Now is the best time to welcome some new vegan-friendly traditions.
The holidays are coming up, and no matter who’s part of yours, many families are all about traditions when it comes to Christmas. Though these may differ from family to family, chosen or otherwise, many of them most likely surround food.
It can be tough for vegans during the holiday season since most holiday feasts heavily feature animal products, especially if they’re new to the lifestyle. But considering the growing popularity of veganism, now is the best time to welcome some new vegan-friendly traditions this year.
Here’s how you can veganize some holiday traditions or welcome new vegan ones altogether!
Decorating cookies is one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit. But since they’re generally butter-laden confections, they’re not the greatest option for vegans. Luckily, there are a number of terrific vegan sugar cookie recipes available, including this one from Minimalist Baker. There are also many butter alternatives that you can purchase at your local grocery store to veganize non-vegan recipes. When decorating your cookies, be sure to double check that your sprinkles are 100% vegan. Some use non-vegan dyes and are coated with non-vegan waxes.
This can also be an opportunity to sneak some vegan chocolate chip cookies to Santa while you’re at it, and pair it with a glass of non-dairy milk!
This nordic tradition has been widely adopted by North America. There are a number of variations of advent calendars, with many companies—from chocolatiers to ones that make jams and preserves—coming out with their own version for sale.
Many vegan brands are also offering vegan-friendly advent calendars during the holiday season to help you celebrate. Making your own advent calendar is another option, which means you can include all of your favourite vegan snacks and treats to enjoy throughout the month
An activity that’s fun for both the young and the old, building gingerbread houses with your loved ones is one of the most festive activities. Though the gingerbread house kits that are available in grocery stores aren’t vegan, gingerbread house recipes can easily be veganized, and some are even unintentionally veganized.
Gift-giving is a big part of the holidays. This Christmas, considering giving your family and friends cruelty-free gifts—and don’t limit yourself in the types of gifts you can give! In addition to vegan cookbooks and food items, gift cards to your favourite vegan restaurants (which may need a bit of extra love this year), a donation to an animal sanctuary, or sponsoring an animal are great gift options as well.
Gifting experiences is another great gift idea, as it helps to reduce waste and limit consumerism during a season marked by that. Treat a loved one to vegan cooking classes, a day at the spa that uses cruelty-free products, or an annual membership to your favourite museum. Get creative—these memorable experiences will last a lifetime!
Host (virtual) Christmas dinner
Food is the ultimate love language, and there’s no greater expression of this than hosting a Christmas dinner. While this year might be a virtual dinner instead of in-person, you can still do it! When you’re hosting, you can veganize all the classic dishes and win over your loved ones with new traditions. Stacy Homemaker has a fantastic holiday dinner feast that’s 100% vegan. Since these types of gatherings can be stressful for vegans—especially new ones. Taking control of the menu can help alleviate that stress while making new believers out of those who aren’t vegan! A prepared dinner can be made in advance and portioned into boxes for each of your friends and family.
Christmas is about gathering with your family and friends, so don’t forget to carry that spirit with you when you celebrate this year. While those around you may not be as steadfast in their plant-based practice, it’s important to acknowledge their efforts, especially if they’re hoping to make you feel more comfortable.
Most importantly, though, be sure to enjoy yourself! From all of us at Planted Meals, we hope you and your loved ones enjoy a warm, memorable, and healthy holiday season.