So, if you read our last installment, you’ve been partying like a vegan holiday rockstar.Now, all you have to worry about is tackling your Santa-like gift list, beating the crazy crowds, and ensuring those gifts are thoughtful, all while keeping things economical. No biggie, right?
Right! We have you covered with our Vegucated Holiday Gift Guide. So, hop in my reindeer-free, bio-diesel-fueled sleigh and let’s spread some holiday cheer.
The Vegucated Holiday Gift Guide
Have a difficult person to buy for? Step away from the Applebee’s Gift Card, people! There’s a veg-friendly, creative gift out there for every personality on your list. Here are just a few:1. The Neat Freak: Some people out there will actually hug – and not hit – you if you give them a vacuum for the holidays. For those people, give a Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Set. They’re vegan, cruelty-free, and effective with OMG-worthy natural scents like Orange Clove and Iowa Pine. Sets start at $9.99 for three pieces.
2. The Workaholic: This smart, vegan cross-body features recycled lining and limitless compartments. The Matt & Nat’s 13′ Messenger Bag for MacBook Pro is sure to please the busiest 9-to-8er. $149.95 at the Apple Store.
3. The Yoga Fashionista: She goes from the studio to work to socializing. She has a Sanskrit tattoo. You see her in inversions more than you do standing upright. She is the yoga fashionista and she badly needs these look-at-me Teeki Hotpants. Each pair is made from 25 recycled plastic bottles. $60.00 a pair.
4. The Gentleman: Whether he’s into the latest fashion or still wears cargo jeans, these supple Defender boots from Novacas x Brave GentleMan collaboration are sure to appeal to his rugged sensibilities. They’re hand-crafted from sustainable, vegan materials under fair labor conditions, so you can feel good about treating any brave, gentle man in your life. $300.00 at bravegentleman.com.
5. The Culinary Whiz: If you have the dough to pick up a Vitamix for your fav foodie, far be it for me to try and sway you. But, if you’re looking for a more manageable gift, give this affordable and oh-so-useful sustainable bamboo Sink Drainer Cutting Board, which allows you to chop and drain in one fell swoop. And why not throw in the Compact Herb Chopper as a stocking stuffer? $25.00 – $32.00 at uncommongoods.com.
6. The Lady of Leisure: Bubble baths, plush robes, and lots of ripped male servants – this gal loves to relax in luxury. Give her this 100% Pure’s Blood Orange Bath Set. 100% stands for totally vegan, cruelty-free, natural, and awesome. Set includes lotion, body scrub, body wash, and butter for $55.00.
7. The Mentalist: You train your body, your hair, and sometimes your dog. Why not your brain? Lumosity features gift memberships to fun and engaging games that actually help you to stay sharp. Great for that tech-savvy senior or anyone who likes to have fun. Gift memberships starting at $29.95 at Lumosity.com.
8. The Hipster: Score major points with the trendster in your life by nabbing them a pair of vegan Toms. The cult-favorite slip-ons now boast a vegan line with no animal materials and kickin’ styles. One pair gifted means a child in a developing country also gets a pair. Adult styles start at $54 at Toms.com.
9. The Athlete: Triathlons? Cyclocross? Crossfit? No biggie. Give the active athlete in your life something to help them recover and wind down. A copy of the Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life is always a winner, and why not some post-race skincare designed just for athletes? Skin Care for Athletes is PETA-approved, all-natural, and effective at speeding up recovery. Book is $14.95 and skincare collections start at $52.00.
10. The Compassionate Foodie: Give your favorite foodie respite from holiday sweets with a Dr-Cow sampler of six delectable tree-nut cheeses. Throw in some crackers and grapes and invite yourself over for a party. $85 includes shipping.
11. The Reader: If your avid bookworm already has a subscription to VegNews, why not dazzle them with a year-long subscription to chickpea vegan quarterly? This beautiful, ad-free magazine features recipes and ideas, with an emphasis on handmade and from scratch. Annual subscription from $75.00 at chickpeamagazine.com.
12. The Urban Gardener: Imagine being able to grow 1 1/2 pounds of gourmet mushrooms in 10 days. Awesome. Now, what if you could grow them from recycled coffee grounds all year round? Give your apartment horticulturalist a Back to the Roots Mushroom Kit for just $19.95.
13. The Glamour Puss: She’s made up, in a good way, and she always rocks a cruelty-free face. Get her Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics famous lip tar. Vegan, heavily pigmented, and exactly what one needs for that vampy red lip. In a rainbow of colors for $16.00 at occmakeup.com.
14. The Plant-Powered Tween: It ain’t easy being a green tween. Show them they’re not alone with the Adventures of Vivian Sharpe, Vegan Superhero, a sophisticated, engaging, and age-appropriate book about a small-town gal who changes the world for animals. Kindle Edition from $3.99 at Amazon.com or soft cover for $15.95.
15. The Little One: Everything looks cute on a little one, especially this cuddly “I’m Vegan and I Love You” top from the fabulous Herbivore Clothing Company. Sizes start as small as 6-12 months for $15.00.
Donation: A Gift Everybody Can Feel Good About
In a society where one of our greatest challenges is the sheer volume of ‘stuff’ crowding our lives, donations are an elegant, thoughtful, and simple way to show people you care, not only about them, but about the world around us. Here are just a few wonderful organizations doing meaningful work:
1. A Well-Fed World’s (AWFW) Plants-4-Hunger Campaign: Remember when micro-lending and programs like Heifer International were all the rage? A Well-Fed World combines those international sustainability principles while also maintaining animal- and environmentally-friendly approaches to hunger mediation and self-sufficiency farming. Instead of gifting someone in a developing country a pig, which is costly to maintain, bred constantly, and eventually slaughtered, AWFW’s Plants-4-Hunger Campaign funds well-established international and domestic vegan feeding programs that create a significant, sustainable impact in someone’s life and community. You can make gift donations here.
2. Sponsor a Sanctuary or Shelter Animal: Who doesn’t love receiving a picture of an adorable baby goat romping through a field of flowers? Nobody, that’s who. Sponsoring animals at your sanctuary of choice provides necessary care and feeding for that loveable creature, and also allows the recipient to connect with your gift. Check out sponsorship programs via Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, Farm Sanctuary, The Gentle Barn, Performing Animal Welfare Society, or your local animal shelter or sanctuary of choice.
3. Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART): HEART uses a humane education approach to expose youth to concepts not traditionally covered in public schools. In the familiarity of their own classrooms, students receive a three-pronged curriculum that focuses on human dignity (think: anti-bullying), environmental awareness (think: energy conservation), and animal compassion (think: how to report animal cruelty), allowing them to create their own value systems. I’ve seen the transformations first-hand: youth and their teachers emerge empowered, enlightened, and inspired to change the world. You can make a gift donation here.
Make Something Special
Contrary to what you might think, an expensive present never trumps a thoughtful, homemade gift. Unless said expensive gift is a yacht. Anyway, if you’re light on cash, you can still make splendid gifts! Here are a few ideas that will knock their socks off:
1. Get Cookin’: Everybody’s gotta eat! Why not whip up a batch of your favorite cookies or a vegan quick bread, wrap in newspaper (um, clean), tie with a repurposed bow, and tah-da! Or make these Sinful Truffles, homemade Meyer Lemon bitters (for the baker in your life), or Citrus Salts (for the fancy foodie). Or, let the fantastic book, Vegan Food Gifts, be your North Star to economical homemade gifties.
2. Give Green: Plants are a gift that everyone loves. They provide clean, fresh air and Feng Shui to any space (hello, office cubicle). And when they come in a self-watering planter made from up-cycled soda bottles and cans, your recipients will color your thumb green and give you a hug. Here’s a DIY guide. I highly recommend painting the planters with an opaque paint so the roots don’t rot (and for decorative flair). Add a little plant, a bow, perhaps a name, and give someone the joy of a green companion in wintry months.
Have a favorite gift idea or tradition you’d like to share? Spill in the Vegucated Schoolhouse Community Forum!
Ashlee Piper is Writer & Community Manager at GetVegucated. She is a social worker and AADP-certified Holistic Health Counselor who shepherds people toward a more compassionate, cruelty-free, and joyful lifestyle. Her no-nonsense tips and insights for a happy veg life can also be found via her mischievous blog, The Little Foxes.