and the whole procedure takes only an hour.

Those who have never donated cite the risk of AIDS as their primary concern. But “people cannot get a disease from giving blood,” Eder says. “The staff use a new, sterile needle on each donor and immediately dispose of it after they draw the blood.”

Am I Eligible?

Guidelines differ from state to state, but in general you are eligible if you are 17 and older, weigh more than 110 pounds, and don’t have AIDS or other transmissible diseases. Some conditions may also make you temporarily ineligible, including pregnancy, low blood iron, and high or low blood pressure problems.

Blood donations are needed all year, but they’re most critical during holidays. “That’s when we see the most trauma,” Eder says, “and when donors are unavailable, due to vacation schedules, illness, or inclement weather.”

How to Give Blood

  • Contact (1-800-GIVE-LIFE) to find a blood donation center in your community.
  • Make an appointment.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and eat a meal before your appointment.
  • Arrive on time, wearing sleeves that can be raised.
  • Give your health history and take the mini physical (which includes your pulse, blood pressure, and blood count).
  • Donate blood (usually one pint).
  • Rest in the “canteen” and have a complimentary snack.
  • Take it easy for the rest of the day. Drink lots of fluids, avoid strenuous activity, and feel good about having helped others, knowing your body will replace the blood you gave in just a few weeks.

Published November 2006.


SOURCES: Glynn S. Transfusion, June 2006; vol 46 (6): pp 980-990. Schreiber G. Transfusion, April 2006; vol 46 (4): pp 501-502, 545-53. Hupfer M. Transfusion, February 2005; vol 45 (2): pp 149-161. Anne Eder, MD, executive medical officer, American Red Cross. America’s Blood Centers. American Association of Blood Banks, Bethesda, Md.

The ultimate holiday gift (and how to give and receive it)

If you’re anything like us, coming up with the gift ideas can be even more challenging than actually getting the gifts. We’ve been brainstorming presents for neighbors, friends and family and decided to share out list with you. We hope it helps you fly through that gift to-do list!

Gifts That Give Back

Two smiles for one! Each of these gifts also benefits a wonderful cause.

  • Gift for campers: EcoSurvivor Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker & Charger
  • Gift for your pet: Max and Neo Paw & Nose Balm
  • Gift for the traveler: Squeeze Pods TSA Approved/Vegan/Cruelty-Free
  • Gift for coworker: Art of Lunch Bag
  • Gifts for anyone: Bombas Socks

Gifts That Create Experiences

These gifts won’t end up collecting dust in a closet.

  • Family Gifts: Otrio and Rock Me Archimedes
  • Nature lover gift: Portable Hammock
  • An annual membership to a museum is the gift that keeps giving!

Techie Gifts

Help stay connected with these tech-savvy presents.

  • Rotibox Bluetooth Beanie
  • Bit Coding Robot
  • Multi-charger station
  • For that long distance friend or family member – Friendship Lamp

Gifts Made with Love

These ideas are great to make and use in a pinch.