Getting a physical gift can be wonderful, but giving the gift of physical health can be priceless. The Tevis Center for Wellness at Carroll Hospital, and Carroll County Recreation and Parks both have gift certificate options for healthy holiday giving.
The Tevis Center offers a wide array of complimentary health services, from massage to Reiki, to acupuncture, reflexology and hot stone massage, according to Lisa Bicking, program coordinator at the center.
"You don't have to have to have a medical condition to come here; we have very nice, comfortable treatment rooms and our ambience is relaxing," Bicking said. "[Gift cards] are a nice way to give someone something so they give themselves time to relax."
At the same time, Bicking said that therapists at the center are used to working with patients undergoing numerous forms of medical treatment, and following doctor's protocols.
"All of our therapists are certified in various types of treatment, so we like to say that it's safe to come here if you have a port or have had surgery or things like that," she said. "Our massage therapists are prenatal certified if you have a mom-to-be in your life that might be having some discomfort from being pregnant — back aches, things like that — that's a nice gift to give them and it's a nice gift for her; you know everybody tends to center on gifts for the baby."
Gift certificates to the Tevis Center for Wellness can be purchased in person 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday at the hospital's East Pavilion, 291 Stoner Ave., Westminster, and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31. They can also be purchased by calling 410-871-7000 or on the hospital website at
The ease of online purchasing is also one of the key things Jeff Degitz, director of the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks likes about his department's gift certificate program.
"There's no lines; go online from home. Nothing against the mall, but you don't have to fight the traffic or the lines," he said. "We try to make it as easy as possible to give that gift."
Gift cards can be purchased on the department website at ccrecpark.org — people can also call 410-386-2103 or send email to email@example.com — in numerous denominations and for a wide range of programs from nature hikes to crafts.
"We have craft programs for youth and adult; water colors programs, comic strips. [For] health and wellness we have Pilates and Zumba; Zumba is very popular," Degitz said. "There really is a little bit of everything. We have nature programs at Bear Branch and Piney Run Nature Centers. We do day trips to New York City [by bus]."
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Through the Park Legacy Fund, there is also the option to give a philanthropic gift that enhances recreation for people in Carroll County.
"I'm starting to hear from my folks who are getting up there in years, and they are saying, 'You know, we really don't need anything else, but if you want to make a gift or donation in our name,' then they like that idea as well," Degitz said. "Rather than give something physically to somebody or a gift card for their use, you can make a donation to the park legacy fund in honor of someone."
Whether intended for the use of the recipient, or in honor of their name, Degitz said giving healthy experiences instead of things can be especially rewarding.
"You can argue that it is the gift of life, where people go out and they recreate, they improve their health," he said. "It is a gift that keeps on giving. So when you care about family members of friends, this is a nice way to give them something for them, that also hopefully helps keep them around longer and in better health as well."