Last Minute Vegan Christmas Gift Guide
With only 3 days left to get it all done?
No problem! Let me show you a few simple DIY gifts you still have time to make, and a few you can buy and still have available to put under the tree on Christmas Eve.
This list is a little different than most you will see out there this time of year. I have chosen each and every one of these items because they have meaning, both to the gifter and giftee. I know that the last thing I need is another candle or bottle of body wash because my friends and family have no idea what to get the weird vegan in the group (Newsflash! I love anything you think I will love and if it's a hug and a hand drawn card or photo of your kiddo, I love that even more!) And I am sure if you are the lone vegan, you feel the same way. Or if you are the family member looking to get something for the lone vegan, you might be a little confused, too.
So, let's start with some background info. Vegans do not eat anything containing animal products or anything that uses animal products in the processing. This is the easy part. So if you are planning on getting your compassionate pal a edible gift, make sure it is either clearly marked as vegan, or that you are pretty savvy in looking over ingredient labels. (There's a handy app called Is it Vegan? you can download that will allow you to scan the barcodes on items to see if it is vegan.) And if you spend a few minutes in the kitchen to make us something from scratch...we'll love you forever. (There are a few ideas below, that are quick and easy and sure to please any vegan on your list!)
If edible gifts aren't your thing, please remember that a vegan lifestyle goes beyond the plate. Vegans do not wear or use animal products, either...No leather, feathers, silk, or wool. No home or body care that contains animal ingredients (such as lanolin, urea, beeswax, retinol) or is tested on animals in the process. Check out this handy list of animal-derived ingredients for more detailed info. There are many vegan companies that make excellent products perfect for gift giving and stocking stuffing. E.L.F. cosmetics are inexpensive and widely available at drug stores, and sometimes even at 7-11! They make eyeshadows, lipsticks, mascara, cosmetic brushes, and all sorts of other great gift items. Perfect for stocking stuffers.
Now that we have a little basic background info, lets get to the gifting! Note that all images are clickable links that will take you right where you need to go to get that item.
A Membership or Donation to a Farm Sanctuary in the Name of Your Giftee
There a many farm animal sanctuaries doing amazing work to save the lives of abused farm animals. Here are three to get you started. Find one close to your area, so that it will have even more meaning to the receiver. Consider virtually adopting an animal, purchasing an annual membership, or simply make a one time donation in their name.
A Membership to a Podcast
There are so many great podcasts about veganism and other social justice issues out there that do such amazing work to get out information that simply isn't covered by mainstream media. Many of these podcasters do not get paid for their work unless listeners donate to the cause. As with farm sanctuaries, you can often buy a membership or simply make a one time donation. Note that not all podcasts accept donations (like mine) while others absolutely depend on them. Here are three of my favorites that really need the support to continue their work to change the world.
Because it is so close to Christmas, you might actually have to leave the house to head out to a bookstore in order to get one of these in time for the big day. Speaking of bookstores, please support them. Online resources are awesome, but those folks out there with brick and mortar bookstores are really struggling to keep their doors open, so do them a favor and head out to your favorite local bookstore and get a great vegan cookbook for your favorite vegan! Besides Barnes and Noble, places like Herbivore Clothing in Portland, Park + Vine in Cincinnati, NOOCH Vegan Market in Denver, and even many Whole Foods Market stores carry vegan cookbooks. Here are a few recommendations for books that came out in 2015! (Of course, I have a few cookbooks available, too...just sayin!)
Shop Local and Independent
Most vegans are also big fans of independent artists. Find a local co-op or boutique, like MADE in Long Beach, that carries vegan friendly jewelry, toys, cards, books, posters, hand knitted scarves, body care. Or get a gift card or certificate for your loved one to any of these places so they can pick out their own gift! Here are a few favorites, but there are so many it would take me forever to list them all.
DIY Vegan Food Gifts
I know it's been a few years since Vegan Food Gifts was published, and it really is a great book all year long, but when this time of year rolls around, it's time for my baby to shine. Below are a few recipe ideas straight from the book. Also, check out this link to an earlier gift-giving post that includes links to many other DIY projects, including packaging ideas, gift tags and recipe cards. You can also click here for the downloadable PDF of the recipe cards and gift tags from the book to print out at home to use on your projects. Oh, did I mention that the book, itself, also makes a great gift?
DIY Salt and Sugar Body Scrub
And finally, a brand new sort-of-a-recipe for a gift I have been giving out every year for the past few years that has been a hit with everyone I give it to! And here's a quick packaging tip, too. To top a mason jar, use a festive cupcake wrapper and coordinating ribbon or yarn. (See below for an example.)
It's super easy! All you need is:
1 cup unrefined coconut oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup course sea salt
2 tablespoons ground coffee
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract.
Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and squish together until pasty and uniform in color.
You can adjust the amounts to make as much or as little as you like, and then pack it up in mason jars with a cute tag and ribbon tied onto it.