Great Gifts for the Spirited Sober!



The holidays are the very best time of year to thank those who have helped us, remind loved ones how much we care and reinforce the best qualities in our friends and family. For those who have gotten sober in 2015, congratulations! For those in long term recovery, we salute you! It’s the middle of December – the rush is on to find the perfect tokens of our esteem, and I’ve tallied the experts at Sanford House to recommend their favorite holiday gifts for all the spirited sober folks on your NICE lists.


It’s Not Too Late:

Rae Green, Founder: A Swarovski Crystalline Lady Ballpoint Pen

Rae says, “There is a lot of writing in early recovery and research shows that people who keep journals feel 25% happier and more optimistic about their future.” (I’ve been NICE and I’m a writer, Rae…)

David Green – Founder: Snow shoes; a gym membership; a Netflix subscription

David thinks his suggestions might be “boring” but HELLO – have you watched Bloodlines, or fallen down in snow shoes??

Christine Walkons – Clinical Director: Starbucks Gift Certificate; movie, concert or play tickets; designer olive oil; greeting cards with a book of stamps

The lost art of letter writing: I love it!

Lynnel Brewster – Therapist: Art pens and Zentangle art books

Lynnel says, “It’s a lighthearted way to relax, intentionally focus a shift in perspective and allow for creative expression.”



Katie Kemperman – Sanford House Chef – A cookbook

(Katie should write a cookbook herself – her cream soups, what?) The Sober Kitchen: Recipes and Advice for a Lifetime of Sobriety by Scott.

Kristin Reinink – CADC and Recovery Coach: Books! (And this woman has a library…) Thinking Simply About Addiction by Sandor; A Woman’s Way Through the 12 Steps by Covington; Daring Greatly by Brown; Lit by Karr; Clean: Overcoming Addiction…by Sheff; The Recovering Body by Malesa; Drinking: A Love Story by Knapp; The Gift of Imperfection… by Brown; and Broken by Moyers; (AND Kristin’s Young Living Essential Oils).

Cari, Rae R. and Regina Resident Supervisors –  Manicure kit; puzzles; diffuser for aromatherapy; bath essentials, coffee beans; a craft store gift card; care package with tea light candles, meditation/relaxation CD and a journal.

And you can paint your nails without spilling on the carpet or getting it all over your fingers now that you’re sober – yay… And you should take good care of yourself and meditate!

Lisa Nargi –  Director of Finance – A Gift certificate for a massage



Marilyn Spiller – What they said…

When I was a child I was waiting in line for Santa and the kid in front of me asked for, “Everything.” Seriously? I remember panicking that if he got everything how could I get my Chatty Cathy doll? Ever since then, I have tried not to be greedy at Christmas, but I have to be honest – I want everything on this list! So my suggestion is: WHAT THEY SAID. Leave it to the experts to come up with the perfect suggestions to make a spirited, sober friend feel special this holiday season!


Happy Holidays from Sanford House!




Marilyn Spiller is a writer, sober coach, recovery advocate, and student of the world. (She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing). Seven years sober herself, she penned one of the first sobriety blogs, "Waking Up the Ghost" in 2013. The blog garnered an international following, allowing Marilyn to communicate with thousands of folks in all stages of recovery. Marilyn is Sanford's Director of Marketing and serves as Editor-In-Chief for the Sanford online magazine, "Excursions". She also developed and hosts the podcast Anatomy of Addiction.