If you’ve read any of my blogs on veganism before, you’ll know that I’ve been vegan for a couple of years now. The transition, for me, has been a fun and interesting one, I’ve learnt a hell of a lot and I continue to learn things every day. But, I know it’s also been a learning curve for those around me and I know how difficult it can be to be 1) a vegan receiving a non-vegan gift and 2) a non-vegan buying a vegan a gift. So, I thought I’d put together my best tips, suggestions and ideas for vegan stocking stuffer ideas, to make vegan Christmas shopping a little easier.
“On the day after Christmas, some store or another will always take out an ad saying there are only 364 shopping days to Christmas. No one is amused.” – Gerard Del Re
Things to stay away from when vegan Christmas shopping!
- Furniture or clothing made with animal materials, eg. fur, leather, suede, silk, wool, cashmere, etc.
- Foods containing any animal product – I suggest doing a google search when you’re unsure or opting for foods that are clearly marked vegan. As of yet, there’s no legal standard for marking vegan foods ‘vegan’ and some ingredients aren’t always obvious.
- Cosmetics or toiletries that are animal tested or contain animal products. Common ingredients to look out for: honey, beeswax, keratin, carmine. This list is really helpful, but again, I’d suggest a google search.
- Candles containing beeswax
I feel like knowing where to start with vegan sweet treats can be quite difficult – you might not know brands that make vegan treats, let alone which are any good. Honestly, you can’t go too wrong, so long as you check the ingredients (watch out for honey, milk, lactose and whey!) and do a quick google search.
Biscuits and cakes
There are tons of lists of vegan biscuits and cakes online, here, here and here. My personal favourites are Hobnobs, gingernuts (at least the McVities ones), Oreos and Biscoff. Also, some store own brands have made their biscuits vegan, Tesco’s bourbons are and I’ve seen quite a few copycats in Morrison’s free from range.
Most sweets aren’t vegetarian, let alone vegan (oh, Haribo…), but the ingredients might not make that too clear. With sweets, look out for them being veggie-friendly (legally they have to make this clear) and then check for any obvious non-vegan ingredients and you should be fine. I’d recommend doing a google search – that’s your fastest way to a straight answer.
Vegan chocolate can be a little hit or miss (although I think it’s improving over time) so I personally recommend you stay away from milk chocolate that strongly brands itself as ‘vegan’ and stick to the chocolates that never required milk in the first place. Bourneville has long been a favourite chocolate brand of mine and it happens to be vegan by chance. Most dark chocolates about 70% are vegan and aren’t substituting the milk, they just don’t need it.
I have honestly never had a bad vegan ice cream and I’ve shared it with a lot of non-vegans that love it just as much as I do – often commenting that it’s a lot lighter and just as good on flavour. Still, here are a few of my faves.
- Ben & Jerry’s – It’s silly expensive and very rarely goes on sale, but the vegan Ben and Jerry’s tubs are one of my all-time favourites if you’re going to treat someone. Here’s a list of flavours.
- Swedish Glace – So so nice and really soft and light! The raspberry flavour is a little more sorbet-ish (no complaints from me!), but the vanilla and cinnamon flavours are as good as any classic ice cream.
- Alpro – A brand every vegan will know and love, Alpro have tons of delicious ice cream flavours that I can’t get enough of (they have a macchiato flavour I can’t wait to try!). Here’s a list.
- Waitrose Own – I was really pleasantly surprised by Waitrose’s own brand vegan ice creams. They do tubs as well as cones and Magnum-esque ice creams, that are the best I’ve tried so far! They’re also really well-priced – they have my respect.
Last year, my aunt made me a hamper of loads of different vegan foods she’d found, tucked in with a vegan cookbook. It was a really sweet gift, knowing that she’d gone out of her way to find good vegan foods and to do her research. Lots of what she included weren’t foods I’d usually buy for myself, either – chocolates, cakes, random items like custard mix, packs of exotic seeds and berries. Buying those items which I was less likely to treat myself too was really nice because I really looked forward to having them as an unusual treat – it lasted me for months!
Online vegan cooking classes
Especially for a new vegan (or for a long-term vegan who’s inspiration has hit zero), vegan cooking classes can be a great gift. Few cooking shows focus specifically on vegan cooking, so classes can be a great source of inspiration and education.
Any avid cook will love a good vegan cookbook. I’ve been recommended the Bosh! book many times and have frequently used the Bosh boys’ recipes online – they’re especially good for vegans looking to make replacement meals for their favourite non-vegan dishes. I also love Minimalist Baker’s (a fab plant-based Instagram account) cookbook and Plants Only Kitchen, by popular plant-based YouTuber, Gaz Oakley, aka. Avant Garde Vegan.
There’s no clear cut definition of what a vegan has to be, but for myself and most of the vegans I know, veganism is part of your lifestyle, as well as your food choices. Vegans will tend to opt for animal-free, cruelty-free lifestyle products. There are a massive amount of vegan beauty brands, but here are a few of my favourites. Note: These are all going to be on the cheaper side, I don’t tend to shop with many designer beauty brands and I’m only here to talk about brands I really use and love.
Revolution Beauty is one of my favourite make-up brands – they’re cruelty-free and (whilst they aren’t 100% vegan) have large ranges of vegan make-up that’s really affordable and the ranges are growing ever larger. My favourite palette (discontinued 😭) I bought a year ago for £4 and it’s still going strong – although I have hit pan on some of my favourite colours!
This is a small business founded in my home city of Brighton (don’t worry though, they deliver to lots of other countries! Check their website for more info). They’re an award-winning, 100% vegan and cruelty-free business that does lots of work to promote the vegan movement in beauty across the globe. They have many of their own scents with great descriptions, but also make dupes of designer fragrances. My favourite thing about them, however, is their refill offer, which allows you to refill your original bottle for cheaper – saving you money and the environment!
Unfortunately, Body Shop isn’t wholly vegan (*sobs into the banana haircare section*), but they do have a lot of vegan ranges and have been long-term campaigners against animal testing. Their website makes it super easy, with ‘vegan’ as a separate section on each dropdown. Or you can visit this page for all their vegan goodies.
A surprise box!
Choose from vegan beauty to vegan lifestyle boxes and give your vegan a gift that keeps giving! They’ll be eagerly awaiting their gift, that you can set up to become a monthly treat to extend way past Christmas. Here’s a company I’ve seen recommended many times.
So long as you steer away from non-vegan materials (as listed here), clothing is always a great gift idea, especially to treat someone with something they may not treat themselves to.
I love love love candles and I was really upset to find out most candles contain beeswax! If you’re candle shopping for a vegan, soy candles are a great way to go. The soy candle industry is full of small businesses, so you can get some really wacky, unique gifts, whilst supporting small businesses too.
If you’re going for a novelty gift, appealing to someone’s veganism with humour can be a fun way to give a gift. Taking note of the way they discuss veganism can give you a good indication as to whether they enjoy joking about it or not. “Yes, I get enough protein” jokes are sure to strike a chord.
One, really thoughtful gift you can give is a donation to a vegan charity. Bodies like The Vegan Society work to make the issues vegans fight for more well known and understood, for example. Find out what issues your vegan feels most strongly about. If it’s the animal welfare side of things, consider donating to a charity fighting for animal rights, conservation projects, shelters or sanctuaries. I have a monthly elephant adoption donation with WWF which I love getting the updates for.
I hope this list has helped you come up with some ideas for what you might get the vegan in your life and some of the things to definitely avoid! It can feel overwhelming to know what’s right and wrong to get, but I can promise that they’ll appreciate you putting in the effort to do your research and get them something that aligns with their views and choices.
Enjoy your Christmas shopping! Love, Ella-Rose xx