December 13, 2010

How To: Treat your skater this Christmas

The festive season is upon us! Hurrah! I'm having the time of my year, despite the severe weather disrupting all my Xmas shopping arriving from all over the world (eBay addict, me? Noo....). Now the big day is almost upon us, have you sorted out a perfect gift for your skater?

Here's my short list of super duper gifts for the tired but dedicated sports-person in your life. Separated into 3 price brackets I aim to inspire you with some cute and some utterly fabulous gift ideas. So lets go!
Price range 1: "I'm on a budget (duh, I'm from a skating household)"

1. Wheat bag. If your skater does not already own one of these amazing pieces of equipment, then s/he won't know what hit them when they try it out. A rectangle of material filled with wheat grain, pop it into the microwave for 1-2 minutes and apply to any aching muscles or cramping back for instant relief!
My 2 cents: I use mine almost every day. I bought it for $5. You can even make your own if money is tight, there are many tutorials on the web such as this one. Trust me, you'll be stealing this from your skater! Slipper-wheatbags exist too. Pop in microwave, pop onto feet, melt into the sheer pleasure of warm tootsies!

2. Some skating culture. How about reviewing classic and key performances that shaped figure skating as a sport? Hunt down great priced DVDs like this one on either Amazon or eBay.
My 2 cents: I love watching old performances and drawing inspiration from skaters many younger generations have never heard of. Get that competitive edge, all while chilling out on the sofa, gingerbread cookie in-hand! Your skater will appreciate.

3. Skating art. Commission a student artist from a local art school (or connect via the internet), or use such sites as to find someone with talent and flare. For as little as $10 you could offer a unique piece of art to your skater, maybe featuring themselves, or their favourite skater?
My 2 cents: I love personalised things made just for me. Who on earth doesn't? This is a cost-effective way of showing your skater what they mean to you, and by using a photo of them from a recent competition it creates a great memento they can keep all their life.

Price Range 2: "I'm getting my skater something special this Christmas"

1. A Starbucks (or equivalent) travel mug. This is the perfect way to make it to those early-morning sessions with a hot frothy latte in hand. They cost anywhere between $5-30.
My 2 cents: I'm not sure about the U.S, but in the U.K if you buy your drink at Starbucks and ask for it to be filled into your travel mug, you get a discount. Result!

2. Repetto trousers. A little bit of classical ballet luxury in your skaters' everyday life.
My 2 cents: These are the softest most beautiful training trousers I have ever worn. With a pair of tights underneath they did me for many a show rehearsal, and are so versatile due to the drawstring bottom which means you can make them into shorts, 3/4-length, etc. Damn whoever stole those trousers from me!

3. Foot spa. These babies melt away all those cramps and cleanse grimy, sweaty skate-feet. Keeps nails super clean, and relaxes ligaments and muscles that could only get this much love if you had a private personal masseuse. From as low as $29 on Amazon.
My 2 cents: Don't use more than once a week or else skaters foot skin will soften and can cause pain while skating (all that hard skin your skater has worked hard to build up will be slain by the massaging bubbles of the foot spa). So no more than once a week. That only applies to skaters though, not mothers. Wink wink.

Price Range 3: "I simply don't know how I'll find the time to feed our ponies with all the shopping I'm doing!" (ok so you have to imagine that in a hoity-toity voice)

1. Cashmere gloves. This is just the warmest material you're going to find, and it's oh so luxurious. It'll fit in perfectly with that snug and spicy festive season ambiance.
My 2 cents: Unfortunately I cannot report good things of skating-famed Eric Bompard Cashmere items. My mother-in-law gave me a pair of beautiful elbow-length gloves last Christmas and just one month later my nails were peeping out the finger ends. Shop around, you'll find these gorgeous pieces of sheer luxury at many outlets this winter season.

2. An mp3 player. Perfect for warming up off ice and blocking out the competitive surroundings, an mp3 player into which not only skating program music can go, but also your skaters' favourite motivational tunes is a real gem, especially mid-season with many more competitions to come. Top off this gift with a pair of padded earphones for ultimate rink-side comfort.
My 2 cents: don't buy an iPod. They are expensive, lock you into one system, they will not work easily unless you have iTunes on your computer, you can not get music back out of the iPod (which sucks if you have your computer stolen and all your music with it. You know all your music is right there, in your iPod, but Apple have decided you shouldn't be allowed to get to it. Total nonsense in my opinion, in light of the hefty price tag, I believe the customer should always be right!), the battery doesn't last long, and cannot be changed... need I go on. I recently bought a Sansa Clip+ for $35, and it is sheer brilliance!

3. Luscious skin cream(s). The sensation of a hot shower followed by the application of rich, thick, face and hand creams once home from a long practice session is one of total decadence. You can go from reasonable to amazingly pricey (Creme de la Mer starts at around $140 for a pot!). The choice is up to you.
My 2 cents: My guilty pleasure is the amazingly cheap $10 Crabtree & Evelyn rosewater hand cream.

Whatever you give this holiday season, as long as it's with love, I'm pretty sure it'll be met with enthusiasm and gratefulness. If all else fails, administer a large hug with a mug of hot chocolate, a family-friendly feel-good movie, and copious amounts of home made goodies. Happy Christmas!

What are you doing for Xmas? What will go be giving to your skater? We'd love to hear your ideas so please just leave a comment for others to get inspired!

Have any questions, want to know more, don't agree? Please leave me a comment!


  1. Another gift idea that fits ALL figure skaters (boys, girls, old, young, coach, etc.) is a 2011 Figure Skating Calendar! It has amazing pictures of skates & inspirational quotes from past figure skating Olympic champions! I came up with this idea because I wanted 1 place that had ALL the figure skating competitions listed in it (this does too ;) and it's a fundraiser for my son's Autism therapy. Order fast & we'll get it to you in time for the holidays!
    THANK YOU!!! Happy Skating! :)

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  2. Oh and theres these cute christmas stockings too!

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