Monday, 22 Oct 2018

Gifts for Vegan

Gifts for vegan

Resident know-it-all Marla Rose solves all of your tough conundrums.

Help! How do I make sure that the holiday gifts I give and get are totally vegan?

Be honest

The holiday season means vegans may have to figure out what to do with random wool sweaters or the cheese-of-the-month club membership bestowed upon us by our coworker (passive-aggressive Secret Santa strikes again!). People would much rather give a gift that is welcomed than one that is halfheartedly accepted, so iron that out early. As the holidays approach, send a gift suggestion to your loved ones, and start a friendly conversation about why you don’t use animal products. Is it still awkward? Yes, but less awkward than when your Aunt Betty insists on seeing you in the sweater you have since re-gifted.

You got something that’s not vegan. Now what?

Let’s say you gave it your best shot, but Aunt Betty still doesn’t understand, and now you’ve got a wool sweater. First of all, take a deep breath. Next, find out if the item is returnable or exchangeable. If not, how about donating to a homeless shelter or a resale shop with a charitable mission?

Ask for the gift of experience.

Most of us could use fewer things, so why not request an “experience,” or non-material gifts instead? How about a massage, a membership to a local museum, a paid subscription to your favorite media outlet (might I suggest a subscription to VegNews?), or tickets to an upcoming performance? Many people get more joy out of these kinds of nonmaterial gifts, and there are no orange leg-warmers you’ll need to awkwardly stuff into your sock drawer.

As a pagan-leaning Jew, my favorite Christmas tradition is building a gingerbread house with my family. It’s usually wobbly and not up to code, but it’s okay because we always make that house disappear before any inspectors arrive. True to my roots, no Christmas is complete without Chinese food and a movie, of course.

DIY Gifts

Want to save money, lighten your environmental load, and show your loved ones just how much you get them, all at the same time? Get creative with your gift-giving!

Spa day

Homemade bath salts, soy candles, and a hand-sewn eye pillow filled with lavender and whole flax seeds is a lovely way to recognize someone in your life who needs to chillax.

Treats galore

Know someone with an unapologetic sweet tooth? Pumpkin bread, brownies, holiday cookies, and other treats may just be the way to their heart. Just be sure to get these in before New Year’s resolutions start.

Gift certificates from the heart

How about a home-cooked dinner for a friend who does so much for everyone else? For someone who can’t travel without pet care, give a gift certificate for a free week of pet-sitting.

Semi-homemade

Put together curated food mixes in Mason jars (along with instructions) so that your gift-recipient can easily whip up everything from blondies to macaroni and cheese sauce within minutes. I highly recommend Vegan Food Gifts by Joni Marie Newman for some clever and elegant gifts straight from the heart.

Plant-strong

Remind people that spring is around the corner with a low maintenance terrarium. You just need a succulent or two and a trip to the craft store for supplies, and voila!

Marla Rose.

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