During December, we’re all trying to think of gifts for an office mate, a neighbor, Mom, a sibling, a kid at college, or the host of the party to which we’re headed. The gift has to be festive, fun, classy, affordable, and something they’ll simply love. Over the years, I’ve found that a gift basket of Trader Joe’s goodies goes over very well and is easy to put together. You can customize it to the recipient, theming it around certain foods or just choosing your holiday favorites.
A basket like this has been one of my favorite host/hostess gifts and I’ve been known to swing by Trader Joe’s on the way to a party, creating a gorgeous last-minute gift basket right in the parking lot! (Don’t tell!) This time of year, most Trader Joe’s stores even carry gift baskets and gift basket kits (crinkle paper, cellophane bags, ribbon and gift tag). You can also pick up cheap baskets at places like Michael’s or just reuse one you have at home.
I created the basket shown above with some of my seasonal favorites from TJ’s including:
Wintry Blend Coffee
Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s
Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix
Gingerbread Cake & Baking Mix
Candy Cane Green Tea
Dark Chocolate Orange
Cranberry Apple Butter
A bottle of Trentatre Rosso wine
Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar
A Trader Joe’s cookbook
Themes for baskets can range from an Italian basket to an Asian basket, a basket filled with teas and scones, a basket of microbrews and munchies, or a basket of chocolates including cocoa and brownie mixes. You can fill a basket with as little as $20-25 depending on what you choose. We have other ideas here on our gift basket idea page and don’t miss the video of Wona demo-ing how to put a basket together. If you like our cookbooks, a cute idea some readers have shared is to have a cookbook paired with all the ingredients for a particular recipe. (Side note that our original cookbook “Cooking with All Things Trader Joe’s ” is part of a special in-store 50% off holiday promotion at Barnes & Noble and Borders. It’s a great deal, but remember it’s in-store only. If the books aren’t stickered, ask someone to ring it up and check the price for you). You could even add an apron or a favorite kitchen gadget to make a bigger gift. If you’re looking for a gift for a wine buff, check out Jason’s wine blog for his top 10 picks of Trader Joe’s wines under $10 . TJ’s even sells $2 corkscrews that are pretty good!
Trader Joe’s has lots of other smaller single-item gifts as well. Take a look at the cute and classy Chocolate Palette to the right. It’s a collection of 8 bars of dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa) from all over the world. The attached card contains information about each bar including suggested wine and tea pairings.
Another gift item I’ve seen at Trader Joe’s is the giant tins of popcorn. They’re cute, and the large tin can be reused as a storage container.
In the non-food and non-wine department, take a peek at the Trader Joe’s poinsettias or holiday wreaths. There are all kinds of pine wreaths from $6.99 to $12.99 but my favorite every year is the eucalyptus wreath pictured here. I was going to wait another week but I picked mine up today (I couldn’t resist!) The drive home was filled with the intoxicating fragrance of eucalyptus and the wreath is gorgeous.
What are some of your gift favorites? Enjoy your holiday shopping!