Handmade holiday gift guide for chocolate lovers

Chocolate Christmas decorations by Hellebardius

The holiday season is upon us and every chocolate lover knows that means it’s time for presents!

The tricky part of buying for a chocolate lover has to do with the nature of chocolate itself. Chocolate is an inherently experiential gift. It is often beautiful to behold, artistically presented, and even more wonderful to eat. Still, I believe that part of what draws us to chocolate is its ephemeral quality. What is a gift giver, seeker of long term memory approval, to do once that chocolate has, umm, like… ephemerized?

Another challenge presents itself when choosing chocolate to gift to a hopeless chocoholic. We can be an opinionated bunch, snobbish to a fault, and the last thing a gifter wants to do is disappoint us with a sub-par bar. “Yucky bar and pathetic gifter of such, get thee out of our hearts and homes!” we have been known to shout.

For those who would like to gift something unique but a bit more physically permanent, or for those who fear the ire of a disapproving chocoholic, not to worry. I’ve curated two Etsy treasury lists inspired by chocolate, but not actually made up of chocolate. (OK, there is one chocolate item below, and yes, it is an edible chocolate space invader, from fresh as a newborn baby bean-to-bar maker Fruition Chocolate, and it is awesome, and the chocolate loving geek in your life needs it.)

These treasury lists include something for lots of different style profiles and interests. They are just the tip of the iceberg, too — Etsy has over 80,000 chocolate-specific listings to choose from. The majority of the items on these lists are affordable for a variety of price ranges, so if you’re on a budget, like most of us are, you don’t need to break the bank. For the darling 1%er reader(s?), the lists even include something for you. That’s right, if you’re looking to spend $32,500 on a non-functional sculptural chocolate pot, then by all means, click away!

Of course, the real bonus in shopping this way comes from partaking of the joy that is Etsy. Most often that means communicating directly with the seller, purchasing a one of a kind, handmade work of art, and supporting an independent, creative maker. And that, chocolate lovers and lovers of chocolate lovers, is memory making.

List 1:

List 2:

If these lists don’t satisfy your gifting needs, stay tuned for more over the next week!


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    Bittersweet Notes is an open source research project on chocolate, culture, and the politics of food. I invite you to join me as I explore the story of chocolate and the life stories of those involved with chocolate at its many stages of production and consumption.

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