Happy Monday! I’m in the midst of final exams– 2 down, 3 to go, and I’ll get to head home for Christmas break next Monday after helping to close the dorms as an RA. Since friends will be leaving campus soon, I’ve already started giving out Christmas gifts and I wanted to share some Christmas gift ideas for the food lovers in your life.
It probably comes as no surprise that I love giving people food gifts since I joke that food is my love language. For a friend’s sweet sixteen a few years ago, I actually just gave her some pints of my favorite ice creams. I think food-related gifts are fun and especially great when you want to give out a bunch of small gifts.
For this post, I’m sharing small items under $5 that I’ve given to friends, study buddies, and even a couple of super helpful professors (don’t judge) this year, with a few bigger food-related gift ideas at the end.
Favorite food gifts under $5
-Trail mix is a great gift for health-conscious friends. I love Trader Joe’s Go Raw Trex mix because it has raw, unsalted nuts and dried fruit– that’s it! Most trail mix ingredient lists are a mile long because of the sugar and oil additions to the nuts.
There’s no added sugar here– just almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, and raisins (although the raisins do have canola oil as an ingredient).Each 1 pound bag is $5.49 at Trader Joe’s, so not quite under $5, but we’ll let it slide. You could also always make your own trail mix to give as a gift.
-Larabars are great stocking stuffers or little items to include in a foodie gift basket. Cherry pie and apple pie are my personal favorites, but Larabar also makes really fun limited edition gingerbread, pumpkin pie, and snickerdoodle flavors for the holidays. I love introducing friends to these bars that have only dried fruit, nuts, and spices as ingredients.
Homemade treats are another really fun gift to give. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is baking lots of goodies so in years past, I’ve given out cutely-wrapped plates of homemade Christmas treats like toffee bars, sugar cookies, buckeyes, lemon bars, etc. This year, I made mini loaves of pumpkin bread, wrapped them in cellophane, and tied each one with a big bow to give to a couple of friends and my boss.
-Fancy dark chocolate bars are also a really fun gift to give and receive.
You’ve got to get something for those friends who wouldn’t be thrilled about receiving raw nuts for Christmas, right? This isn’t exactly a dark chocolate bar, but if you’re lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s nearby, pick up some of these Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joes ASAP. Trader Joe’s only sells them during November and December and they’ve sold out for the past couple of years in a row. Joe Joe’s are Trader Joe’s version of Oreo’s, and TJ’s covers them in dark chocolate and peppermint sprinkles.
-Another Trader Joe’s goodie I love is their dark chocolate sea salt caramels. They sell these little boxes of caramels just during the holidays and they’re a perfect tiny gift to give someone just to let them know that you thought of them!
-One final small gift idea is a gift card to the recipient’s favorite grocery store or restaurant. I love that Whole Foods’ gift cards come with a cute mini shopping bag.
For family members, I usually do bigger presents. Some food or cooking-related gifts I’ve given in the past include…
-A CSA (community-supported agriculture) box of produce delivered to their doorstep. (Google CSA with the name of your city to find one near you, or use this locator!)
-A foodie gift basket with some of their favorite treats
-A homemade cookbook I put together that included all of my favorite recipes
-A food scale for weighing baking ingredients
-A super cute apron, mug, or set of pot-holders, like these adorable ones from Anthropologie
-New kitchen knives
-Rimmed baking sheets for roasting veggies
I always try to include a note, too, telling the recipient some of the things I love and appreciate about them because I know it can make even a small gift meaningful, and they may keep it even when the gift is long gone!
So tell me…
What’s the best food or cooking-related gift you’ve given or received?
What gift are you excited about giving to a friend or family member this year?
Who’s the trickiest person to buy gifts for on your list?
I usually buy my mom and sister things that I’d enjoy, too, which makes things easy. My dad and my brother are tricky, though. Any suggestions? What do you buy for the guys in your life? I’m all ears!