This year, gifting will be different—in a good way. Our traditions of social gathering and holiday cheer have been turned upside down, and because there are no parties for hosting or caroling out in the snow, there is plenty of time to focus on the perfect vegan gift. We’ve rounded up our favorites to spark inspiration, and we encourage you all to shop early, support plant-based business, and safely share the seasonal warm fuzzies with a thoughtful and intentional vegan gift.
1. The VegNews Guide to Being a Fabulous Vegan
All of our not-yet-vegan friends and family members are getting a copy of our new book. Part recipe cookbook and part how-to, this comprehensive, friendly guide can help anyone become a fabulous vegan (or the most fabulous of their already-vegan selves). It’s the perfect way to yell, “Go Vegan!” at someone, but to do it with a smile and the promise of a vegan doughnut.
2. Homemade herb-infused oils
Not only is it more cost effective to make your own herby oil, it also gives you control of the flavor profile. Follow this simple how-to guide to master the basics, then tie a pretty bow on your bottles and consider your gift-giving a wrap.
3. Vegan cookbooks
2020 alone produced so many fantastic vegan cookbooks (see here for our fall favorites), it was a financial burden to purchase them all. Find out which book your friend or family member covets most, then surprise them with it for the holiday. A vegan cookbook is also a subtle but effective way to suggest omnivores give vegan food a try.
4. Virtual vegan cooking class
There are some who muddled through 2020 by ordering takeout and others who embraced their vegan culinary god or goddess within. Either way, we could all stand to learn how to properly dice an onion or be challenged by a new vegan cuisine. From beginner to advanced, there’s a virtual vegan cooking course for everyone on your list. Insider tip: Rouxbe is offering a free 30-day trial membership. Act fast!
5. Vegan face mask
Remember in March when people half-seriously joked about having a face mask to match every outfit? This has long become our reality. Everyone could use a new face mask, and there are so many stellar vegan companies that supply them. For a gift that gives back, buy a neutral mask from Avre. For every mask purchased, this sustainable vegan shoe company donates five masks to local organizations in need.
6. Animal sanctuary photo book
Yes, 2021 is on its way, but we’re still going to be at home for a while. A coffee table photo album from an animal sanctuary will liven up a room and brighten someone’s day as they page through the heart-warming images of animals who have been saved.
7. Animal art
Along the same vein of a sanctuary photo book, a painting or large-scale photo of an animal sanctuary resident adds warmth and style to any home. Many of these art pieces also kick back a percentage to the sanctuary itself, so you’re doing some good with your gift. Check out stunning prints by Sammantha Fisher or Cameron O’Steen’s photography.
8. Savvy kitchen appliances
Unnecessary kitchen appliances are traditionally found on wedding registries, but these futuristic gadgets are actually worth the counter space (and your gift list). Have a friend who vows to try juice cleansing in the new year? The Omega 365 Cold Press Juicer is both thoughtful and practical with its portable size and easy-to-assemble parts—you’ll be ready to start juicing in less than a minute. For the person who must travel (or hopes things will get drastically better in 2021), the Blend Jet 2 is a high-speed blender that can do everything from grind coffee to blitz up healthy smoothies anywhere (literally, no outlet needed). In regards to appliances one never knew one needed, a sturdy air fryer or an Almond Cow machine are both a safe bet. Far more than plain almond milk, the Almond Cow can make virtually any kind of plant milk with the touch of a button.
9. Vegan meal delivery subscription
A vegan meal subscription trumps a Whole Foods gift card any day, and thanks to the rising popularity of delivery, there is a service for every personality. For those who can’t boil water, try Veestro—the meals come fully prepared and all you need to do is heat and eat. For the health-conscious, there’s Sakara Life and Mama Sezz. Even those who enjoy cooking will love a subscription to Purple Carrot, which comes with pre-measured ingredients but requires some hands-on preparation. After a holiday season full of cooking, a little help in the kitchen is always welcome.
10. Vegan candle
Candle obsessives know you can never have too many candles. January and February are often the coldest months of the year, and a cozy candle can help lift anyone’s spirit during a never-ending string of dreary days. We love the family-friendly Lit Animals company, the witty Lit Candle Supply, and the (adults-only) Bye Bye candle-to-cocktail business.
11. Gourmet vegan condiment set
For the self-proclaimed gourmand, gift a set of vegan condiments they won’t find in stores. Look for a local hot sauce purveyor at a nearby farmer’s market or check out Acid League for the friend looking to advance from apple cider vinegar to a higher degree of culinary mastery. Be sure to invite yourself over for dinner along with your gift.
12. Giant popcorn tin
One may think that they could never eat a family-sized tin of popcorn, but when it’s a tub from Cornucopia, it’s mind-boggling how much popcorn an individual can actually consume during a short amount of time. The vegan-friendly, Austin-based popcorn company makes truly addictive flavors such as Butter Pecan, Snickerdoodle, Sweet & Smokey BBQ, and more. It’s been a VegNews favorite for years!
13. Vegan watch
Despite all of the wearable technology available to us, a statement watch is a useful accessory that will never go out of style. La Enviro makes stunning watches for him and her made with pineapple leather. The rose gold plating paired with the white or black vegan leather strap is (wait for it) timeless.
14. The VegNews Ultimate Vegan Meal Planner
Help your person kick off their New Year’s resolution early with the super convenient VegNews meal planner. The digital service includes thousands of budget-friendly vegan recipes, live coaching, smart grocery lists, and comprehensive nutritional analysis to foster a healthier, cleaner way of eating—minimal willpower required!
Unless your giftee suffers from an unfortunate chocolate allergy, you really can’t go wrong here. Unlike most baked goods, chocolate can last for months (or at least as long as it takes for the temptation to take hold). There are so many vegan-friendly chocolate companies to support—Lagusta’s Luscious, Omnom Chocolate, and Dandelion Chocolate are just a few of the small-batch, locally produced chocolatiers we love.
16. Vegan baked goods
Nothing lights us up like an unexpected package. When that package happens to contain a plethora of vegan sweets, our entire day is made. Imagine your friend or family member’s delight when they unbox an entire vegan cake or a medley of adorable Santa doughnuts.
17. Gifts that give back
There are a handful of worthy nonprofits offering gift collections this year, but one that has risen out of this pandemic and is making a visible impact is Support + Feed. Launched by Maggie Baird (singer Billie Eilish’s mom), this initiative to support Los Angeles’ vegan restaurants has scaled to a national level. The dollars collected from consumer donations work twofold—they lift up vegan restaurants during these times of financial uncertainty and also provide plant-based meals for those in need. For the month of December, the organization is selling cookbooks from its restaurant partners, merchandise, and digital gift cards to bolster donations to these worthy causes.
There are a few directions you can go here. For the coffee shop regular, a gift card to their favorite spot is sure to make their day—bonus points if it’s a locally owned or independent business, and bonus points with a shower of confetti if this shop happens to sell vegan baked goods. For the coffee connoisseur, a high-quality bag of coffee beans will be appreciated like a nice bottle of wine.
19. Vegan cheese subscription
Ever since vegan cheese evolved from the rubbery substance of yester-year to the divine food it is today, there have been vegan cheese addicts. Many locally owned vegan cheese shops offer subscriptions, but if your area is lacking a plant-based cheesemonger, rely on SriMu. The Ritz Carlton of vegan cheese, this artisan vegan company offers both subscriptions and single holiday boxes of the funkiest, most complex, and mouth-watering cheeses money can buy. It may sound like we’re exaggerating, but one bite of this cheese, and you’ll get it.
20. Photo prints
In-person quality time has severely diminished this past year, but a photo memory can help fill the void. Parabo Press offers high-quality prints of your most cherished photographs. Plus, the pieces can double as works of art. With thoughtful gifts starting under $20, sending a stylized print can work with almost any budget.
21. Stocking stuffers
Everyone is tired of smelling that stringent variety of medical-grade hand sanitizer. Even in 2021, we’re still going to have to use it—might as well disinfect with a product that smells nice and doesn’t turn your hands into sandpaper. Olika makes cute, pocket-friendly, vegan hand sanitizers that hydrate your skin and smell like you’re walking into a spa (remember those?). Other stocking stuffer options include hydrating flavored vegan lip balms (we love Hurraw’s Black Cherry and Eco Lips CBD sticks), gift cards to a beloved vegan restaurant or coffee shop, vegan chocolate bars, or fuzzy socks (which are infinitely more enjoyable than regular socks).
22. Tin of homemade vegan cookies
Entertain yourself and check off everyone on your gift list by becoming a vegan cookie making machine in one cold December afternoon. Dedicate a day to crank out rolling, baking, decorating, cooling, and packaging cookies to ship to friends and family across the country and beyond. Follow these helpful cookie shipping tips from UPS and Eater to ensure your cookies don’t crumble.
23. Urban farm stand
Hobbies that you can eat are great, but we can only devour, give away, and freeze so many loaves of sourdough and banana bread. Tending to an edible garden will lift your mood and your health, and companies like Lettuce Grow are making small-scale gardening more accessible than ever. The sleek hydroponic system sprouts everything from arugula to zucchini, and it literally waters itself. A few minutes of weekly maintenance is all you need to sow ingredients for a wholesome salad. What a great way to help a loved one start off the new year!
24. VegNews Magazine subscription
This gift is timeless. VegNews celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2020, and we’re planning on 20 more amazing years worth of valuable and entertaining vegan content! Spread the vegan joy by purchasing an annual subscription for a friend, family member, or co-workers.
25. Bar cart essentials
We’ve all been forced to up our mixology game this year and some have realized an untapped passion within. Give the gift of leveling-up the home bar cart with a bottle of vegan-friendly spirits or a comprehensive cocktail kit (such as this caviar lime-inspired collab by Apeel and the Fruit Stand). Cheers to 2021!
Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and fitness enthusiast living in Orange County, CA.
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