Who wants to stomp the mall, especially at this time of year? But then again, schlepping all over town in order to virtuously buy only from local makers … well, that can be kind of a drag too. Forget it! Gift cards for everyone!
OK, settle down; it's entirely possible to shop for all your loved ones without ever leaving the comfort of your kitchen counter. Forthwith, a buying guide for those on your list who live to eat (and drink).
1. First off, you'll need holiday cards. This sassy Xmas-appropriate number ("You can roast my chestnuts anytime") was designed by local graphic artist Sarah Blacksher at Lure Design, and is available online from L2 Design Collective. ($4.25; l2designcollective.com)
2. Another design-savvy gift comes out of the Brooklyn mini-empire of Tina Roth Eisenberg, creator of the TeuxDeux app and blogger at Swiss-Miss.com: Tattly temporary tattoos give cool illustrations semipermanent status on your skin. The "kitchen utensils" set by Julia Rothman makes a perfect stocking stuffer for a cook. ($5 for set of two; tattly.com)
3. The Perfect Pickler is a cheap, easy-to-use Mason jar topper that enables home cooks to make pickled and fermented foods out of, well, almost anything. Fresh, homemade raw-culture sauerkraut and kimchi is healthy; buying something made and marketed by a local business owner (Winter Park's Bill Hettig) is healthy for the community. (various models, starting at $19.50; perfectpickler.com)
4. Yes, it's from Brooklyn. Yes, we're all tired of hearing about Brooklyn. But Morris Kitchen ginger syrup is made of magical glitter nectar, falling-star tears and powdered unicorn horn: It is dark, rich and better than your ginger syrup will ever be, and it will improve anything from ice cream to pork roast to a rum cocktail. ($13; regiongeneralstore.com)
5. Alex Ott's new recipe book, Dr. Cocktail: 50 Spirited Infusions to Stimulate the Mind and Body, comes over kind of woo-woo on first perusal. If the New-Agey homeopathic angle isn't your thing, try to overlook it, because these are some of the tastiest, most creative cocktail recipes I've encountered this year. (cover price $17; currently $11.50 at Amazon.com)
6. For drinkers serious about their Scotch, try Soiréehome's Tilt "chilling sphere," a stainless-steel orb you keep in the freezer and plunk into your drink instead of ice. It won't dilute that precious amber single-malt, plus it looks kind of mod and Bond-villainish. ($17.99;
7. Between the adorable boxes and the delicious flavors – apple-cinnamon, bourbon and pretzel-rolled Guinness are especially nice for ringing in the Yuletide – Wondermade marshmallows make irresistible gifts, but trust me on this: You should buy an extra box for yourself. ($7.50; wondermade.com)
8. Hand-printed linen tea towels, an Etsy classic, strike a balance between the utilitarian kitchen gift and the indulgent one: undeniably useful, but also pretty. I like one patterned with whales from Enormous Champion ($25) and the Eucalyptus print from Moon Tea Artwork (left, $14), but there are dozens of choices of pattern and price point. (various prices; etsy.com)
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