The holiday season is linked with foods of all kinds. Families and friends celebrate the season by bringing out traditional holiday foods. Shops and restaurants introduce holiday menus, and many of us delight in the once-a-year appearance of special candies or festive choices.
So when you’re looking for a perfect gift for someone, food is generally a welcome and well-received option. Luckily, food-themed gifts can be created to fit every financial budget, time constraint, dietary restriction, location consideration, and general preference.
If you are thinking of surprising a friend or family member with a gift of food, you have many options available. Whether you live five miles down the road or 2,000 miles away, your gift can be equally thoughtful, helpful, and delicious.
If you live close enough to bring a home-cooked meal, many people really enjoy this gift. For people who tend not to cook for themselves or who might find the process too time consuming to take on, making a meal and delivering it is a time-honored expression of caring. Staying to eat dinner with the recipient makes the gift that much more special.
Cooking for someone else can be as easy or as elaborate as you want. You can make a favorite meal from childhood (if you don’t know, it’s okay to ask) or even something that just isn’t made very often. Depending on the family and the tradition, this could include anything from sauerkraut to amaretti cookies to latkes. You can make a big meal (rolls, salad, steak tips or grilled chicken, mashed potato, and dessert) or something you divide into small freezable containers that can be safely thawed and heated up. Soups, casseroles, chili, breads, quiches, and cookies all freeze very well.
Choosing a gift for someone who is active and social can also include taking them out to a favorite restaurant that might be far away so you can provide the transportation. You can also enroll the two of you in a local cooking class. Many adult education programs offer cooking classes that are simple, fun, and very social. You’ll both enjoy the time together and will learn a new skill.
If you live far away, you still have plenty of options. A gift card to a favorite restaurant is easy to do and an excellent present for people who enjoy eating out. You can either have it sent directly to them or you can purchase it close to home and tuck it into a basket with other small foodie items.
If the person you are buying a gift for has a hard time getting out of the house, such as an elderly family member or disabled friend,a month or two of home delivered groceries eases an enormous burden. You can do all of this online through a grocery store that is close to the recipient. Choose only a few perishable items, but fill out the order with items you know they like, that will keep well, or that might be bulky and difficult to carry. You can pick some fun extras to send, too, like especially loved cookies, jams, tea or coffee.
Another food gift is a monthly delivery of something specific like a cookie-of-the-month club. If you want to do this on your own, you can carve out some time every month to make and ship your own cookies. Lots of people would love to receive a monthly box of homemade chocolate chip cookies or shortbread. If your recipient has specific food restrictions (due to health issues or food allergies), experiment with a recipe until you come up with a winner and send that once a month (or whatever schedule works best for you). You can swap bread or candy for cookies – whatever your specialty is.
No matter how much time or money you have to give, choosing a gift shouldn’t be a burden. A food-themed gift is a caring way to share your efforts, love, and cooking skills with someone special, whether it’s an elderly parent, a sibling, distant relative, or close friend.