It’s always a welcome relief to be invited to a Christmas party or lunch where you don’t have to do all the cooking. But with that freedom brings a new dilemma: What do you take when your host tells you not to bring a thing? While it’s always nice to arrive with presents in hand, bringing along an edible gift is even better. That way, your host has an extra offering they can add to the dining table to serve their hungry guests. Plus, we all know the best way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach! That’s why we’ve put together a list of the 10 Christmas food gifts that are sure to impress.
Gingerbread is the ultimate Christmas classic and for good reason. It’s a fun and tasty treat for both the young and young at heart! If you want to go all out and craft a masterpiece, you can grab a gingerbread house kit from your local grocery store. Or, you can keep it simple and grab some cute gingerbread cookies or bake your own. Either way, the recipient is sure to be delighted.
Jams make a delicious and convenient Christmas gift. You can go for a sweet compote like a strawberry, blueberry or raspberry, or spice it up with a chilli jam. Chutneys are another great option, such as apple with cranberry or a peach and chilli combo. Not only do these go perfectly with the Christmas ham and turkey, but they’re a lovely accompaniment to a cheese platter, too.
It might not technically be a food, but this traditional festive drink is still a total crowd-pleaser. Made with milk, cream, sugar, egg and nutmeg and served chilled, eggnog is perfect for cooling down on those hot December days. You can also add a dark spirit like bourbon or rum for grown-up guests at the party to sip on. Your local grocery store also sells pre-made eggnog if you’re a bit pressed for time.
4. Christmas pudding
It wouldn’t be the festive season without a pudding, so why not be the hero who brings it along? From plum and fruit pudding to matured or even gluten-free, you can find many variations of this Christmas classic at your local grocery store. The best part is, it’s already baked and ready to go, so you don’t need to waste time in the kitchen! For extra brownie points, bring along some fresh cream or custard to serve.
5. Cheese platter
Bringing along a cheese platter to the Christmas party is always much appreciated by hosts. Start with the cheeses — a mix of a few hard, soft and more eclectic (like a truffle brie) is always a good idea, then, grab some gourmet crackers to serve with it and add some other fun elements like charcuterie, grapes, nuts or a quince paste. You can also often buy ready-made platters from your local grocery store at this time of year, to save you the kitchen prep and make it easy to transport.
6. Christmas Shortbread
Shortbread is delicious at any time of year, but it’s even better at Christmas! Whether you cut it into the shapes of stars, reindeers, a Christmas tree or Santa Claus, there are endless ways to add some festive flair to this popular treat. It’s extremely easy to make with just flour, butter, sugar and vanilla (and some celebratory sprinkles or icing for good measure!) But if you’re struggling to find the time, you can just pick some up from your local grocery store — nobody will even be able to tell they’re not homemade. It’ll be our little secret!
7. Christmas hamper
Hampers are the ultimate Christmas food gift because they allow you to treat the recipient to a little bit of everything. Most hampers include an array of sweet and savoury foods, including crackers, cookies, chocolate, chips and more. Because it’s such an eclectic mix, it’s truly a present the entire family can enjoy. The best part is, you can get these baskets already beautifully wrapped up and ready to go from your local grocery store. That means more time for celebrating!
8. White Christmas
We may not get a white Christmas here in New Zealand, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give one as a gift! White Christmas is made from rice bubbles, white chocolate, desiccated coconut, dried mix fruit and icing sugar. The result is a mouthwatering festive slice the recipient will have to hide to stop the rest of the family eating in one go! You can get all the ingredients you need for White Christmas at your local supermarket.
9. Christmas trifle
Who doesn’t love Christmas trifle? Whether you go for a tropical, fruity mix or a decadent chocolate creation, bringing this treat is the fastest way to guarantee you’re the most popular person at Christmas lunch. You can make trifle at home with jelly, sponge cake, custard, cream and any other sweet elements you want to serve with. Just be sure to give the trifle enough time to set, as like a fine wine it gets better over time. Left it to the last minute? Not to worry. You can pick up a ready-made and delicious Christmas trifle at your local supermarket.
10. Savoury mix
While many Christmas treats are on the sweet side, sometimes you need to bring something savoury to the table. Grab a mix of snacks like pretzels, rice crackers and roasted nuts, wrap them in plastic (or cloth, if you prefer to be more sustainable) and tie them with a little bow. You can pick whichever elements you like — the key is to have that perfect blend of savoury, crunchy and salty. Not only are these great to nibble on as snacks, but it ensures your host is sorted for any of those impromptu, festive season drop-ins.
There’s no need to turn up to a Christmas gathering empty-handed this festive season, or to go overboard with lavish gifts. By bringing along one of these 10 Christmas food gifts, you’re sure to be in the good books for years to come.