There's no sugarcoating it; 2020 has been one hell of a ride. This time last year, not many would have predicted that we'd be in the midst of a pandemic that would see us separated from loved ones come Christmas 2021.
Though we may not be able to go home for the holidays and the office parties do not translate to Zoom, this is still a time for celebrating friends and family. And perhaps this year more than any other, giving a gift is a way to show your appreciation for the people in your life. It doesn't matter if the presents are smaller; they're also more meaningful.
New Times has curated 12 gifts that are sure to be loved by everyone on your list (including your furry friends). From handmade chocolates to a celebration of Miami restaurants in book form to a bottle of wine that sums up how we all feel about this year (Fuck 2020), here are a dozen gifts made and sold in Miami that will be welcome under any Christmas tree.
Chaya's craze boards
These locally made charcuterie boards are basically a party in a box (even if that party is for yourself). Each board includes an assortment of meats or cheeses (or both), fresh and dried fruit, vegetables, olives, dips, nuts, and crackers. Prices start at $60 and boards can be customized to be vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, or cholov yisroel. The boards are delivered throughout South Florida and arrive gift-boxed and ready for you to create your own presentation. A wooden board can be added for a small upcharge. Get one for your bestie and one for yourself and share a socially distanced Zoom gathering. Order at chayascrazeboards.com or call 954-552-3301.
Kush's holiday wines and gifts
Everyone will agree that a bottle of Fuck 2020 wine is an appropriate gift this holiday season ($20). Kush also offers coquito ($25) and hats ($20), making it the perfect one-stop shop. Shop at most Kush Hospitality restaurants. Kush hats available at all locations, Fuck 2020 wines are available at Kush by Spillover, coquito at Kush by Stephens. For a list of locations, visit kushhospitality.com.
This Miami-made flan is creamy, decadent, and delivered in an adorable Christmas mailbox. Each mailbox is filled with four personal flans in your choice of flavors (original, coconut, or guava) and costs $20. Delivery is available throughout Miami-Dade. Order at masflan.com.
Mai-Kai tiki mugs
The iconic Fort Lauderdale Polynesian restaurant Mai-Kai is temporarily closed, but you can still channel its tiki vibes with a tiki mug from its online store. Choose from a variety of mugs ($18 each). Other giftables include T-shirts, koozies, and even a ceramic Mai-Kai rum barrel to wear around your neck ($28). Order at maikaitradingpost.com.
Miami food and travel writer Sara Liss has compiled a gorgeous book filled with recipes from dozens of Miami's best restaurants, including Phuc Yea, Edge Steak & Bar, and Red South Beach. The book will brighten up any home chef's day, but, honestly, the pictures are so pretty that it makes a great coffee-table gift for anyone — including your friends and family up north who can't get down here for a holiday vacation. Find and order from your favorite indie bookstore via indiebound.org ($33).
Planta pizza party
There is nothing better than a pizza party, so why not send your bestie some pizza love? Planta at Home delivers a four-pack of plant-based pizzas ($60) anywhere in the country. Choose from classic margherita, bianca, "Shroomami," "The Italian Job," and more. All you have to do is pop them in a preheated oven for about ten minutes and — instant pizza party! The pizzas and all toppings are plant-based, so they're a thoughtful gift for your favorite vegan, but they're so delicious, anyone would be thrilled to receive these. Order via plantanationwide.com.
SOBEWFF drive-thru bake sale
South Beach Wine & Food Festival founder Lee Brian Schrager has brought back his popular bake sale for the holidays. Preorder a host of goodies that range from a holiday chateaubriand dinner for four complete with prosecco, a cocktail kit, and coquito ($375) to a host of giftable goodies from Miami's favorite purveyors. Holiday items include a box of six Night Owl cookies ($25), a Tropical Chinese dim sum box ($25), a three-pound stone crab dinner box from George's Stone Crabs ($150), and a Versailles ventanita classics box ($25). The net proceeds benefit the local hospitality industry. Order through Sunday, December 20, at sobewff.org/holiday and pick up your goodies at Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits Wynwood location (2105 N. Miami Ave., Miami) on December 23 from noon to 5 p.m. or December 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. When you pick up, it's asked that you bring nonperishable pantry goods (canned soup, canned vegetables, etc.), which will be donated to the Miami Rescue Mission. For every donation, purchasers will automatically be entered to win a pair of SOBEWFF 2021 tickets.
Katherine Randolph makes bean-to-bar chocolates using cacao sourced from small farms and producers. Randolph's chocolates are creamy, decadent, and made right here in Miami. They're available as bars ($8 to $9) and bonbons ($10 for a four-pack). Can't decide between dark, milk, and toasted white chocolate? Buy a chocolate-bar flight ($18) and get them all! Available at Mad Lab Creamery (140 NE 39th St., Miami; 305-639-8178) and online at smilechocolates.shop.
Tran An's hot-chocolate bombs
You've seen all the TikToks of a festive chocolate bomb turning into a cup of hot chocolate. Now, make your own viral video with Tran An's hot-chocolate bomb gift box. Each box ($15) contains an assortment of four bombs in the following flavors: triple chocolate, strawberry, golden milk, and peppermint. Best of all? All proceeds will be donated to Lotus House, so you're giving in more ways than one. Available through December 30, only at Tran An, 215 NE 82nd St., Miami; 305-905-5006.
More than ever, gift shoppers should support local purveyors. Think of Vecino's Market as a one-stop curated shop filled with Miami's best food, beauty, wellness, and gift items. Standouts include a spice kit from Mondepice ($75), single-origin coffee from Panther Coffee ($16), a Bar Lab cocktail sampler kit ($28.50), and a gingerbread house decorating kit from Sarahlu Confections ($70). Order at vecinosmarket.com.
Vira's Flavors sauces
Chef Dayanny Delacruz has created a line of sauces inspired by her family. These make excellent meat rubs, stew enhancers, or meal starters and come in tamarind barbecue, kalamata and aji panca, and roasted tomato and allspice. They're $15 each; a sampler of all three costs $20. Order at virasflavors.com.
Woof Gang Bakery
He's the only living creature you've seen on a regular basis all year. He has put up with you through your day drinking and your workout binges, and he doesn't judge you when you decide to wear the same sweats for five days straight. It's time to give your COVID buddy a little love. Woof Gang Bakery offers freshly baked treats that any pup would pant for. The shop will even make a custom cake for your dog. All treats are made with human-grade ingredients (and love). Locations in Aventura, Downtown Doral, and Fort Lauderdale. See full contact info at woofgangbakery.com/states/floridavisit.
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