If you are someone who expects a gift from me this holiday please stop scrolling. Yes, you Brendan! I’m serious. Everyone else, well, come with me. It’s now deep into December, meaning that holiday shipping deadlines are whizzing past, and with supply chain issues, who even knows if that would matter anyway. I smugly sorted out my big presents early early, but then I was hit with a number of people I just plumb forgot about. Like my superintendent, and my sister-in-law’s mom, who, without fail, will make me an incredibly thoughtful jar of pickled blueberries. Maybe you, too, haven’t figured out something for the little-but-important gifts that you need to give people in your life, like the sweet UPS lady, or your dog walker, or that neighbor who always takes in your trash bin for you. I can just see you cursing under your breath, and pacing the aisles of a grocery story this week, scanning for something acceptably festive. Stop, and let me let you in on my trick. Get them a bar of chocolate.
That might sound sort of weak sauce to you, and fair enough. But hear me out. I’m talking, here, about Compartes chocolate, some of the most consistently delicious and inventive chocolatiers around. At $10 to $12 a bar, they’re pricier than your usual drugstore cash register impulse buy, and hit that sweet spot of a very luxurious version of an ordinary item that people already enjoy. (Some of the best presents are just upgraded versions of everyday objects, IMHO.) Compartes specializes in the kind of flavors that sound like they might be wacky, or just gross—avocado? Peanut butter and jelly? But Compartes always manages to stick the landing. Every single flavor I’ve tasted, including the very suspicious-to-me apple fritter, was good enough that I went back for another bite. And they look fancy too—the bars are wrapped in loud, colorful paper, and rather than being divided in squares, they’re notched into triangles. (Like all millennials I cannot resist a triangle.)
It’s good enough that I ordered a bar for my extremely hard-working FedEx person Joanne, who came back the next day with the wrapper in hand, exclaiming about it. It’s a nice small gift that you can scoop up quickly online (catch me ordering a box to dole out for next holiday season) or at gourmet grocery stores. They also have a chocolate bar of the month program if there's someone in your life who truly loves chocolate and getting the mail, and vegan chocolate if dairy doesn't agree with them. And not a bad idea to have waiting in the wings for last minute host gifts, either. Even if the host is me.
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