Anyone who’s ever participated in a Yankee Swap knows that fun, useful gifts often come in the littlest packages.

By Alex Vallis
December 18, 2013

Anyone who’s ever participated in a Yankee Swap knows that fun, useful gifts often come in the littlest packages. Is a huge box with a pretty bow making the rounds? You’d be lucky to find it filled with rolls of sudoku toilet paper. Whereas a small present might just harbor a Starbucks gift card, cocktail-flavored lip balm (below) or, well, diamonds! Here, cool buys for food lovers that make perfect stocking stuffers or portable hostess gifts.

Yummy Dessert Key Chains and Yummy Breakfast Erasers ($2 to $5): For the aspiring chef or at-home baker, Kidrobot’s Yummy series from artist Heidi Kenney features charming cartoon foods with googly eyes. The dessert key chains are referred to as “blind box” because you don’t know which figure you’re going to get: whether it’s a slice of pie or a wee hot chocolate. 

Stem ($4): A gift that satisfies at-home mixologists and health-conscious cooks, Stem sticks into any citrus fruit so you can aromatize your tumbler with a spritz of orange or flavor a piece of fish with just a touch of lemon.

Stewart & Claire Lip Balm ($6): A former Food & Wine editor created this New York–made lip balm line with flavors inspired by Old Fashioned cocktails (cedar, bitter orange, vanilla) and Mexican hot chocolate (Winter: vanilla, cinnamon and cocoa butter). 

Kipik Toothpick Holder ($25): As if being shaped like a baby hedgehog wasn’t enough, MoMA store’s little invention keeps toothpicks clean and upright while resting on the table or hanging onto the side of a bowl. 

French Ceramic Butter Keeper ($30): One of Amanda Hesser’s favorite holiday gifts among Food52’s Provisions, this earthenware container is super elegant and keeps the butter from drying out by submerging it upside down in an airtight seal of water. 

Aesop Ginger Flight Therapy ($31): The Melbourne–based skincare line and soap star has set up shops on both US coasts and is stocked in stores across the country from Austin’s By George to Barneys Chicago. The products often use edible ingredients like the parsley eye serum and this aromatherapy roll-on oil with warm spices and citrus. 

DIY Root Beer Syrup: Sure, you have to track down all the roots and berries, but this is a very cool gift when packed in easy-to-order dropper bottles.