My Favorite Last-Minute Vermont Gifts for Grown-Ups of all Ages

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This holiday season is proving to be as strange as the rest of 2020, but one thing is still true: I’ll always need last-minute Vermont gifts. Because I love my friends, and I love Vermont.

A woman's hands holding a brown cardboard gift box with red twine and a sprig of pine, with the words last-minute Vermont gifts.Like many Vermonters, I’m partial to buying local, and (lucky me) one of COVID’s legacies will be that shopping online is both easier and more prevalent. Thanks to the scrambling of many downtown businesses, shopping online and buying local are not mutually exclusive.  And when you’re really out of time (or if face-to-face shopping is the only way to go for you), many crafters offer curbside or in-store service.

Holiday overload is different this year, but most of 2020 has been overloaded and the holidays are no different. So, who did you forget to buy a gift for – or even more embarrassing – who did you forget, until their gift to you showed up on your doorstep? Here are some of my fave last-minute Vermont gifts, that will delight the Vermont-iest of them all.

Feared Beard: Grooming Kit

Created with beeswax from the Champlain Valley, these brothers in beards know how to grow a good one. Their starter set includes a choice of balm, oil, and a wooden comb to make your favorite bearded bro (or facial hair aficionado) smell and feel great, and apparently, at the same time, if the name is to be believed, feared.

FUNJ Shrooming Co.: Mushroom Grow Kit

FUNJ is an urban mushroom farm located in Saint Albans with a dual environmental stewardship and culinary mission. Founder and recent UVM grad, Kevin Melman, puts the fun into shrooms with an easy-to-grow mushroom kit. With a little light, air, and a spritz of water, your friends can become the mycelium masters that they didn’t even realize they want to be!

AO Glass Suncatchers and Whiskey Glass

A collection of handblown glass gifts to give as last-minute Vermont gifts.These adorable little glass ornaments get me every time. Handcrafted polar bears, snowmen, garden gnomes, and the cutest little Champ Lake Monster are featured, along with ornamental glass suncatchers stamped with a snowman, Namaste wishes, Bernie’s hairline, and more. These talented crafters also make the Vermont Whiskey Glass, a substantial hand-blown vessel with the shape of Vermont at the bottom for the serious drinker. Drink up has a new meaning.

The Candy Lab: Bleu Cheese and Honey (Yes, Really) Chocolate Truffles

A biochemist and marketing professional walked into a bar… a chocolate bar that is. New York City career men, Albert and Michael, started visiting the Champlain Islands in 2013 and after a few years, decided to stay (like so many of us). Their majestic truffles combine unexpected flavors like sweet corn, olive oil or sweet potato with caramel, or Vermont bleu cheese with Grand Isle honey. The best gift for the person who has everything is something they haven’t thought of – and this idea is a keeper.

Happy Vermont: Pom-Pom Hats

Two hats side by side, one shows the word "happy" and the other shows the word "Vermont" as last-minute Vermont gifts.Iconic Vermont travel writer, photographer, and podcast personality, Erica Houskeeper, launched a line of Happy Vermont logo wear this holiday season that’s as cheerful as its name suggests. Designed by her husband Dave Barron of Pluck, Happy Vermont’s hats, tees, and sweatshirts pair the tried-and-true Vermont forest green with an unexpected, vibrant turquoise. Poised and poofy, there’s something about the pom-pom hat in particular that raises my spirits!

Wild Hart Distillery: Blood Orange Gin

A display of bottles of handcrafted spirits for sale as last-minute Vermont gifts.I first met Craig Stevens, co-owner of Wild Hart, at the Hotel Vermont Outdoor Gift Market. I had heard about Wild Hart as part of the Shelburne food destination that also includes Shelburne Vineyard, Folino’s Pizza, Fiddlehead beer, and Douglas Sweets Shortbread. That day I made the tough choice between pear ginger and blood orange gin, and went straight home to mix a pitcher of Bee’s Knees cocktails served in my late father’s treasured brandy balloons. Amazing! Craig and his business partner, Naomi Clemmons of Clemmons Family Farm fame, have put together three beautifully simple gift boxes, Gin Lover, Treat Yourself, and the Vermonter. Or you could simply keep up your own momentum by, well, treating yourself to a bottle of Wild Hart gin. Here are some make-at-home recipes. Cheers!

Boston Post Dairy: Farmstead Greek Feta

Franklin County’s Boston Post Dairy, named after the former Boston Post Stagecoach Road that runs through the property, is a northern Vermont jewel. The multi-generational cheesemaking Gervais family sources its goat and cow milk right from the animals in the barnyard. In a world where Vermont cheese is often another word for cheddar, the tangy, award-winning farmstead goat feta is a new take on the Vermont cheese scene.

LoVermont802: Vermont Sweatshirts

Sometimes you just need to cover the basics. A standard-issue gray Vermont sweatshirt is a great gift for anyone who loves Vermont, whether they live here or not. I like LoVermont802’s Vermont wear because they have extended sizes for all. If you’re in the vicinity of the University Mall in South Burlington you can check out their merch in-store, and drool over their extensive Burton line as well as the many different styles of Vermont wear.

Better Wheel Workshops: Woodzie Etched Wood Kuzie

Sustainably harvested wood, non-toxic materials, laser etching, and stacks of creativity make these wood products fun and functional. I love the woodzie beer koozie because it’s earthy and comes with your choice of many images, from the cutest camper to a flying snowboarder. Your favorite Vermont beer drinkers will seize the chance to hold their brew like it counts!

Dakin Farm: The Standby for the Friend Who Stands By Me

There are so many Vermont goody boxes out there with amazing quality products. When it comes down to finding a gift that is fast, easy, and will please everyone, I turn to Dakin Farm. They have a number of pre-made gift boxes at different price points that make gifting so simple – especially when I’m not in the mood to make tough choices! Categorized by collections like most popular and samplers, sending last-minute Vermont gifts is as easy as summer sausage and smoked ham. Plus, many Dakin Farm gift packs also include Cabot Creamery products.

There are almost as many memorable last-minute Vermont gifts as there are one-of-a-kind Vermonters. Three online gift guides, published by Vermont Business Magazine, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, and right here at Vermont Mom, are also great places to look for Vermont gifts for this holiday season.

Like the Grinch, we could all, “Use a little social interaction.”

If social interaction is off the table, I’m going to try to connect with friends and family in other ways that will also support my fellow Vermonters and our local economy. Here’s hoping that your COVID-year gifting goes smoothly and that 2020 wraps up quickly and quietly – which may be the best gift of all for everyone. Whether you’re gifting presents or not, this curated selection of unique last-minute Vermont gifts has something for everyone- and would be perfect if you want to buy a treat for yourself!

What are your go-to last-minute Vermont gifts?

My Favorite Last-Minute Vermont Gifts for Grown-Ups of all Ages

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Originally from Connecticut, Vicky lived on a farm in Cabot for 22 years before recently moving to South Burlington seeking greater opportunity in high school education. She is a mom to a teen boy and girl, and a Goldendoodle who grew up to look more like a poodle. A reticent soccer mom and former lawyer who owns her own marketing and communications business, she spends most of her work time playing with words. She mourns the demise of the serial comma. Don’t ask her if she passed the bar exam (she did) and why she doesn’t have her own website if she writes them for others (she’s been working on her own site for about six years). She’s outside every day, and you may find her sitting in the sun in January, wrapped in blankets. Swinger of birches and lover of all things Vermont, she hikes, paddles, cooks gluten-free and vegan food, reads meaningless novels, and is a recent Pilates convert. She loves to visit her happy place any time of year in Ogunquit, Maine.

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