Supply shortages and shipping delays this year have had plenty of folks thinking about how to fill those Christmas stockings before they even carved their Halloween pumpkins.
It might not feel like the holidays yet, but shopping locally — and hitting the post office early — can ease some of the anxiety many of us are feeling about the impending gift-giving season.
These are some of the locally available items on my list this year:
Need some advanced-planning inspiration? Look to ArtfulTea (101 Marcy St., Santa Fe; artfultea.com) owner and tea maestro Karen Gardiner, who has been working to perfect her shop’s retooled advent calendar since summer.
The display-quality box features “24 Days of Fine Tea,” with two dozen handmade, numbered tea bags. It’s available in the store for $59.95 and online for shipping at artfultea.com (pricing varies).
This is the calendar’s 12th year, and my second year purchasing it for myself and loved ones. There’s something so special about preparing and drinking a single serving of a tea you might never have otherwise tried — the box features a festive array of flavors and types of tea, from a chocolate strawberry herbal and a nutty mocha mate to a Star of India black tea and a purple variety called Miss Violet. Brewing instructions, ingredients and caffeine content are listed on the paper packaging that accompanies each bag.
This year’s box includes samplings of some of my personal favorites from ArtfulTea, including the bold and aromatic Apricot Brandy black tea, the delicately floral Cherry Rose green tea and the complex, obsession-worthy Masala chai blend (tip: Pair it with a little warmed oat milk and a dose of honey for a wintertime delight).
Because this is an advent calendar, it’s a natural present to send early. You could give the box at the start of December with a gift certificate, so your recipient can order a full tin or bag of the tea they enjoyed most to welcome in the new year.
Santa Fe Olive Oil & Balsamic Co. (116 Don Gaspar Ave., Santa Fe; santafeoliveoil.com) makes shipping a breeze via its website, though it’s an experience in itself to visit the shop for recommendations from the knowledgeable staff about its signature bottled olive oils and vinegars.
You can package one or two bottles of your choosing in a lovely gift set ($30-$55), or you can opt for an assortment of two, four or six smaller bottles ($25-$65). (I can vouch for the 25 Star Dark Balsamic, which must be on my shelf at all times.)
But the store also offers a wonderful array of larger assortments, such as the medium-sized New Mexico gift set ($135). It features a bottle of red chile olive oil, green chile olive oil and that 25 Star Dark Balsamic, as well as red chile powder, red and green chile powders from Old Pecos Foods, Raspberry Red Chile Jam from Heidi’s Raspberry Farm, a small bottle of roasted garlic olive oil and several pouring spouts.
Speaking of Heidi’s and Old Pecos Foods, you can typically find both at the Santa Fe Farmers Market (1607 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe; Saturdays and Tuesdays), where you can round out a gift sampling of local edible and artisan goods with a snazzy farmers market-branded tote bag and ship or deliver yourself. Pick up a three-pack assortment of small jam jars for $12, or five for $19. Old Pecos Foods’ flavored mustards are available in small jars at two for $10 and five for $20. (Visit oldpecosfoods.com and heidisraspberryfarm.com.)
More reliably shipped local foodie gifts come courtesy of the Santa Fe School of Cooking (santafeschoolofcooking.com), with a range of themes and price points. I’m drawn to the “Red Green Go” package ($64), which includes a jar of Red Chile Sauce from The Shed, Santa Fe School of Cooking roasted tomato and tomatillo salsas, New Mexican red chile powder, a jar of roasted New Mexico green chile and a tin of green chile dip mix. Or get them the Santa Fe Sampler ($82), which includes local favorites such as green chile stew starter, blue corn piñon pancake mix and biscochitos.
Of course, we all know Santa Fe’s edible delights extend far beyond chile. This year, I’m planning an order or two from Chocolate Maven (821 W. San Mateo, Santa Fe, chocolatemaven.com), which ships many of its goodies nationwide. You can send eight individually wrapped brownies totaling nearly 2 pounds of chocolate decadence for $28, presented in a festive red box. Tea loaves, shortbread cookies, chocolate piñon cookies and a range of pies are also among the shippable options.
Finally, consider a gift that keeps giving: A coffee subscription from Ohori’s (ohoriscoffee.com/Coffee_Subscription) or Iconik (iconikcoffee.com/product/coffee-subscription) is easy to set up online with either local business.
Don’t forget to order a bag of beans for yourself, too, or just swing by for a cup to go. You’ll probably need a little pick-me-up to get all that early holiday shopping done.