I love that this time of year, I can accomplish both my food shopping and a lot of my gift shopping at at Trader Joe’s, all at the same time.

Lucky for me, Trader Joe’s has some of my favorite affordable grab-and-go gifts that make it worth the 30 minute drive for me. There’s the perfect gift: for my daughter’s dance teachers, for my friends’ annual Yankee Swap exchange, for teachers and tutors, for our friendly mail carrier. — even a gift I can bring to the gracious hostess of our annual Christmas Eve dinner.

If you have the time to put together a DIY gift basket for a VIP on your list, I have some ideas to turn your grab-and-go gifts into something even more special.

Fair warning: Trader Joe’s most popular holiday gift ideas can go fast! But, there are a lot of options, so don’t fret if something is sold out.

Related: 12 mason jar food gifts your kids can help DIY, from sweet to savory. | Holiday Gift Guide

Trader Joe's gifts | Hot Chocolate Snowman

He’s going fast! Kids are obsessed with our Trader Joe’s Hot Chocolate Snowman and supplies are low. (You can imagine why.) .If you can find him before he melts right out of the stores, then simply plunk one of these roly-poly treats on top of a mug of hot cocoa, and his white chocolate body will melt away, leaving only mini marshmallows and milk chocolate drops. ($1.99)

Make It a basket! Grab a few of these melting snowmen and a big tin of Trader Joe’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate and Peppermint Mini Marshmallows.

Trader Joe's gifts | Organic maple syrup variety pack

Already nicely packaged (just add a bow!), this four-pack of organic Vermont maple syrups ranges in flavors from subtle to bold so that your recipient can try something a little different on their waffles or pancakes. ($9.99)

Make It a basket! Create a themed breakfast basket with these maple syrups and an assortment of Trader Joe’s pancake mixes, hot chocolates, and coffee beans.

Trader Joe's gifts | Hanukkah gelt and star cookies

Spread the Trader Joe’s love through 8 nights of Hanukkah by pairing their kosher-certified Coins of the World chocolate gelt ($1.99) with their crunchy, shortbread Dark Chocolate Stars ($3.99) packaged in a festive blue-and-white box.

Make It a basket! Make this a 21+ basket with a few bottles of Campanology Chocolate Babka Stout which is also certified kosher. L’Chaim!

Related: Funny Hanukkah wine labels: No Manischewitz required.

Trader Joe's gifts | Rainbow of Honey

Trader Joe’s Rainbow of Honey is so pretty, you won’t even want to wrap it. With an assortment of not-your-average-honey-flavors like eucalyptus, mimosa, and macadamia, along with more familiar clover and orange blossom honeys, this is a uniquely sweet gift. ( $9.99)

Make It a basket! Grab some of Trader Joe’s delicious teas, like my family’s favorite Red Refresh Herbal Tea, to include with the honey. You can even add in a spoon tied with a bow.

Related: Creative hostess gifts under $50 for foodie friends | Cool Mom Eats holiday gift guide 2019


Trader Joe's gifts | Trio of cookie mixes

What’s better than one tin of cookie baking mixes? How about a Trio of Cookie Baking Mixes, especially when it includes Toffee Oat, Cinnadoodle, and Triple Chocolate flavors. Your lucky friend or neighbor or teacher will thank you for this the next time they get the craving for a little something sweet. Or when their kid tells them they need to bring cookies to school the next day. At 10 PM. ($8.99)

Make It a basket! In addition to the make-your-own cookie tins, add some of Trader Joe’s ready-to-eat cookies, like Half Dipped Chocolate Biscotti,  Ginger Snowballs, and Hot Cocoa Dunkers.


Trader Joe's gifts | Belgian Truffle Ballotin Box

In case anyone is shopping for me, I will take multiples of Trader Joe’s lovely Belgian Truffle Ballotin Boxes. Each one of these packages comes with eight beautiful, bite-sized chocolate truffles in sophisticated flavors like cocoa bean lait and white hazelnut flower. And whoa, the prices! I guess that’s what TJ’s is known form right? ($3.49)

Make It a basket! Heck, just dump all the chocolates you can find into a gift basket and your recipient will name you Best Gift Giver of 2019. With options like this Cachet Premium Belgian Chocolate Box, the festive Chocolate Ornaments, and the adorable, kid-friendly Festive Chocolate Collection, there are loads of different chocolates from which to choose.


Trader Joe's gifts | Holiday Candle Trio

If I need a nice-looking hostess gift, or if I’m looking for a gift for someone who may have food allergies, I’m going to grab Trader Joe’s Holiday Candle Tin Trio. These natural soy wax blend candles with lead-free cotton wicks (whIch I didn’t even know was a thing!), come in yummy holiday scents: Cranberry Pine, Fresh Currant, and Nutmeg, which I want to light while I sip eggnog. ($7.99)

Make It a basket! Pair this with one of Trader Joe’s many seasonal plants, like their tiny succulents, pretty centerpiece arrangements, and this Amaryllis Bulb that is ready to bloom for the holidays.


Trader Joe's gifts | Body Butter Trio

Another solid non-food holiday pick at Trader Joe’s? Why, yes!  Trader Joe’s Body Butter Trio would be a hit with my daughter’s dance teacher or even a great stocking stuffer for my teens. With scents that include Almond Honey, Lemon Verbena, and Frosted Berry, the ingredients feature coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe vera to help sooth winter skin. ($7.99)

Make It a basket! In addition to the body butters, Trader Joe’s Lip Treatment Duo, and Peppermint Foaming Hand Soap would all go nicely together in a gift basket.

Related: Homemade mason jar spa and beauty gifts you can easily DIY

Trader Joe's Gifts | Natural Green Mom gift basket

Finally, if you really want to get especially creative, how about an entire gift basket of all your own favorite store-found treats? I love this Trader Joe’s gift basket developed by Natural Green Mom, especially for my friends and family who don’t live close to a location and are tired of hearing me gush about Trader Joe’s. She has some terrific tips, but of course, whatever you include is entirely up to you, depending on who you’re making it for.

It’s a personal and delicious gift you can knock out — while you do your food shopping. Win-win!

Want to be in-the-know on all things Trader Joe’s? Don’t miss their terrific podcast for a peak inside Trader Joe’s and all their latest product offerings. I’m obsessed.