Cooking-Themed Ideas for Christmas Gift Exchanges

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Gift ideas for when you are out of fruitcakes!

Gift ideas for when you are out of fruitcakes!

It’s always nice to put a little of your personality into a holiday gift. If you’re into cooking, your presents can reflect that.

Those receiving the gift will appreciate the extra thoughtfulness more than a higher price tag. This is especially true for gift exchanges.

Some people dread them, but gift exchanges are a great idea. They take away a lot of the expense of Christmas shopping, while still allowing everyone pleasure of giving and receiving.

Who doesn’t love a nicely wrapped little gadget? You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Instead, get a little creative and think outside the box!

If you’re wondering about what to get, worry not! Here are some cool ideas for your next holiday gift exchange to inspire you.

Hosting a Gift Exchange

If you have many colleagues, or a large family, buying individual presents for all your favorites can get expensive and time-consuming. That takes some of the fun out of Christmas present buying, giving, and receiving. Gift exchanges are a fun way to reduce the stress that sometimes comes along with the holiday season. If you serve up a nice selection of hors D’oeuvres and Champagne, you have yourself a complete Christmas party!

Cooking-Themed Gift Ideas

Most people these days like to spend some time in the kitchen. A culinary gift will almost certainly be a welcome treat. Not only will the recipient actually use it, you’ll also get to hear about what they made with their new handheld blender, non-stick frying pan, or an attractive set of coffee mugs. You might even get to sample some of their creations!

Gadgets and Gizmos

Veggie Chopper

If you’re on a budget, SharkNinja’s Ninja Express Chop is an affordable, but practical, gift. It’s fun, easy-to-use, and is an excellent device for slicing and dicing.

See the SharkNinja Ninja Express Chop on Amazon

It has a 3 cup container so it’s for small to medium jobs, and it’s BPA-free. You can mince, chop, dice, and puree with the Express Chop.

Vegetable Spiralizer

Replace those unhealthy noodles with zoodles! A vegetable spiralizer is another neat gizmo that can be used on zucchini, carrots, and more to create twisty, healthy noodles for salads, stir fry, and pasta dishes. See my post on the best spiralizer for butternut squash.

See the SpiraLife Vegetable Spiralizer with Ebook on Amazon

SpiraLife offers a discount for multi-unit orders on Amazon. Check out the special offers section.

SodaStream Starter Kit

If you want to increase the budget a little, how about a SodaStream? These devices carbonate your tap or bottled water, and allow you to flavor the resulting bubbles in any way you like! It’s also a great option for those looking to get in more of their daily H2O. Head on over here to read a detailed review of the SodaStream.

See the Sodastream PLAY Soda Maker Starter Kit on Amazon

This starter kit will work with 0.5 L and 1.0 L bottles. The autolift slider allows you to carbonate your beverage with a single motion.

Digital Scale

Many people like to go by sight or feel when they good, but sometimes you need backup. In those situations where accuracy is key, a set of scales is always good to have on hand. Salter digital scales are high-quality products, which makes sense as Salter has been making scales for a quarter of a millennium. They are sleek, polished, and take up very little space on the kitchen counter.

See the Salter Aquatronic Digital Kitchen Scale on Amazon

Let your personality shine through by gifting a spiffy gadget or a homemade treat!

Let your personality shine through by gifting a spiffy gadget or a homemade treat!

Go Traditional

Wine and Wine Accessories

Everyone should have a few quality wine glasses in their house. A set of glasses is always a safe bet at Christmas, and the Bordeaux glasses by Riedel will certainly be well-received. This set will add a touch of class to any dinner party!

See the Riedel VINUM Bordeaux Glasses on Amazon

For added brownie points, include a bottle of wine and a great wine key. Now you’ve got a gift fit for a king (or your boss).


A new knife is a great gift which any home cook will love. The Europeans and Japanese are famous for their knives, and quite rightly so! A knife from one of these countries will surely make a great gift for a Christmas exchange. They can get a little pricey, so let’s look at some of the more affordable options.

The Wusthof Five Inch Santoku can compete with knives well above its price point! Learn more about more about Santoku knives.

See the Wusthof 5″ Santoku, Hollow Edge Gourmet on Amazon

Meanwhile, Victorinox’s budget-minded range that includes some seriously keen blades. Coming from a trusted brand, they won’t disappoint!

See the Victorinox Swiss Classic Chef’s Knife on Amazon

Bento Boxes

A cute bento box not only looks nice, it’s functional, too! A bento box is great for students or busy coworkers who regularly eat lunch on-the-go.  See my favorite containers for work lunches, or check out the best bento boxes for kindergartners for some superior models that are sure to be a big hit! Here’s the Modetro Ultra on Amazon.


Old-fashioned cookbooks can be a little utilitarian. However, the ones produced by today’s celebrity chefs are much more than instruction manuals. They are chock full of recipes, tips, and tricks that will inspire and entertain.

See Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child on Amazon

Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Momofuku by David Chang are excellent books that are enjoyable and informative reads.

See Momofuku by David Chang on Amazon

Homemade Gifts

Did you recently get a pressure canner and are itching to put it to good use? Turn meats or seasonal fruits into delicious holiday treats! Giving someone a few mason jars filled with homemade preserves is a great way to show someone you care, without breaking the bank! Adorn with a handmade gift tag with a nice message to give your present an extra-special feel.

See this post to read my recommendations on the best pressure canner for meat.

Gift happiness!

I hope this post gives you some “food for thought” when it comes to choosing a Christmas gift exchange present. Just make sure to use some festive wrapping paper. Protip: if, despite your best efforts, it looks like a toddler wrapped it, you can always say that your own child did, indeed, wrap it. Merry Christmas!

For some more recommendations on great gifts for the holiday season, check out these post on what to get the chef in your life. See the best Christmas gifts for men and the best holiday gifts for women in the kitchen!

And when you invite friends and family for the holidays, set out an attractive cheese board. I’ll show you how!

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: James P. and LuAnn S.