Easy Does It: Our First Annual Sober Gift Guide | The Fix
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Easy Does It: Our First Annual Sober Gift Guide

What do you buy the sober person who has everything? A few suggestions for (almost) every recovering person in your life.

  • Your Sober Friend

    For the friend who’s out and proud: try a little attraction and promotion with a t-shirt that proudly declares your pal's sobriety. Choose from one of the many recovery-oriented t-shirts available at My 12-Step Store (notable selection: "Bill W.’s Bitch") or, if you want to broadcast a cautionary tale, consider the official t-shirt of the world’s least accredited treatment center: Charlie Sheen’s Sober Valley Lodge.

    Exercise Classes: Now that she's likely up before noon and has some energy to burn, support your sober friend's new healthy lifestyle with a gift certificate to some exercise classes. Fitist.com offers a wide selection of classes at a variety of different workout centers throughout New York City and Los Angeles.

  • Your Sober Boyfriend/Girlfriend

    Meditation class. Talk about a gift that gives as much to you as it does to the recipient: this class is the ideal gift for the special sober someone in your life, whether they're stuck on their 11th step or not. Thom Knoles has taught much of LA’s sober community how to meditate but the master teacher offers classes everywhere from San Francisco to New York and beyond. (To sign up for a free introductory talk, click here.) 

    Couples massage: Another one you, too, can benefit from: in addition to relieving stress and tension, a good massage will help your partner release some less-than-healthy toxins he may have built up and will leave you both floating afterwards on a natural high.

  • Your Sober Spouse

    If the idea of seeing alcohol flowing at a restaurant is too much for your newly sober spouse, consider taking cooking classes together so you can create meals at home and enjoy a new activity as a couple. The MasterChef cooking classes taught by Le Cordon Bleu are held in a number of cities during the day so they avoid the after-class meal with wine that’s a part of most evening classes. If you want to get out of the house, surprise them with a tailored sober vacation that The Fix has already put together for you.

  • Your Sober Boss

    Keep it simple, stupid, and get a beverage warmer ($24.99) to keep his favorite non-alcoholic drink at the perfect temperature. And let’s not forget he needs something to hold all that coffee when he comes into work every morning. If he's not a recovering cocaine addict, choose this thermos with a built-in straw.

  • Your Sober Parent

    This affordable Wilson family tennis kit is a great way to launch a solid exercise program—a key to supporting a sober lifestyle and providing a natural high. This kit comes complete with rackets, net and balls, and can easily be set up in a backyard or, in a pinch, the parking lot of a condo complex. Plus, the balls are foam, so it's a good way to vent pent-up anger without actually causing any harm. If your parents aren't the racket-and-ball types, opt for the spa kit for women OR men: Addicts love to indulge. Now they can do it in healthier ways.

  • Your Sober Child

    Most parents learn the hard way not to get their kids clothes. If you want to give them something they'll actually use, try a Spotify and/or Netflix account, along with a selection of movies from the Fix's list of the best addict performances or music from our list of the top 10 songs about addiction. Partner this up with noise-cancelling headphones, which can help drown out the holiday-season triggers.

  • Your Sober Aunt

    Try a modern classic book about addiction. Let’s face it, you see this woman once a year around the holidays, and books are a great, affordable way to go for people who fall into this category. Why not get her one written by a contributor to The Fix? Or, even though nothing says “I had no idea what to get you” like flowers, your aunt might appreciate a custom floral arrangement. Find out what her favorite flowers are (all aunts have them), and add note that congratulates her on her sobriety.

  • Your Sober Co-Worker

    Confection gift box with custom message: Few people are going to object to a box full of delicious treats, but sober addicts especially love them some chocolate and also love to feel special so what could be better than a message to them made out of chocolate? Just don’t expect this gift to be around anymore by the end of the day. Or consider getting them a custom engraved hourglass to reminds them that you know sometimes it's not one day at a time but one hour at a time. Easy to fit on any office desk and, with a personalized message, potentially a constant source of encouragement.

  • Your Sober Hairdresser

    Didn't occur to you that your hairdresser might like a gift? Think again. After all, you’ve spent enough time bitching about your life to her, so why unload a little joy with this Happy Joyous and Free ornament. It's inexpensive, and shows her you appreciate and support the way she lives (and are grateful she doesn't turn your hair green now that she's clean). Also try the Higher Powered and Just For Today ornaments.

  • Your Sober Neighbor

    If you're the close sort of neighbors—like Jack Tripper and Mr. Furley—make him a meal from recipes culled out of The Sober Kitchen. Or, if your relationship is less intimate, just give him the book as a gift. If he's not much of a chef, the simple solution is a six-pack of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider, which can serve as both a great present or something to bring to a sober gathering. If nothing else, it proves that in sobriety, six-packs don’t have to be a part of the past.


    McCarton Ackerman is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Time Out New YorkThe Huffington Post, abcnews.com and usopen.org. He has written about Carré Otis and Celebrity Rehab, among other topics, for The Fix.

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By McCarton Ackerman 12/15/11

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