December is here, and with it, the holiday season. Until this past Tuesday, when I woke up to a light dusting of snow on the ground, it was still hard to believe it was that time of year. One of the security guards at my work always welcomes us by name each morning as we enter the lobby and often announces how many days we have left until some big event, whether it be a holiday, a national event or even springtime (this particular reminder seems a little cruel). Today he reminded everyone that we have 16 days left to shop for gifts. The countdown is on!
If you are looking to do some gift-giving that is in line with your values of compassion this holiday season, here are just a few ideas to get you started. I wanted to post this last week, but time just wasn’t on my side—if you’re like most people though (::raises my hand::), you’ve probably haven’t started your shopping anyway. Besides, posting this list gives me a place to perfectly couch a gift of my own—a giveaway for you! Keep reading for details.
Cookbooks. If your loved one loves to cook, is considering veganism or is wanting to better learn his/her way around a (vegan) kitchen, why not give the gift of inspiration with an awesome vegan cookbook? The market has a dizzying array of veg cookbooks, so there is surely something for everyone on your list. Does the recipient like soul food? Try Vegan Soul Kitchen. Comfort food? Gotta get Vegan Diner. Latin food? Viva Vegan! is a great bet! Macrobiotic? Blissful Bites will fit the bill. All things pie? Grab Vegan Pie in the Sky. Personalize it a bit by highlighting some of your favorites and adding notes and tips.
Magazine subscriptions. A magazine subscription truly lasts the whole year long. VegNews is a fantastic bi-monthly vegan lifestyle magazine featuring recipes and articles on travel, laws, news, beauty and more. A great magazine for someone mostly interested in recipes is Vegetarian Times.
Books. In our house, you can’t go wrong with books. We are both avid readers and are always on the lookout for something new and interesting. A few of my favorite vegan- and animal-related reads are Vegan for Life, Eating Animals, Diet for a New America and Out of the Darkness. My wish-list includes The 30-Day Vegan Challenge, Dominion and coffee table book Ninety-Five. There is a book for any interest, whether it be animal rights history, diet and nutrition, reasons to go vegan, food policy or helpful tips for living veg.
Kitchen tools. They say that you shouldn’t purchase an appliance for someone as a gift. Personally, I’ll gladly take kitchen appliances any time. If your loved one is the same, you can go big or small or anywhere in between. If you’ve got a lot to spend, a juicer or a Vitamix is a fabulous gift that will get daily use. Smaller tools—the TofuXpress (now that I’ve had mine for a few months, I don’t know how I survived without it!), Misto Olive Oil Sprayers, kitchen scales, knives, cute serving dishes, bamboo cutting boards—are just as much fun.
Clothing and accessories. You can find vegan clothing in (almost) any store, but you can feel extra good supporting a vegan business this season. Vaute Couture, Bello Iris, Alternative Outfitters, Susan Nichole and Colorful Grass are just a few of the online stores offering high quality, cruelty-free apparel and accessories.
Do it Yourself. Whether baking cookies (might I suggest Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies?), muffins, breads, pies, homemade sweet treats always please. You can also make jewelry, scarves, hats, home decor (check out Pinterest for great ideas), coupon-books redeemable for say, a batch of vegan brownies or a romantic vegan dinner for two, body scrubs–the list is endless! You can even make your own scrapbook-ish cookbook featuring your most loved recipes—or, if you’re not feeling crafy, use an online photo book service.
Etsy. If you’d prefer to let someone take care of the designing and support small businesses and individuals at the same time, check out the world of Etsy. A quick search for “vegan” will bring up thousands of hits—from jewelry, beauty products, clothing and accessories to dishes. What’s on my Etsy wish-list this year? This bowl (and any/all of its companions!) from Vegan Dish. *Love* these!
Small stocking stuffers. Crazy Rumors lip balms; small candies, such as Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups; treats from Allison’s Gourmet; travel-size beauty products (soaps, lip balms, shampoos, lotions); Scent of Scandle candles, Strawesome reusable glass straws (perfect for sipping on a smoothie or fresh juice), small kitchen tools, gift certificates to awesome veg restaurants….
Animal adoptions. Animal sanctuaries rely on donations to provide love and care for all the animals that have been rescued from farms, labs and other places with deplorable conditions. Consider a gift “adoption” (sponsorship) of a rescued animal for your friend (or yourself)! This option is available at many sanctuaries, one of which is Farm Sanctuary, where you can adopt animals such as these. How can you say no to (from left to right) Noel, Dandypants, Blitzen and Agnes!? :)
Amazon store. I suppose this would be a as good a time as any to mention the vegan crew’s new Amazon store. I’ve always had an Amazon widget on the side of my site, but I launched an official store a few days ago. It’s still a work in progress, but so far I’ve created categories for books, cookbooks, kitchen tools, documentaries and films, magazines and my personal favorites (with more to come soon). Just click the “shop” button towards the top of this page. And thanks for your support :)
Giveaway time! And now for what I’m sure most of you are waiting for—the giveaway! I’m so excited because this one is open world-wide*. The kind folks at VegNews magazine are offering a free subscription to a lucky reader (or, I suppose you could do a gift subscription)! For a chance to win, do one or any combination of the following, for a maximum of four entries:
- Leave a comment telling me what item tops your wish list this year.
- Follow @thevegancrew AND @VegNews on twitter AND leave a comment letting me know that you’re a follower of both.
- Tweet “Win a VegNews magazine subscription from @thevegancrew! http://www.thevegancrew.com/?p=3750” AND leave a comment letting me know that you tweeted the giveaway.
- Subscribe to the vegan crew via email or a reader and leave a comment telling me you’re a subscriber.
One entry per comment (so if you do all four, you must leave four comments, one for each item completed).
Good luck! :)
The fine print: Contest ends Friday, December 16, 2011, at 11:59 pm CST. The winner will be selected randomly and will be announced December 17, 2011. If the winner doesn’t respond within 48 hours, another winner will be selected. *Paper subscription available to residents of the US only; tree-free subscription available world-wide (click here to view a 2008 issue in the tree-free format).
Update 12/17/2011: Contest has ended.
Congratulations to our winner, Erin!