If you're having friends or family over for a casual Christmas Eve or an elegant rosé-fueled brunch, Trader Joe's has a cornucopia of treats inspired by the season.
If you're thinking the stores are jam-packed with frenzied shoppers grabbing that last jar of cookie butter off the shelves while harried employees hide in the back, think again. Trader Joe's in Pinecrest is wonderfully civilized and surprisingly frenzy-free. The store is decked out in Christmas finery, and shoppers are treated to samplings of holiday delights like ice cream, cookies, and wine.
10. Holiday Tea
After a long day of fighting the mall crowds for that last bit of officially licensed Star Wars merchandise, you deserve to relax with a soothing cup of tea. Trader Joe's has two holiday versions — a frosty candy-cane green and a sweet/spicy vanilla and cinnamon black. Each costs $1.99. Pick up both boxes and some spares so you can have a cup of cheer long after the holidays are over.
9. Red and Green Hummus
Hummus is everyone's go-to party favorite. It's healthy, delicious, and easy — you just have to spoon it into bowl and add chips, carrots, crackers, or bread to make a great snack. This time, instead of plain hummus, up your holiday game by serving Trader Joe's beet ($2.29) and edamame ($2.49) styles. The beet is sweet and salty, and the edamame is creamy and subtle. Keep it in your fridge and you'll have a festive offering in a flash if friends stop by unannounced.
8. Joyful Trek Mix
Trail mix gets fancy with Greek yogurt chips and green and red chocolate "buttons" mixed into fruit and nuts. What makes these little tubes especially great for gifting are the Grinch-like green ribbons on the label. For $4.99 each, pick up a bunch to give to teachers and carolers or as stocking stuffers.
7. Cheese Board
Break open this package of aged and soft cheeses. Place it on a wooden board with crackers and grapes, and you have an elegant presentation with no thought involved. Packed in a wooden crate, this also makes a great hostess gift ($16.99).