Until very recently, vegans were left out of the cozy annual tradition of purchasing the festive seasonal items that make for a magical Christmas. There are finally enough of us where we’ve achieved a level of collective spending power that large companies will no longer ignore. Better still, vegan entrepreneurs are plentiful and their numbers are constantly growing.
Now, that is something to celebrate! I hope you find inspiration and joy in these cruelty-free delights. Please do leave your traditions in the comments below and tag me on Instagram — @DuchessOfVegan — so I can see what your holiday looks like.
READING A VEGAN CHRISTMAS STORY
Don’t you wish you had this book when you were little? (available here) Fingers-crossed that it inspires a genre and a generation.
GIFTS FOR ANIMALS
Our kitty-sons have stockings and receive gifts under the tree. I also love to give gifts to friend’s animals.
Some gift exchanges are uncertain. When I want to gift someone without making them feel obligated to gift me back, I buy something for their animal. It removes any awkwardness and allows them to be comfortable receiving since it’s on behalf of their animal.
CHOCOLATE ADVENT CALENDAR
I love that these exist! Moo-Free is leading this niche. (available here) They sell out fast, so I’ve yet to have one but am hoping to next Christmas.
VEGAN EGG NOG
If you follow me on Instagram (and you really should) you saw post showing all of the Vegan Egg Nog options in my local grocery store. Silk, Califia Farms, So Delicious and Rice Dream all offer their own versions.
SIPPING HOT COCOA
There are certified vegan cocoas (Cocoa Felice and Ah!laska) but I usually buy the “accidentally vegan” cocoas. I like Ghirardelli Double Chocolate, Starbucks Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa and Starbucks Mocha Powder.
LEAVING OUT TREATS FOR SANTA & THE REINDEER
Clearly given his loving spirit, Santa is vegan. Just think how thrilled he’ll be to find a plate of vegan cookies and a tall glass of Almond milk when he arrives at your house.
My favorite childhood Christmas Eve tradition was leaving out a basket of carrots, apples and peppermints for the reindeer. They burn a lot of calories flying around the world and let’s face it, they are doing all the work. As a vegan, I’m ethically opposed to animal-labor but given that they only work one night per year, I can let this one slide.
MAKING A GINGERBREAD HOUSE
I love seeing the cute little Gingerbread House kits in the grocery store this time of year but they are never vegan. Fortunately, Sensitive Sweets filled this gap in the market with an adorable vegan option. (here)
Traditional candy canes have Red Dye #40 in them. (If you don’t know, Red Dye #40 is pulverized red beetles.) The Natural Candy Store has a few vegan options here.
STRINGING POPCORN GARLAND
I’ve always loved the Victorian tradition of hanging popcorn garland on the tree. Earth Balance and Skinny Pop have all vegan lines. They are my favorite for snacking. Popcorn Indiana’s Himalalyan Pink Sea Salt is perfect for stringing since it isn’t coated. Unfortunately, popcorn is a bit too tempting for my animals, so I’ve yet to indulge in this one.
DONATING TO ANIMAL ORGANIZATIONS
Likely the most important name on your Christmas gift giving list is that of a non-profit dedicated to helping animals. There are an abundance of shelters, rescues and sanctuaries in desperate need of your dollars. Some of my favorite non-profits to donate to are The Cat House on the Kings, National Mill Dog Rescue, T&D’s Cats of the World and Catskill Animal Sanctuary.
Another option is to find local wildlife rehabilitators whom are often self-funded. There are so many sanctuaries for animals victimized by the entertainment and food industries whom are also in need of funds. Please be sure you are giving to a reputable non-profit.
If money is tight, you can help animals by volunteering, fostering, donating goods to organizations/rescues within your community.
Converting non-vegan recipes to vegan versions is easy and usually tastes far better.
Nature provides vegan food coloring in the form of beets (for reds and pinks), spirulina (for blue and green) and stale turmeric (for yellow). (Stale turmeric won’t make your frosting taste like turmeric.) Ready-made shelf-stable vegan food dyes are available on Vegan Essentials. They also have Christmas sprinkles.
If you have a recipe that calls for buttermilk just add 1 to 2 tablespoons of white or apple cider vinegar to Almond Milk. Allow it to stand for 10 minutes to “curdle” before using.