The Perfect Gift. Plus, Top 5 Elephant Articles of All-Time!

get elephant's newsletter

Give Ole’ Santa a break!

Finding the right present for a loved one can often be a disastrous process saturated with anxiety and confusion. Navigating hectic holiday traffic and chaotic crowds of frantic shoppers is enough to send anyones nerves into a tissy. Rummaging through Best Buy looking for the right gift only to settle for a gift card is a disappointing Saturday to say the least! Besides, most of us already have our fair share of grooming kits,  insulated socks, and neckties.

I am not suggesting we do not buy gifts for our friends and family.  I am just “info-mercialing” the hell out of the ordinary to make my silly alternative seem even better…

So what is my alternative? Links.

We never think of links as gifts, but they are a lot like books. Links lead to information, and new information gives rise to new experiences. New experiences create new perspectives… So, passing on a link can change someones life. Change a life, change the world. What a gift! Its the law of causality, thermo-dynamics, attraction, or something like that… The point is its a law! Plus, its a paperless eco-friendly alternative to the forest killing book (shallow attempt to gain support from my environmentally conscious anti-e-book audience.)

With one simple click you could pass on an article about meditation to an anxious friend of yours. Could that be the gift s/he remembers for the rest of their life? Instead of buying your cousin or co-worker a gift card to Macaroni Grill, you could send them a link to a recipe blog you have come to appreciate. “Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and feed him for a lifetime,” is the biblical way of saying, “It is the gift that keeps on giving!”

It is also a great solution to depleted funds. An e-mail, with a nice holiday greeting, personalized message, and link attached to your favorite blog or article is not only a thoughtful gift— It’s free!

In addition to fruitcakes and Snuggies lets give the “Mindful Life” to our friends and loved ones this Christmas. I have included an example of what this might look like, complete with my top 5 Elephant articles of all-time; plus a bonus link to an article I wrote about the basics of meditation. This is my gift to you— you’re welcome!

Now, lets get started gifting links!

Dear Elephant Readers,

Here are a few articles, which in a sophisticated manner articulate the ideals and principles that mean a lot to me. Each one, in their own unique way, has contributed to my perspective and appreciation of the “Mindful Life.” In these articles, I hope that you find the same peace and joy I have found. May this peace and joy inspire us all to do what we can to contribute to the sanity and well-being of our human family. I hope that you and yours have an amazing Christmas, and a happy New Year.


Ben Riggs

My 5 Favorite Articles on Elephant:

  1. Buddhism vs. Speed: Busyness is Laziness, by Dr. Reggie Ray.
  2. Is Yoga Un-Christian? by Angela Raines
  3. Buddhists Have It Wrong About Original Sin, by Scott Robinson.
  4. Why Vegetarian does not Equal Healthy (written by a vegetarian)by Ricardo das Neves.
  5. Touch—and Go. ~ QOTD, by Chogyam Trungpa.

Ok. Ok. I love funny. I love intelligence. Here are the two articles on Elephant that I think unites intelligence and humor most skillfully.

Parents: 1,000,000. Equanimity: 0 and The Plague of Woo Woo both by Joslyn Hamilton.

P.S.Want to teach someone to fish, and buy them a fishing pole? Get your friends, coworkers, and/or loved ones a subscription to Elephant Journal this Christmas! Its cheaper than a personal grooming kit! Click here to give your friends a subscription to the Mindful-Life!

Happy Holidays.

is a new feature on Elephant Journal—enabling you to instantly share your mindful ideas, photos, art, YouTube videos/Instagram links & writings with our 5 million readers. Try it Now.

Write Now

About Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. He is also the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA and a teacher at Explore Yoga. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist and Christian spirituality on Elephant Journal, and his blog. Click here to listen to the Finding God in the Body Podcast. To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


2 Responses to “The Perfect Gift. Plus, Top 5 Elephant Articles of All-Time!”

  1. Great blog, Ben. And a great list. Some of those blogs have mind-boggling discussions attached to them, too, particularly
    Buddhists Have It Wrong About Original Sin, which I once dubbed "The best discussion ever on Elephant myself."

    I love this idea of bring back the great blogs from the past, which are completely new to a great many readers. You do it here. Waylon's doing a lot of it on Twitter. I encourage all contributors to think up more creative ways to highlight their favorite blogs from the past, the way you did so skillfully here.


    Bob W.
    Yoga Editor

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.