What does the Hippie Gypsy get for Christmas? What do you give a vegan for a gift?

Shopping 101 for Vegan Recipients

___________________________________________________________________________________________

I am probably the easiest person to shop for in my mind and the hardest person to shop for according to my husband. My parents are awesome and generally get me the same few items but in a fresh way each year with a few surprises seasoned in. My brother asks my mom what to get me so that always works. I am super close with my aunt so she knows me and gets me something practical in most cases (however this year she got me something fun instead and my kids something practical (started their college funds)). My husband though, every year he is baffled. I think this is most husbands. They over think the holiday. Do I get her jewelry? Is that to obvious and if it isn’t what does cruelty free mean? What if I get her something practical like a cooking dish or pot or appliance instead? Will she be offended ? Maybe just soap? And then you can start to hear the crackle and fizzle of brain cells as their insides meltdown. When my husband and all husbands stop thinking you end up with no gifts, guilty looks, and a small dog in charge of the holidays. Then all that happens is the dog sniffs all items under the tree and chooses one to eat the ribbon off of… not a good Christmas. So let’s talk about what you should do next year through this year’s experience at my house.

IMG_2854

My aunt nailed it this year so I will start with her gift. I LOVE surfing. However, I haven’t been able to surf in the past few years because of surgery and a messed up ankle injury. When my grandmother died I listened to “Santa Monica” by Everclear over and over because all I wanted to do was paddle out to the quiet of the ocean on my board and sit there while the sun rose. I needed the noise in my brain to stop. There is no better calm in the world than that moment. My aunt knows this. She has been mourning my grandmother’s passing at the same rate I have. Slowly and in complete devastation. We will randomly melt down and then be totally calm later that hour or afternoon. So for a gift, she gave me a gift certificate to the surf shop at the end of my street that just opened up this spring. She lives a few blocks from there as well. She gave me the gift of peace and healing. How wonderful is that?

Ocean House Surf Shop and Cafe: http://www.paddleboardnewengland.com/

(my first board is currently mounted on the wall in our home)

IMG_2669

 

My parents were similar in nailing it this year. They gave us money to help pay bills, cookware for my blogging, gift cards to high end cookware stores, and a trip back to Ananda Ashram on them. Another gift of calm and peace and healing. What else could a vegan hippie girl ask for?

Ananda Ashram: http://anandaashram.org/

My brother piggybacked on my parents and got me a dutch oven which I have wanted but just couldn’t stomach affording the beautiful La Creuset enameled pieces. So I have survived without it … until now! So now I can make more Christmas Dinners like this one I had this year at my parents!

IMG_2863

 

Last my husband, he gave me the gift of yoga. I love yoga. Hot yoga at lunch at work and morning yoga at the Ashram are my favorites. I hear the surf shop down the street does paddleboard yoga too! He got me a gift card to Athleta which is the Gap’s newest addition to its clothing brand. The prices are more reasonable than Lululemon but the quality seems identical. So I will be heading over there for some cold weather yoga pants, yoga grip socks, grip gloves, and maybe a yoga bag. Again, calm, peace, and healing.

 

So when you are thinking about us vegans remember what we stand for. All we want is happiness and compassion in the world. Find out ways to show that in your gift. Give your fellow hippie vegans something that will bring them joy and calm and peacefulness in this crazy season. Whether it is organic bamboo sheets for a more restful sleep or teas from a high end brand to calm their souls or gift cards to their favorite peace-finding activities. It is really about finding zen. We are easy to shop for. Just omit animal products and think holiday peace and compassion. Merry Christmas to One and All (animals included)!

 

P.S. Don’t forget the stocking stuffers (my husband is notorious for this last minute panic and I end up with nuts and random things from around the house). Go to your local Whole Foods and ask where the vegan candy is, vegan lip balm, vegan face cream, etc. They will most likely direct you to Go Max Go Foods items for candy. The Jokerz bar is just like a Snickers. The lip balm is all labeled and so are most other beauty products. Glass water bottles are also a no brainer and some organic cotton gloves, scarves, or socks. Enjoy!

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Food is Love. 

The Hippie Gypsy

How to Make Your Vegan Holiday More Efficient in 20 Steps Over One Month

I serve an omnivore – vegan thanksgiving extravaganza each year. This year I will have about 12 people (I think). So because I am a little OCD and I love fresh food I always wait until the last second to get veggies. This causes a mess of a problem because now I must peel, chop, julienne, etc. in a short amount of time. I learned my lesson this year and started already. I peeled, chopped, diced, and whatever-ed all of my veggies that I could already. Bagged them and sorted them into the crisper. I have the bruises on my hands to prove it and a few knife cuts on my palm and some missing nail polish from that pesky mandolin. However I feel so accomplished! Here are my tips to fast track your Thanksgiving preparation:

 

  1. One month before, order your roast or turkey or tofurkey or field roast en croute.
  2. 2-4 weeks before, hire someone to clean your house the day before the holiday (It is about $150 for a whole house but you can prob get a good deal for just the downstairs). That way they can clean up whatever leftovers are on the floor from your chopping that the dog didn’t want.
  3. One week before get all linens, dishes, china, etc. cleaned. Get your hair done. Get your nails done (shellac or gel is smart in this case). Buy any theme holiday items that you need. Set your table aesthetics but not plates.
  4. Buy all your veggies the weekend before or a few days ahead.
  5. Wash, Chop, and Bag all veggies as you get them. This will make mashed potatoes and roasted veggies go fast the night before. It sounds crazy but peeling one large potato takes about 30 seconds. It will be worth it to do it as you get them when you have 10 lbs to peel and chop.
  6. Buy yourself something easy for breakfast so that you don’t need to cook. Donuts, danishes, or just plain old cereal and fruit. You WILL need energy the day of.
  7. Two nights before, pre-bake crust or buy them already done. Pre-chop all fruit and make any rice or pasta and bag it. Fruit can be tossed with a little water and lemon juice if you are afraid of browning.
  8. The day before Thanksgiving make any sauces and dips. They always taste better if they infuse overnight. Slice any cheeses and prepare any doughs (cookie dough or bread dough).
  9. The night before make any roasted veggies, casseroles, and prep desserts. You can bake desserts fresh since they come after dinner and all your casseroles and veggies can be warmed up while the turkey sits and cools a bit. Also brine your turkey if you get one and place in the fridge.
  10. The morning of place out all plates and appetizer arrangements without the food on them so that you are ready. Make your significant other get up early to put the turkey in the oven, you aren’t eating it anyway 😉
  11. Sit down have some tea and a danish and baste that turkey or tofurkey.
  12. An hour before arrival bring out ice, glasses, drinks, and appetizers and plate them.
  13. By the time you are done others will be arriving. You will look like you have it all together!
  14. When the turkey comes out place all precooked dinner entrees in the oven to warm back up.
  15. When it is time to eat place the desserts in and remove all appetizers and place in covered containers.
  16. After dinner place leftovers in large bowls and containers. At the end of the night you will have a buffet for people to make take home bags!
  17. Place out desserts and coffee and tea after dinner has been over roughly an hour to two hours. People need time to settle.
  18. Take a walk during this time or have an impromptu flag football game for the guys and kids! Or do the dishes if its too cold!
  19. Last, enjoy dessert. Set up the to go containers (I ask all my guests to bring some with) and set up the buffet for people to take home whats left.
  20. You will have less to put away or eat later on in the week 🙂

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

FOOD IS LOVE. Happy Holidays from My family to yours.

FAMILY NYC

THE HIPPIE GYPSY