The holidays are here again and the big day is coming fast. It’s easy to get any old store-bought, mass-produced gift for friends and family. This year, why not pursue a gift that’s much more creative, thoughtful, and personalized for your loved ones that will really stand out from the crowd? Here are 10 interesting, unique, and easy food-related and food-themed presents that are perfect for anyone on your Christmas gift list. Especially for the cook, baker, or otherwise culinary-savvy person in your life–or someone who just enjoys all things food. (Including just eating it!)
10. DIY baking jar
These baking and cooking DIY “kits” are a gift classic. All you’ll need is a large mason jar, dry ingredients, and a tag with the recipe or instructions for the receiver to follow. Find a recipe that’s fairly simple, of which the dry ingredients can fit into a big jar. This can work for any friend’s tastes, dietary needs, or preferences since it’s fully customizable. You can put together a recipe for cookies, brownies, oatmeal, or cake for sweet-lovers, or a soup, dip, chili, or rice dish for savory-food lovers. Simply layer the correct measurements of the dry components in the jar, and write the directions for adding wet ingredients or any additional components, and how to cook or bake the treat. (For an example, for brownies, measure out the flour, etc., with instructions to add eggs, etc., then instruct to mix and what the baking time and temperature is.) Add a fancy label, gift bag, and/or a ribbon or colorful twine, and you’ve got a great DIY gift–that’s additionally a delicious meal or tasty treat!–to give. Your friends and family will love to look forward to making this easy and yummy mix that has been all fixed up and pre-measured for them.
9. Snack box
This idea may seem simple at first and not particularly fancy, but it will surely be an appreciated and well-enjoyed gift. This will also reveal that you really know your friend or relative well! Gather every one of their most favorite snacks and sweets and arrange nicely in a festive gift box. It might do better to find individually wrapped and/or single serve packages of the items so they can take them on trips, to work, or for lunches. Bonus points if it’s a personal favorite treat that’s especially hard to find for the receiver, for example if it’s not in their region or country. It’s underestimated how much of a simple joy having your own box stashed full of the best of the best when it comes to tasty snacks that were especially collected and curated specifically for you. It will certainly be a very thoughtful and highly personalized present that will last well after Christmas and will make your loved one think of you each time they dip into their own special treats box for a moment of enjoying their most favorite flavors, treats, and munchies.
8. Favorite flavors
Branching off from the idea of a hand-chosen snacks box, you can take this personalization a whole step further by fully exploiting someone’s favorite flavor! Say you have that one friend or family member that is obsessed with all things coconut, bacon, mint, donut, chocolate, vanilla, or coffee, for some examples. Search for a original array of everything you can possibly find in that certain flavor. Items such as coffee-flavored cookies, hard candy, beverages or beverage mixes, jelly beans, gum, candy canes, cake, coffee-infused chocolate, or even branch out with other, non-edible coffee-scented things like lip balm, candles, soaps, scented oils, or lotion. You’ll be surprised once you start looking for all products available in certain flavors or scents, (believe me, if you can think of it, it probably exists…for example, did you know there’s bacon-flavored soda, gum, and toothpaste?) The person who receives this accumulation of items will certainly enjoy each component, as it’s something their palate, personally, can’t seem get enough of!
7. Food kits/sets
If you can only think of a loose theme or one small single item, that may be all you need. One item or idea can be all it takes to expand it into a whole matching set. For example, if you found the perfect mug to give to someone, and that’s all you’ve gotten them so far, why not add hot cocoa mix, a box of cookies, fun marshmallows, and a cool spoon? You can also put together a wooden spoon, whisk, and potholder all tied up in a shiny new baking pan. Or what about wine glasses, cork art, bottles of wine, and a corkscrew? Or a “comfort” kit of fluffy socks, cozy blanket, box of tea, and candles, perfect for de-stressing after the holidays. Equally relaxing is a “spa” kit, of bath salts, lotion, soaps, face masks, and a loofah, for another example. Just think of one crumb of an idea for anyone, run with it and think of anything that could accompany it. This is perfect if you need to bolster one single gift into a more complete one.
6. Monthly food subscriptions
This is definitely a food-lover’s present that is a gift that literally keeps giving. If you can’t think of a good “kit” gift box idea, or don’t want to or can’t take the time to search for items to put together, there are several dozen companies that offer subscription boxes. If you search you can find the perfect theme for your intended recipient. There are dinner/meal boxes, such as Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, or Dinnerly, for examples, which are perfect for family units or couples to make together. They not only get the measured ingredients and recipes mailed to them, but they learn how to make new dishes and try new things for meals. There are also snack monthly subscription boxes, like Graze for healthy munchies and snacks, or Universal Yums, which is perfect for friends and family members who love tasting new and unique snacks from all over the world. You can even get more specific with the options, such as a wine-a-month subscription, or cheese, chocolate, coffee…just about any kind of food you can think of can probably be found to send your friend a subscription to!
5. Dip and spice mix ornaments
This is a cute, fun, little gift that could be an extra addition to these other gift ideas on our list, or even as a stocking stuffer, small present hanging on the Christmas tree, or package accessory. Either way, it will truly spice up your gift-giving game. Mixes can be handmade yourself or decanted from special store-bought mixes. You don’t have to stop at just cooking herbs and spices, either. They can even be filled with ingredients for a killer dip recipe or a special blend specifically for a soup, chili, or steak dinner. (You could do a few versions of dips as well, such as vegetable dip, chip dip, hummus, dessert dip, etc.) Find your favorite shape of glass or plastic clear ornaments, (or any other small container or jar, whatever you like,) and fill them with zesty, festively-colored herbs and spices and top them off with a bow. Add any labeling as needed to identify each spice, or instructions on how to prepare a fresh dip. Voila! The perfectly flavored little pinch of something extra cool and extra thoughtful.
4. Customized baking/cooking tools
This is a unique individualized gift that may not be found in even the most dedicated baker or chef’s kitchen. Personalizing cooking utensils is a great way to not only give just a very useful tool, but adds the appealing aspect of customizing it with their initials, first name, face or likeness, or family name. This can be easily done at numerous online retailers, and feature a wide myriad of different tools, utensils, and products, such as cookie cutters, cookie jars, rolling pins, pie dishes, spatulas, and more for proficient bakers. If their tastes lean less on the sweet side, there are things like meat branders, grilling tongs, high-quality knives, cutting boards, or aprons for the meat cook or savory-food lover in your life. Anyone can give and get any basic cooking tool, but going that extra mile to make it highly unique and special with their own name or monogram will be super meaningful and very relevant for many years to come.
3. Cooking date
They say one of the best gifts you can give is your time. You can offer your valuable company as a gift for someone special, and plan to do a productive activity with each other. Cooking and baking together offers a unique and generally inexpensive bonding experience that you can do easily at your home or theirs. Offer to bring ingredients for a special recipe or something new that you two have been wanting to try will surely be a sweet and looked-forward-to personal present. Setting aside an evening to teach them how to make an old, traditional family recipe, or to work as two to figure out how to make something new and tasty for dinner or dessert. If you happen to not have the resources or space, see if there are any local cooking classes or events that you can attend together. This present idea is great for couples who want to spend quality time and dine together, or for parents and children or grandchildren who want to teach their young children the many joys of cooking and baking.
2. Gift card to a restaurant date
If cooking or baking aren’t your forte, but you still want to give the precious gift of your time and company together, (let’s face it, still while being able to eat is always a plus as well,) it’s easy to purchase a gift card or gift certificate to one of the recipient’s most favorite restaurants. It may not be an immediate present they can enjoy on Christmas day, but they will surely look forward to spending the afternoon or evening on a lunch, dinner, (or breakfast, however they roll,) date out at one of their favorite places with one of their favorite people. And the best part? Neither of you will have to plan, shop, cook, and clean! (So it’s really like a gift for both of you!) If you’re planning to send a restaurant gift card to a faraway family member or friend that you can’t be there in person to dine with, they can still most certainly fully enjoy a paid for meal at a nice restaurant. Either way, you score big with this yummy present.
1. Send to far away friends
So, maybe a few of these options won’t exactly work out for your intended gift-receiving targets because they’re miles and miles away from you for the holidays. Why not send them a literally super-fresh gift on Christmas Day to enjoy? There are a big handful of companies that deliver care packages of sweets, meats, cheeses, and especially stunningly beautiful fruit arrangements. These are excellent choices to ensure freshness (as opposed to taking your chances sending any other foodstuffs in the mail) and offers a selection of healthier options, besides the basic and overdone Christmas cookies or various old pies. These gift sets are also good to share with whole families and to provide them with good, wholesome snacks to sample during their celebration. If you can’t be there, you can count on an edible arrangement or tasty package to arrive at your friends and family’s home in style and crispness.