The holidays are the perfect time to rejoice in our good fortune, celebrate with family and friends and eat lots of festive food. But with so much going on, how on earth does anyone find time to shop for gifts?
Have no fear! I can help make your holiday gift giving meaningful, simple, delicious and even healthy if you so choose. In fact, this just may be your easiest holiday shopping year ever. Here are some fabulous edible gift suggestions, ranging from the token to the major statement of appreciation. And all of them are just a few clicks away.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock
It’s The Thought (Under $25)
There are plenty of gifts that are gentle on the wallet yet yummy in the tummy. Brighten up your giftee’s day right from the start with a bag of organic Peruvian coffee from The Fair Trade Coffee Company. These beans produce a medium-bodied and well-rounded cup. And they’re produced by workers who are treated fairly, under conditions that are kind to the environment.
The Al Dente Pasta Company will send those pasta lovers on your list a tasty trio of all-natural, handmade pastas. The Wholee Grain-Ohlee gift set includes Multigrain, Roasted Garlic and Fettuccine and tells the recipient “enjoy your dinner on me!” Each cooks up in about three minutes.
Miss Nicky’s Gourmet Almond Toffee is one of my personal favorites. Not only is this toffee insanely delicious and addictive, it actually has many health benefits. Miss Nicky uses whole nuts and spices, making this a great gift for anyone who is gluten-sensitive, diabetic or overweight but still enjoys sweets. Her customers include Maya Angelou, Magic Johnson and makeup mogul Bobbi Brown. Be sure to get an extra box for yourself.
Photo Credit: Seasons Taproom
Vinegar… as a gift? If you’ve ever tried dark chocolate vinegar mixed with a good olive oil on a salad, you already know why giving this will make you a bigger celeb than Santa. Seasons Taproom is based in Bethlehem, PA, but they will carefully package vinegars and oils to ship anywhere in the country.
Peruvian Organic Coffee Beans (1 pound) – The Fair Trade Coffee Company ($12.00)
Wholee Grain-Ohlee Pasta Gift Set – Al Dente Pasta Company ($15.00)
Gourmet Almond Toffee (8-ounce box) – Miss Nicky’s ($22.00)
Dark Chocolate Vinegar – Seasons Taproom ($14.95)
Spend A Little More (Under $100)
Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who has a little more to spend this year. Instead of gifting a pound of coffee, extend that caffeine addiction into the year. Fair Trade also offers subscriptions that bring a new brew to a giftee’s doorstep each month.
Photo Credit: Penzeys Spices
Penzeys Spices will inspire both the novice and accomplished chef to experiment in the kitchen. Everything is incredibly fresh, and many are all-natural and even kosher. A selection of international spices will put them on the path culinary delight.
For the whimsical child in all of us or actual families with children, Mrs. Prindables chocolate and candy-coated apples are delicious fun. They’re not the healthiest of gifts, though there is fruit in there. And that’s something.
Of course, it is the holidays. Treating that special someone extra special is okay. Black Star Chocolates serves up decadent assortments of chocolates, truffles and caramels in interesting flavors like basil lemon, jasmine and pomegranate raspberry rose. The La Grande Collection gathers together their whole product line into one splendid gift.
Coffee-of-the-Month Subscription (half-year) – The Fair Trade Coffee Company ($99.00)
International Spices Gift Box – Penzys Spices ($43.95)
Signature 12 Apple Basket – Mrs. Prindable’s ($99.95)
La Grande Collection – Black Star Chocolates ($65.00)
Photo Credit: The Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club
The Sky’s The Limit (Over $100)
Sometimes money is no object. In this “I’ve seen it all and have everything” world, some gifts show just how much you’re trying to spoil that special someone. Shower them with cheese. (Seriously, who doesn’t like cheese?) And I don’t mean the prepackaged stuff in the dairy aisle at the grocery store. The Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club will send the lucky giftee a scrumptious assortment of fine cheeses from around the world every month for a year.
Start a “RAWvolution.” This raw food delivery service makes meal time easy and delicious for the truly health conscious. The Box is a prepared, raw meal package made with all organic ingredients. Soups, salads, entrees and desserts for four are included.
Photo Credit: Zabar's
What ex-pat New Yorker, New Yorker wannabee or just plain old foodie wouldn’t want a taste of the City at holiday time? Zabar’s is Manhattan institution, and their specialty foods are beyond compare. Treat someone to an extra special New York Breakfast Basket, and they will keep treating you in the special way they did to deserve it in the first place.
Want to completely blow someone’s mind with luxurious high-end chocolates, and lots of them? The Passion Tower from Recchiuti Confections is the way to go. They will definitely NOT find a Kit Kat in this box. What they will find is chocolatey bliss.
Fortunately for Spanish food aficionados, jamón serrano — Italian prosciutto’s sexier cousin — became legal to import a few years back. La Tienda will ship Spain’s version of a country ham from the homeland to your favorite meat lover. And then they can invite you over for Christmas dinner.
Cheese of the Month Annual Subscription – The Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club ($515.40)
The Box Meal Package – RAWvolution ($120.00)
New York Breakfast Basket – Zabar’s ($149.00)
Passion Tower – Recchiuti Confections ($345.00)
Jamón Serrano – La Tienda ($350.00)
Check out other Holiday Gift Guides.
Alma Schneider is a licensed Clinical Social Worker helping individuals overcome their psychological and practical obstacles to cooking and parenting on her blog and consulting business, Take Back the Kitchen. She is a native New Yorker transplanted to the suburbs with her husband, four children and loving yet stubborn Beagle Shiloh.