Gifts, when they are living their very best life, take moments to purchase (ahem, perhaps online!) but keep delivering joy for a long time to come. Think of the favorite presents you’ve ever received. Maybe it’s the real Irish sweater, the hot-chocolate-for-life supply, the cookbook so spattered that everyone who walks in the door knows it’s your favorite.
“C” is for “Cookie;” that’s good enough to spring for a couple of Cookie Decorating Kits that you and a bestie can decorate this holiday season. Unless you’re a frequent cookie baker, you’re unlikely to have all the right goods for holiday cookies on hand: gumdrops; sprinkles; four colors of sparkling decorating sugar. The kit includes six little gingerbread people, which is just enough to pawn a few on a neighbor or two without feeling like you’re bereft of cookies yourself.
Among those in the know about cheese, the words “Bayley Hazen” cause instant salivating. That’s how good this Cheese Party (BYO wine!) is from the Cellars at Jasper Hill. Their famously aged English cheddar, made in collaboration with Cabot, is there, too, as is a firm, nutty number called Alpha Tolman. It’s some of the finest food coming out of Vermont, and we love that they arrive nestled in a wooden crate along with locally made apricot and orange conserve, lavash crackers and roasted maple nuts.
Sure, OK, maybe you know how to make your own dough (or call the best local delivery joint). But this DIY Pizza Night Kit takes away the guesswork and delivers top-quality goods straight to you on your own timeline. Here’s why it’s special: Elephants Delicatessen in Portland, Oregon has been making locals happy since 1979. Their kit is just divine: DOP San Marzano sauce spiked with the right herbs and garlic; a Neapolitan-style dough that cooks up tender and crisp at once; a killer marscarpone-mozz-and-roast-garlic topping that melts beautifully. Take the logistical legwork out of Zoom pizza night!
If you’re doing a tree, put on the Bing Crosby and have yourself a merry little Tree Trimming Party with this epic hot chocolate hamper. It’s got everything even the thirstiest crew could want. Think: three types of hot chocolate including double dark, peppermint and classic. Mini vanilla marshmallows, peppermint North Poles, a gingerbread house mug topper, and two classic white mugs. We love that the lucky recipient can re-use the hamper for picnics in spring, too.
This Cocktail Party in a box is a “just-add-gin-or-vodka” situation. The reusable wooden gift crate contains everything the home mixologist needs to shake up a batch of martinis – and serve them in style. Two of our elegant glasses arrive alongside a shaker and cocktail picks, plus artisanal olive juice blended especially for making cocktails. Just add vodka or gin. The stemware is hand-blown of clear, lead-free glass and is the traditionalist-preferred size for a single martini. The double wall shaker features a leakproof lid, because you need every sip. (Again, 2020.) Six cocktail picks come in different shapes for easy drink ID. And organic olives comprise the base of Calivirgin Martini Juice, for epic martinis and Bloody Marys. (Want to up the ante even more? Include our gin-making kit!)
Talk about low-key: An Xmas Morning Pajama Party keeps the pressure off, and everyone happy. It contains a Christmas-striped apron, so you don’t spoil your jammies, plus our beloved pancake mix, fancy-grade Vermont maple syrup, a pancake pen for creative pancake concoctions, and a large spatula. Not convinced? The sap for the syrup is collected during the first run of sugaring for a flavor and texture no imitation syrup can match. It all comes in a reusable wooden gift crate. (Want the even more gargantuan version of this, including a killer waffle mix? Right this way!) See you at brunch!