What Are the Best (and Worst) Food Gifts to Give for the Holidays?

My husband came home from work yesterday with a small white box adorned with an Allie’s Cookie Co. sticker . “. A colleague, grateful for his help on a recent project, gifted him with a collection of one of the largest and most decadent cookies. I have ever had the pleasure of contemplating. ( For a better experience, please wait 15 seconds in the microwave , says the accompanying information leaflet.) “This,” I told my husband, tapping the highlight box several times, “is the right way to thank someone.”

I am a proponent of giving food for almost any occasion. Food can be festive during happy times and comforting during difficult times. My grandmother could count on receiving an annual assortment of Cheryl’s birthday cookies on her birthday, and when my son-in-law turned 40, I knew the only gift worth getting him was steaks ( crab cakes from Ocean City, Maryland) … although they did it as a last resort).

Fabulous cakes require big anniversaries. Christmas stockings are stuffed with hot mustard, jerky, pesto-flavored olive oil and blackberry jam. One day I received a cookie that was very welcome, and probably all of us have received a fair share of Edible Compositions over the years.

You see, an expendable gift is one of the most thoughtful gifts because:

1. You probably don’t need (or even want) more things, and

2. It will never go to waste – even if you don’t like the food presented to you, you will definitely find someone to enjoy it in your honor.

On the other hand, you may be tired of these mens boxes. Maybe the sight of another edible composition is just what will send you over the edge. Maybe you don’t want a box of hot sauce to come to your doorstep every month (weird but ok).

The season is coming, so let’s make a list, okay? In the comments, tell me about your favorite (or least favorite) products to give or receive, whether it’s one of the big companies, a local place that’s ready to ship both near and far (I’m looking at you, Josh Earley ), or a store you know you can browse every year for edible stocking fillers ( World Market , here’s the answer).

I may use your answers in a future post.

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