Thursday, November 8, 2007

Simple Gifts

Tis a gift to be simple....
The holiday season if officially upon us (not sure why it's official, but those words give the statement some oomf). All the stores have their Christmas decorations out and speakers are blaring elevator music versions of "Jingle Bells". My grocery store even had this little treat for me as I perused through the dairy alternatives case....

I am in love. They need to make this stuff year-round I've decided. Now I usually don't buy Silk brand products (two reasons: because they need refrigeration and also I think they are owned by a large dairy conglomerate), but this one was calling my name. Went perfectly with a slice of zucchini bread, recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking.

Another simple gift, red Bartlett pears. I got a few over the weekend, and picked up some more today. Although I'm missing my summer berries, there is something about the pear that I adore. I think it's the mealy texture; when it's ripe, it just seems to melt in your mouth like velvet.

I have vowed this year not to go to a mall to buy Christmas gifts. It's just too stressful and too generic. Last year I tried to buy all of my friends and family a gift that was "eco-friendly" (and of course, vegan). This year I'm going for "handmade" and hopefully eco-friendly as well. Baked goods are high on my list (must start making a list of potential goodies), as well as handmade items from others on etsy. I am also attempting to make my own holiday cards and gift tags with all of my new scrapbooking devices.

It is a stressful time of year as well. So try and keep things simple!

15 comments:

Vegan*asm said...

I enjoy the statement that simplicity is a gift. In our world of rush and overload, simplicity doesn't always come to some of us so easily. At this time of year, it is especially important to slow down and simplify life, even in the midst of all the holiday craziness.
I'm with you on not falling in to the consumerism trap. I've decided to make all of my gifts this year, and I'm only asking for simple things (if anything). I hate seeing all of the waste that comes from the holidays, and I refuse to contribute anymore.

Jamie said...

I have been giving donations for the past four or five Christmases. I feel like it's a better use of my money, and my friends and family all appreciate it. I usually send out an email in mid-November asking everyone where they want their donation to go (with some stipulations, like I don't send money to political parties/candidates). That way, if someone has a cause she supports I can donate to that. For everyone I don't hear from, I pick one charity and make a large donation in all their names. Not only is this a nice way to remember the real spirit of the season, but it is actually quite easy and less stressful than mall shopping.

Pink Theory said...

We just recently switched from Silk to another brand for the same reason, but yeah, I like the silk nog they have out at the holidays and that pumpkin spice flavor sounds really good too. I'm also in total agreement with you on the handmade gifts. I stopped shopping at malls about a year ago b/c they give me headaches.

bazu said...

I love the idea of simple gifts, and simplicity in general. I also wish stores around me carried that flavor of Silk so I could try it, since I read so many rave reviews about it!

By the way, I have had qualms about buying Silk too. It's not our main soymilk, but I believe it tastes the best. It is owned by Dean foods, a huge dairy corporation, but I'm not sure there are that many "pure" vegan companies out there. Some, like Eden, put out frankly gross soymilks. (They're brown, for the love of god!) I figure, maybe by buying soymilk, it will send a message that more and more people are interested in this end of the spectrum... or maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part!

Celine said...

the first very awesome review of it! I can't wait to finally open the quart I have in the fridge now.

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

Baked goods are always my favorite kind of holiday gifts. My sister, step mom and I would make trays of 5 different cookies each year to take to our jobs. They were always a hit!

Emilie said...

Good advice--simplicity is a gift to you and others too. I'm planning on doing boxes of baked goods. You're inspiring me to make my own cards too--we'll see if I get that far.

Ashasarala said...

I am wary of Silk as well, but I still buy their products. It's too convenient and tasty to give up easily, but the biggest reason is that I like to support any company that's selling vegan items. Even though I don't agree with everything they do, it's good for them to see that people are more interested in animal-friendly products.

And I'm with ya on the Christmas thing. I actually stopped buying presents a few years ago. Only my parents and baby nephews will get gifts. For everyone else- I cook and bake!

the little one said...

I am very interested in the handmade gifts you come up with! Please let us know.

Also, one thing I do to reduce my own consumerism is keep a list of things I "need" (well, feels like I need and I really try to think hard about that). Instead of buying those items, I realize family members are going to want to get me gifts for the holidays and my bday so I then let them know what is on that list. Keeps me from consuming as much and ensures I'm not getting totally superfluous (or unvegan) gifts from loved ones.

Sarah C. said...

For the past several years I've been working to reduce the consumerism of my holiday experience too. Donations are one of my favorite gifts, and I think the coolest idea I've come up with as gifts is to give someone an event. Tickets to a play/concert/whatever plus dinner out is so much fun and a really memorable gift. If the person lives near me, I'll make sure it's an event that includes me - so we go to dinner and a concert together and have a great evening to remember. This has been a greatly appreciated gift by all concerned - the giver (me!) and the receiver both have fun, there's no mall-shopping involved, and it feels really personal (plus, if we live close, it's a great time together!).

VeggieGirl said...

it seems that everyone who tries that Silk® pumpkin spice soymilk loves it! wow, that zucchini bread and those red-bartlett pears look so tempting and perfect for autumn - yum!!

yep, I too will be hand-making my gifts this year, instead of trekking to the mall amidst all the crowds and chaos. simplicity is indeed a gift in itself! :0)

Jody from VegChic said...

I also love the pumpkin spice flavor. There's still a half a container in my fridge and I'm thinking pumpkin latte tonight.

Pears are a love/hate relationship for me. I like the taste, but dislike the grainy texture.

I'm totally with you on holidays and wastefulness. The past few years I've asked people not to buy me stuff and to donate to Farm Sanctuary instead.

When I give gifts they are generally handmade. Most of my friends and family get vegan soap and/or cookies that I have made for the holidays.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Haha they've already started playing Christmas music on the radio station (as of November first on one station)... and it's 81 degrees!

Oh, your chili-fest post sounded so fun that I just *had* to go and make some chili last night! Now, thanks to you, I may have to go and make some zucchini bread.

healthnut said...

I am in love with Silk's Pumpkin Spice soymilk - it's just so good!

textual bulldog said...

Zucchini bread is my favorite thing, so I'll have to try that recipe. I bought the book, but hadn't noticed the zucchini bread recipe yet. Glad you pointed it out! And I am so with you on the Christmas gift thing. DIY is the best!