Holiday Gift Guide 2013

xmas_decorationsIn case you weren’t paying attention, Christmas is like, next week. Yeah, all that time thawing out from ice-pocalypse weekend has really caught up to us too. So we checked-in with our resident gift-buying vegan bake sale mastermind Jade Degrio to get some ideas on last-minute gifts one might be interested in getting for that special someone (or for yourself, because you know what, you deserve it!). Here’s what she so brilliantly came up with…hope it helps!

Earlier today James Scott, of DallasVegan.com fame, texted me to ask the name of some vegan candy I had brought him back from Austin. After answering I thought, “What an amazing gift that would make!” and then it was like, OH MY GOD IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS!” followed by “huh, I should write another gift guide for Dallas Vegan…” So here it is, the list of things I’m desperate for someone to buy for me!

DISCLAIMER: Please check each site for holiday shipping info and don’t scowl at me if you can’t get it before Christmas. Get a cute card and tell your loved one that patience is a virtue :)

Stay At Home Club

Nothing has excited me more than the growing trend of staying home. Maybe it’s because my circle of friends and I are growing up a little, but the allure of a night spent in a bar pales in comparison to one spent in bed eating chinese food and watching Netflix (HAVE YOU SEEN FRINGE YET?!). This shop features apparel and accessory items that celebrate staying home and watching Buffy, cuddling kitties, and being boring. There’s even pillow cases that have kitties made out of cheeseburgers and donuts! Perfect to soak up the tears you will cry while you’re knee deep in a 48 hour sci-fi binge….

Cocomels from JJ Sweets

This is the candy that inspired this list. The absolute most perfect vegan thing to come into my life since nutritional yeast. If I opened a box and it contained a single cocomel I would consider it a successful christmas. These dudes come in 4 flavors-original, vanilla, sea salt, and java. The sea salt are my favorites but I LITERALLY JUST FOUND OUT they have chocolate covered options now and I’m basically crying.

<Editor’s note: using the website’s store locator, we found two stores in the area that might carry these beauties in-stock. Green Grocer, and Natural Grocers at Preston and Forest in Dallas>

Vegan Treats

For most of the world Bethlehem is known as the birthplace of something amazing. For vegans, it’s the home of Vegan Treats Bakery (Bethlehem, PA). Few are fortunate enough to make the trip to mecca to taste the fruit fresh from the tree. I went there a few years ago and spent over $100 on MINI CAKES. SIX INCH CAKES THAT WERE COVERED IN BROWNIES AND CHEESECAKE CHUNKS AND GOLD DUSTED CHOCOLATE. I basically blacked out and woke up with a trunk full of awesome. For those of you who haven’t been blessed with such an amazing experience, there is the option to have $66 dollars worth of cookies shipped directly to your loved ones. Nothing says Merry F*cking Christmas like 125 vegan cookies.

Hurraw

I don’t know what my thing is with lip balm, but here’s my new favorite! Hurraw is amazing and vegan and raw and organic and fair trade and GLUTEN FREE AND SOY FREE AND NON TOXIC. I mean, there are 22 flavors, WE GET IT OKAY. It keeps its texture regardless of where it’s stored (which is at the bottom of my purse, or in the glove compartment of my car), and is the furthest thing from grainy. Flavors include green tea, coffee, chai spice, and earl grey-which are basically all my favorite beverages. There are so many more, you’re bound to find something perfect for the weirdo in your life that is allergic to everything.

Dr. Cow Vegan Cheese

This stuff is mythical. It comes from the faraway land of New York, it takes a really long time to make, and it uses exotic ingredients like macadamia nuts! It was sold out everywhere I looked when I was in New York and it’s such an ordeal to get it shipped, making it the PERFECT gift! Take on the burden of sourcing this stuff and the pains of the shipping process and be the hero of the holidays. Maybe if you’re lucky the recipient will share (full disclosure, I would not share this).

Vaute Couture

The struggle to find cute vegan outerwear is real. Every amazing jacket has wool, silk linings, or leather details and it’s enough to make you start crying in the middle of J Crew (that happened to a friend, I swear). Vaute Couture offers fashion forward design without harming animals. These are not jackets for your hippie cousin who exclusively shops out of the free bin at their local DIY space. If you have someone special on your list, this is the place to splurge. And the best part, THEY HAVE MENSWEAR! The Lincoln and the Emily are my favorites, just you know, if you were wondering…

In addition to the amazing selection of outerwear, VC offers adorable screen printed t-shirts and sweaters, precious jewelry (that little baby kitty head made me squeal!), and knit accessories for the cold that never stays around in Dallas.

Steff Bomb

CUTE THINGS CUTE THINGS CUTE THINGS!!! Unfortunately most felt is not vegan but among the cute things Steff offers, is a vegan pizza plush that’s made from 100% vegan materials. It’s even white like mozzarella Daiya! I’d recommend contacting her directly to inquire about the veganness of her other cute things, but who needs a carrot when you can have pizza?

Butter London

NAIL POLISH IS THE BEST PRESENT. I’m currently going through something with Butter London. The colors are incredible and the names are fun and it’s 100% vegan in ingredients and manufacturing. All Hail The Queen, British Racing, Fash Pack, Jack The Lad, AND THOSE ARE JUST ON THE FIRST PAGE. THERE ARE THREE PAGES OF AMAZING COLORS AND GLITTERS AND SHINY SHEENY GOODNESS WHICH IS EXACTLY 114 DIFFERENT COLORS. Partner this up with some Hurraw, and some Cocomels and win Christmas!

Jadore Elle

I’ll get into the thick of Etsy below, but I had to highlight this shop. You can custom order any word to be bent and crafted into a ring or a bracelet or a necklace but let’s be honest here, you’re going to order the Taco Bell ring because you love Taco Bell. You’re going to order it for yourself because it’s Christmas and you need some love too. Call it “retail therapy,” “treat yourself” day, or self care, the fact is, the best Christmas presents come from you. The fact that a Crunch Wrap Supreme can be veganized is proof that there is some grand design behind the universe. Even if you don’t actually love Taco Bell, you appreciate that glowing neon sign at 1am while driving through Missouri because what else would you eat at 1 am in the middle of Missouri? So here it is, the gift for the person who is most like Aubrey Plaza’s character on Parks and Recreation: Taco Bell 2 Ring Set

ETSY

If you’re unimpressed with this list, or you have someone on your list who hates fun, head over to Etsy and type “VEGAN” into the search bar. The options are endless! FreshyFig has a necklace with a cupcake pan and measuring spoon charms. Quail Lane Press has a print that features the different types of french pastries. Vessels And Wares has hand made ceramics including personalized cupcake stands, cereal bowls that say “vegan,” and A JAR FOR YOUR NUTRITIONAL YEAST. Ruffian At Home has all kinds of containers to use for storing rice and beans, sugar and flour, and lets be honest, for making your pantry look like something from Pinterest.

Last but not least, cookbooks!

Cookbooks are crucial to keeping vegans vegan. All it takes is a handful of lackluster recipes to convince someone to cross over to the dark side. I watched an episode of Fringe where Walter talks about how deja vu is a glimpse into one of the infinite number of universes that exist as a result of the many different decisions each of us can make that made me wonder where I would be now if Vegan With A Vengeance hadn’t been my first cookbook. Here are a few of my favorites:

Isa Does It!

I JUST bought this one and I’ve already made more of the recipes featured in its beautiful pages than I have from almost every other cookbook I own. This book saved me from starving in my apartment during the recent ice storm. If it wasn’t for Isa’s Dilly Stew with Rosemary Dumplings, I wouldn’t have made it.

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World/Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar/Vegan Pie In The Sky

I like to bundle these together for one mega gift of awesome. Between the three of these you have every single dessert item one could ever want, unless you want a donut. But who wants a donut when you can have a brownie bottom peanut butter cheesecake? Okay I’d still want a donut but that’s because I am ungrateful.

Viva Vegan

If you bought this book and only made the Quick Red Posole it would be 100% worth it. But luckily it’s completely full of amazing recipes. It has been a staple in my kitchen since it came out, most of the pages are covered in oil fingerprints!

Artisan Vegan Cheese

Three words – VEGAN MUNSTER CHEESE. I bought this a year ago and I haven’t used it yet. But once a week I take it off my shelf and flip through and marvel at all of the recipes. I’m looking forward to spending a day off making a few of these cheeses and using them to impress everyone at a potluck. It’s remained untested due to the need for harder to find ingredients (carrageenan powder and xanthan gum to name a couple) but it also features your more standard nut based cheeses. I think it would be super amazing and impressive to pair this gift with the necessary ingredients to make it that much easier for your vegan loved ones to find their way back to their favorite comfort foods.

 

  • sabra

    you have the best lists EVER

  • Char Duncan

    Thank you!
    P.S. Best quote of the holiday season: “Nothing says Merry F*cking Christmas like 125 vegan cookies.”