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Digital Subscriptions > Vegan Food & Living Magazine > Vegan Food & Living Yearbook > Festive feasts December

Festive feasts December

Indulge yourself and the family with delicious dishes and decadent desserts perfect for Christmas

Vegan Christmas 101

Imogen Webb from ProVeg U K lays out t he food, presents, etiquette and more, so that you can have the best vegan Christmas ever

As the old vegan adage goes, ‘anything you can do, we can do vegan!’ – we know it’s true! But in the festive season, animal products seem to appear everywhere you look, and preparing for the big day can be stressful. We are here to help you keep the joy in Christmas (and the animal use out of it!). This is a Vegan Christmas 101, with tips galore from the vegan elves: from what to put in those all-important stockings, to what to put at the centre of the dinner table.

First things first, advent calendars!

For young children, check out the Moo Free calendar (£4.99, Waitrose). It contains classic solid chocolates in Christmas shapes, and won’t break the bank. In case the older children in your life aren’t sweet enough, Candy Kittens have you covered with vegan treats behind the windows of their ‘Less Sprouts More Sweets’ calendar (£12, Waitrose). Let’s not forget the adults! We all deserve a daily treat to lift the spirits in this chilly season. If a hot drink sets you straight, try the quirky tea calendar from Bird & Blend, featuring 24 different veganfriendly teas and matcha stix (£36, birdandblendtea.com). Of course, there’s no need to pass up on chocolate if you love it. Hotel Chocolat do a veganfriendly dark chocolate calendar (£12.50) – you can’t go wrong with that!

Say (vegan) cheese!

There’s no reason why vegans can’t indulge in a cheese board after dinner. Tyne Chease – a big range of spreadable cheese and solid rounds, with flavours including cashew truffle, and cranberry. KindaCo – everything cheesy from feta to farmhouse. The faux lox and dill cream cheese would be absolutely fabulous spread on crackers or on small bagel bites.

Mouse’s Favourite – representing our French neighbours, Valençay style cheese features here, as does Camembert and a nice blue.

Christmas parties

Whether you like it or not, you’re bound to be invited to a Christmas party or four. Christmas parties can be a bundle of festive joy, and a chance to celebrate the season with beloved friends prior to the day itself. But, it’s less fun if the only nibbles you get are a couple of sad, dry olives. We all know what it’s like to be the only vegan at the party!

The flip side of this is to see the Christmas party as an opportunity for some ‘attractivism’. For those not familiar with this portmanteau, it describes the perfect marriage between ‘attracting’ and ‘activism’. Attractivism, in vegan terms, constitutes attracting people to the idea of veganism by introducing them to the wonderful aspects of this way of living – showing them what veganism has to off er, and what they stand to gain. It is an understated yet positive form of activism. It may be a slow-burner, but for many people it could be more eff ective than confrontation (and it’s certainly more party-friendly!) Contact the host of the party and off er to bring a couple of plates of finger-food. If nothing else, you will get brownie points for taking some of the catering stress off their hands.

Once at the party you have a captive audience for your delicious vegan treats. If any pleasantly-surprised guests approach you to chat vegan snacks, off er to share the recipe or let them know where you bought it from. Linda (McCartney, of course) has you covered. Try the cocktail sausages, either traditional or chorizo style; the beef, mushroom and spinach Wellington bites; and the mini pork and apple sausage rolls. Remember, sharing really is caring.

Preparing to visit a non-vegan household for the festive period

If you will be visiting non-vegans on Christmas Day, you might want to plan ahead a little. As with the parties, it may be good to offer to bring food. Consider taking extra, so you can share it around. That way you’ll feel more included in the meal, and others get to try (and enjoy!) the tasty vegan offerings. Finding an animal on the table is highly likely (and I don’t mean a friendly pet cat who’s jumped up for a sip of champagne) – so it’s best to mentally prepare. It can be particularly tough when the consumption of animals is being actively celebrated, and/or you’re used to a vegan household. Excusing yourself for some time out in the toilet might be your best bet if you feel overwhelmed at any point. Take a deep breath, remember that these are not bad people (and that over Christmas dinner is probably not the best time to discuss their eating habits), and get back to the table to chat easier subject matters like religion and politics instead!

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