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The best vegan Christmas gifts you probably haven’t thought of

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Buying vegan Christmas gifts can seem like a mission, but it’s actually a lot simpler than you think, especially when you have these handy hints.

Whether the plant-based people in your life have been naughty or nice, it’s time to start thinking about vegan Christmas gifts that they’ll love. We’ve got a few ideas (which we wouldn’t mind finding under our own trees), so read on to see if you spot something you hadn’t considered yet.

Sweet treats

Just as the sugar high from Halloween sweets is wearing off, you can top it back up with a selection of vegan chocolate, truffles and festive favourites. Edible presents always go down well with vegans, as it shows you took the time to make sure there were no questionable ingredients and walked at least half a mile in our shoes.

For a traditional vibe, put together a little collection of mince pies, sugared almonds and, if you can find some, florentines. Maybe include a zero-waste bamboo toothbrush as well, to avoid a trip to the dentist.

Check out our list of the UK’s best sustainable stores.

Style and compassion

vegan bagsFashionistas have ethics too and the stylish vegan friends in your life would no doubt appreciate something on-trend to carry about with them or wear. An eco-friendly vegan leather handbag is a thoughtful present that, when looked after, will last a long time, as will any faux leather accessory bought from a high-end retailer. It might sound a little boring, but a quality vegan leather belt is an amazing gift that will naturally be used most days, making it practical, personal and pretty. The Christmas trifecta.

Good for them and the planet

Reusable water bottles are a must for absolutely everybody, but when you’re buying one as a vegan Christmas gift, you can go a little cheeky with the styling. We like to wear our hearts and our ethics on our sleeve, so a water bottle with a vegan slogan will be a perfect gift. Especially for any gym-goers.

If you think a more understated tack would be better, why not invest in a long-lasting water bottle, perhaps made from stainless steel? A stylish addition to any workspace, if you get one that can fit in a bottle cage, cyclists will enjoy the chance to use something more attractive than a plastic bidon on their commute too.

A hassle-free Christmas day

If you liked the idea of buying an edible gift but think that there will already be a sugar overload in progress, how about putting together a savoury vegan hamper that will make the Christmas Day dinner a whole lot simpler?

We love the idea of buying an alt-meat joint and a huge box of locally produced organic vegetables, especially if you are going to be a guest for the feast. It’s a great way to get involved, show plenty of appreciation to the chef and invest your money in local small businesses. You could go as wild as you like too, with locally made chutneys, dairy-free Yorkshire pudding mix and maybe even some ethical crackers too. Don’t forget to buy quiet crackers if there is a pet in the house, as loud bangs can be as frightening as fireworks for nervous companions.

Instant calm

essential oilsAfter the hustle and bustle of a busy festive season, who wouldn’t enjoy the chance to just sit back and relax? A stylish diffuser starter kit — supplied with a selection of sumptuous essential oils — will be a huge hit and will more than likely become the most used gift of the whole year.

Having trouble sleeping? Pop on the diffuser with a lavender and chamomile mix inside it. Struggling with migraines? Peppermint and rosemary can help with that. There’s an oil combination for everything and plenty of information online about getting the ratios right.

New parent support

Are you trying to think of a vegan gift to buy either a new or expectant parent? Then we are about to tell you how to make their year.

Bringing a baby into the world, regardless of if you’ve done it before, is scary, tiring and creates ‘brain fog’. Add in a desire to raise the little ones in line with vegan beliefs and suddenly it’s a lot harder. An amazing Christmas gift for any vegans with a baby or one on the way is a gift basket of essentials that you’ve checked are suitable and, where possible, 100% natural.

With all the best planning in the world, there are days where it’s a case of ‘grab anything and hope’, so if you can take some of the hard work out of baby prep for someone you care about, do it.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to vegan baby products.

Something snuggly

christmas throwsThere’s a lot to love about the winter months: hot chocolate, guilty pleasure films and curling up on the sofa included. It’s always nice to hunker down under a big throw or blanket too, so why not treat someone to a beautiful version?

If you’re good at sewing, you could make a patchwork quilt, but don’t get hung up on thinking you need to painstakingly make something for it to be special. A carefully chosen throw, made from something vegan-friendly, is a perfect cruelty-free gift.

The recurring gift

There are some fantastic subscription services out there that you can sign a friend or family member up to. Every month, they’ll get a treat through the post, not just in December, so it’s a way to remind someone you care for the next twelve months. The best part is that there is such a vast array of styles to choose from. Vegan beauty boxes and snack parcels are just the tip of the iceberg, with plenty of weird and wonderful hobby packages to choose from too.

You could also go a little old school with a year-long gift by sponsoring an animal or an animal sanctuary, in your recipient’s name. Not all meaningful gifts can be unwrapped on December 25.

Slippers with soul

Slippers are a tried and true Christmas gift, but buy them from a company that promises to give back and you give two presents. Toms is great for this and has an easy-to-find vegan range that includes shoes and slippers, all of which contribute to an inclusive sustainability program and charitable foundations. It’s a step up from the normal pants and socks, but still safe enough when you don’t have time to think too hard.

Kitchen staples

cast iron panGetting enough iron won’t ever be a problem if you buy your vegan friends and family cast iron cookware. We know it sounds a little unexciting and sure, the pans won’t look very festive, but a cast-iron skillet is a gift that will never stop giving.

Cooking in cast pans naturally fortifies food with iron, and though all vegans know they should be doing it, actually spending money on cast iron often seems to be nudged further down the priority list. Invest in a heavy-bottomed skillet that can be used on a hob and in the oven, and you’ll be giving the gift of great health to your vegan loved ones.

Bulk generosity

You’ve probably heard the vegan in your life claim that there’s “no such thing as too much nooch”. Now’s the time to put that to the test. A bulk order of 12 tubs of nutritional yeast will be a funny but also practical, healthy and delicious present that not many other people will think of (if any). So at least you’ll win the most original gift competition this year, while also feeling pleased that you’re guaranteeing a good daily dose of vitamin B12. Some people even gift customised pots for keeping nooch in too.

Treading lightly

If zero-waste living is important to your recipient, you can lean into it when buying a Christmas gift. A selection of glass Kilner jars, plus some extra seals, is a fantastic way to encourage and support zero waste shopping habits, as they can be taken to the nearest appropriate shop and filled to the rim, negating the need for any extra packaging at all.

Don’t forget to get a variety of sizes. Tall jars are perfect for dry pasta storage, while more squat varieties are excellent for home pickling, nooch and dry pulses.

Support local

vegan subscription boxesNot all vegans like vegetables. It’s hard to admit that, but it’s true. If you do have a produce fanatic in your circle, however, buying an organic vegetable or fruit box delivery is really thoughtful, on two levels.

Firstly, your recipient gets to enjoy a selection of seasonal, unadulterated goodies that taste amazing and secondly, you will be supporting an independent business. We all keep meaning to do more in the way of shopping small and this is an easy way to follow through, both for yourself and on behalf of somebody else too. The hope is that they enjoy the produce enough to continue the deliveries, making a lasting positive impact.

The in-joke

When you’ve got a shared history, all those fun in-jokes make for perfect t-shirt and jumper fodder. Try buying a plain top and some heat transfer vinyl that you can cut words and pictures out of, before applying with an iron and some greaseproof paper. Try to keep it inoffensive, if the present will be opened in front of other people or those who don’t understand the gag. Nothing kills a funny present like having to explain it to the group.

A life skill

Everybody has a skill or hobby they wish they could master, but it’s easy to put off having a go when everyday life gets in the way. Take the hassle out of self-development by gifting someone a course or relevant membership and they’ll feel compelled to see it through.

A vegan cookery course would be a brilliant investment, but something arty could be fun too. Who hasn’t fancied having a go at throwing some pottery? The only stumbling blocks are usually either cost or actually having the gumption to get on with it. You can negate both for somebody.

Furbaby treats

vegan pet giftsAny vegan with pets will love it if you decide to buy for the furry (or scaly, hairless or crawly) members of the family. As animal lovers, sacrificing some personal presents for the wellbeing, comfort and joy of our pets is nothing. In fact, many of us who rescued our beloved family members continue to give money to the shelters we found them in for years to come, instead of buying things like Christmas cards.

Be sure to check if any animals are being fed a vegan diet as well. There are plenty of treat options available if they are and if not, you can buy sustainably manufactured toys instead.

Empathy

If you’re not vegan yourself, the best gift you can give is understanding. We all tolerate a certain amount of jokes and ‘preachy’ comments but being willing to understand the world from our perspective? That’s a gift that is extra special and won’t cost you anything.

Speaking personally, when a friend committed to Veganuary last year, to get a feel for how I eat and why, it was amazing. We bonded even more, through daily texts starting with “Can I eat…” and by the end of January, my friend decided to only eat meat occasionally. She also only buys vegan and cruelty-free household and beauty products now.

It wasn’t her shift in perspective that was the best gift, it was her willingness to try something new, as a result of my ethics. Such a personal and unforgettable present, we celebrated with a vegan sushi date and continue to develop recipes together now.

Vegan Christmas gifts aren’t hard to think of; just come up with an idea and find a version that has no animal products in it and aligns with your special person’s ethics. It’s honestly as simple as that.

Amy Buxton
Amy is a committed ethical vegan, raising a next generation compassionate human with her husband and beloved dog, Boo. A freelance writer with a background in PR, she decided to use the COVID lockdown period to refocus her client base and has come to The Vegan Review as a senior writer and editor. "What we should be doing is working at the job of life itself" is Amy's mantra, courtesy of Tom from The Good Life.