The weather is cold, the lights are up, my waistline is expanding, and the shopping madness has begun.

It must be the holidays.

I warned my girlfriend a day before Thanksgiving that I was giving us a week deadline for any mall or shopping center purchases.  I don’t have agoraphobia or a grinch-syndrome, just holidaycrazypeopleshoppingphobia.

Tolerating the crowds and parking it doable but it’s the savage-like behaviors which emerge from seemingly normal citizens when this season comes around.

Over the past few years, I’ve approached the gift giving season with more opportunities, thought, and strategy.  Online shopping, DIY gifts, and shopping (early) at local stores are my go-to’s.

Here’s a few foodie (and non foodie) gift ideas I’m using with my friends and family that are worth sharing.

Buerre and Sel Jammer Time
Buerre and Sel Jammer Time

1. Home made cookies are a key to the heart, specifically Buerre and Sel Jammers they’re dense, salty, and sweet.  Place these in a wide mouth Mason Jar, add some twine, name tag and you’ve got yourself a perfect co-worker gift.

2. Making a purchase from ScoutMob’s food and drink sections. Everything is handmade by different folks across the globe.  When you’re eying that engraved leather beer growler, chai masala popcorn, or pickle making kit know your money is supporting awesome small businesses and artists.

3. Get crafty and make your own scrub. This year, I’m using this simple recipe I got from Jillee over at her blog, One Good Thing.  This concoction is made of coconut oil, Epsom salt, and essential oil (I’ll be using lavender, cedarwood, and grapefruit). I splurged and bought an 8 pound tub of Virgin Coconut Oil I’ll use to make around 10 scrubs.  The leftover oil will be put to good use with cooking and baking.

4. Be kind and shop local. Richmond’s got tons of shops catering to foodies, amateur chefs and everyone in between.  Row House Soaps, Penzy’s Spices, and WPA bakery are all fine choices, especially when giving gifts to folks that don’t live here. Everyone can use a little RVA love.



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