Two of my favorite holidays, Diwali & Christmas, are coming up soon and I wanted to share a couple of gift ideas that I’ve had in mind for loved ones. They’re not all food-related gifts, but they’re all items that have brought me joy in 2020 (which is a hard thing to do in these troubling times!). All five of the businesses are women-owned, three out of five are BIPOC-owned, and four out of five are small businesses, which are all things I’m keeping in mind when shopping this holiday season.
(This post is not sponsored/affiliated in any way, I purchased all of the products on my own, and just wanted to share some goods that I love!)
- Exau’s olive oil: This is at the top of my list this holiday season! It’s hands down the best olive oil that I’ve tasted and is perfect as a gift that’s high quality but won’t break the bank. Exau is an olive oil production company started by a husband and wife duo; Skyler Mapes and Giuseppe Morisani. They produce their high quality EVOO directly in Calabria, Italy. I currently have the Turi oil, which pairs perfectly with vegetarian cooking. I use it for everything from frying, to roasting vegetables, or just to garnish food. The oils are currently on backorder and usually sell out quickly so I’m planning to order a few bottles of their Turi and Lina oils. The site says the bottles will ship around the end of November so I’m not expecting them to come soon enough for Diwali, but they’ll make great Christmas gifts for family.
- Kishmish’s candles: I am addicted to collecting candles so I have tried my fair share of companies, but Kishmish’s candles really stand out to me for their high quality and unique South Asian-inspired scents. They are soy wax candles with a natural cotton wick, and they last for quite a while! I’m currently using the Bollywood scent, which fills my living room with a yummy buttery scent and is perfect for movie nights. The Kashmiri Chai and the Gulab candles would be perfect Diwali gifts and I have ordered a few just to have around the house during the holidays. All of their candles are currently sold out but their site says they are restocking on October 19th.
- Walnut Street Tea’s herbal and caffeinated teas: This is a small business that is local to me and so I buy their products on a monthly basis and have been consistently pleased with the quality and selection they offer. They have loose leaf teas and coffee beans and their products are priced really well. I use their Assam tea and Lemon Grass every day to make my morning chai and I use a bunch of their herbal tea blends before bed. Some notable favorites are Evening Unwind and Herbal Knockout. They also offer delivery of really cute “surprise boxes” that would be perfect to gift to a loved one, though those would end up being more than $30. They also have a large selection of coffee (whole beans and ground). I’m not a coffee drinker so I’ve never tried any of their coffees, however I have heard good things from friends who have! If you are in the Champaign-Urbana area, I would highly recommend stopping by their store to see what other tea and food-related trinkets they have. They carry spices, tea sets, and a variety of food items that pair perfectly with tea and coffee.
- Lily’s Chocolate (free of refined sugar!): I am obsessed with these chocolates. I love chocolate so much but really try to watch my sugar intake and this is the only stevia sweetened chocolate I’ve found that doesn’t have that weird chemical-ish aftertaste. I always have a couple bars in my pantry and like to snack on them before bed with a cup of herbal tea. I will say that their milk chocolate is less sweet than traditional milk chocolate, and tastes closer to commercial dark chocolate, so if you and your loved ones are not fans of dark chocolate, this brand may not be for you. My favorite Lily’s products are the Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds, the Salted Almond Milk Chocolate, the Crispy Rice Dark Chocolate, and the Sea Salt Extra Dark Chocolate. To be honest, I’ve tried any of their products I could get my hands on and have not disliked any of them so I don’t think you can go wrong with any of their sweets.
- Kynah’s masks: These masks are incredible cute and comfy and would make the perfect stocking stuffers or cute Diwali accessories to go with your Indian outfits! They come in almost every single color imaginable and are really comfortable and easy to wash. I own the Dusted Peach and Gold Chiffon Mask and the Ivory Lace & Mirror Mask. I originally bought them to coordinate with Indian outfits I own, but since almost every wedding and event I was supposed to attend has been postponed, I’ve just been wearing them to grocery store trips and always receive loads of compliments on them. Some of the colors are currently sold out but available for pre-order for November 30th.
I would love to hear about any gift ideas that you all have for the upcoming holiday season, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!