It’s the Holliday season, so whoop-de doo and hickory dock, don’t forget to hang up your sock, for these wonderful holiday treats! Whether Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, for another religion, or just for fun, giving gifts is a sweet thing to do for others during the cold and dark winter days. Brighten up someone’s winter with a hand-picked gift perfect for their personality! Here’s a quick guide to get you started, and don’t forget to add a cute note or one of these cheesy quotes to your gift. 

For the chocolate lovers:

chocolate, candy, sweet, milk, truffle
Alice Zhou

Lindt or Godiva truffles, for the adventurous chocolatier get a mixed box for some variety. 

Endangered Species Chocolates are not only delicious, but also good for the environment as 10% of profits go to conservation efforts across the world. 

For the super holiday fans, get them a version classic Christmas treat, Peppermint Bark! My favorite is William and Sonoma’s box of peppermint bark. 

Support your local Chocolate Shop! Often the store has handmade items and some specialty things you may not find elsewhere.  In Burlington, Lake Champlain Chocolates is the local favorite, with Carmel maple-leaf shaped chocolates and a Christmas chocolate selection with bonbons, peppermint bark, and truffles!

chocolate, cake, peppermint, cookie
Dylan Barth

For the Chef: 

coffee, espresso, tea, kettle
Ellen Gibbs

Get the chef in your life some specialty equipment like a Nutribullet or other blender to make smoothies, pancakes, hummus, soups, and much more!

Try an air fryer for the health conscious or an instant pot for those short on time.

Other speciality pots and pans like a wok for stir fries, omelette pan or crepe pan for thin batters, and electric mixer or egg beater, popover tins, a noodle maker, or steam-bun basket are all fun suggestions! 

For the friend that loves drinks:

Try Teeccino’s Herbal Teas or Coffees with mushroom adaptogens for a great taste and extra health benefits! I received a sample of some of their products and was delighted to find they have caffeine-free versions. The Turkey-Tail Astragalus was probably my favorite. 

Matcha or Chai latte mix to make your own fancy drinks at home! Oregon chai is probably my favorite for chai tea. While their powdered chai is not vegan, their concentrate is! Simply combine with the DF/milk of your choice, heat up, and enjoy!

Espresso/Keurig/Coffee Machine or French Press with a coffee starter kit. This is great for coffee-loving college students or those who have just moved to a new place. It’s amazing how much money you can save by making coffee at home and having the right tools to do it is an added bonus. Personally, I get by with just a French press, but I don’t do anything more fancy than coffee with a dash of soy milk. 

hot chocolate, Reading, cozy, blanket, Winter
Emma Salters

Hot coca mix is perfect for chilly winter adventures! Make your own mix from scratch using powder milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and other add-ins like marshmallows or peppermint sticks. You can also make this vegan version that leaves out the milk and adds a few extra spices for a warm hug in a mug. 

For the Cookie Monster:

TJ’s Chocolate Star Shortbread Cookies are the item my mother always asks me to bring home over break. Crunchy and coated in a layer of chocolate, these shortbread cookies are great for dipping in your morning coffee, tea, or hot chocolate! 

Cookie mix is a great option for distanced friends or people who rush around and may not have time to make or eat cookies immediately, but can save the mix for a rain or snow-filled day! Try this mason jar cowboy cookie mix that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. 

If you have the time, make a plate of cookies to bring over to friends, neighbors, and community members! My family always does an annual Christmas baking day where we grab a bunch of friends together and literally bake for an entire day. Sugar cookies, pb kisses, strop-waffles, buckeyes, thumbprint cookies, caramels, krum kakes, gingersnaps, and more—we bake and eat and deliver goodies around town. Check out the University of Vermont’s Spoon Page for future recipes for all the goodies above and to see how my family and I are going to put on a hybrid cooking-making event this winter!

Mackenzie Laverick

For the breakfast guru:

cream, waffle
Danielle Cahoon

Some fun breakfast making equipment like a waffle maker or a single-egg are great additions to your breakfast line up! For coffee-lovers, refer back to the drinks section above. 

To top off your waffles or pancakes, get some fancy Vermont maple syrup from any one of the local sugar houses. 

You can also make pancake mix (similar to the cookie mix) and add in chocolate chips! Add a container of maple syrup or peanut butter and some recipe suggestions for an easy breakfast combo. 

For far away friends:

coffee, cafe, Restaurant, exterior, exteriors, sidewalk, street, streets, Shanghai, China
Denise Uy

(Digital) recipe books from their favorite authors. There are a lot of great ebooks out there, from vegan recipes to holiday treats and more. 

Meal kits (delivered) for the family to try out! Poplar brands include HelloFresh, Blue Apron, and more.

Gift cards to local restaurants and cafes both support the local business and give the recipient a nice dinner or whatever they want from the restaurant. You can also give gift cards for online markets like Misfits Market which helps reduce food waste by delivering second-choice produce and other goods. 

Happy holidays!