The following story was written by Heinen’s Partner, Liz Luby of 365 Barrington.
Sometimes, the gifts that come from the heart also happen to please your palate, satisfy your sweet tooth and even wet your whistle. It’s true that there’s no place like home for the holidays, because no matter how much we’d like to roam, when we long for the freedom of healthier days, we can’t beat the gifts from our hometown Heinen’s.
In the spirit of gift giving, I asked several associates from Heinen’s Barrington for their top gift ideas for telling neighbors, teachers, healthcare workers, colleagues, family and friends just how much you appreciate and miss seeing them this holiday season. Pick and choose for gifts that are quick, easy, bright, cheerful, fresh, flavorful and fit for anyone on your list!
1. Fa La La La Florals
Mary Z. in Heinen’s Floral Department says that you cannot go wrong with festive holiday florals, like Heinen’s Candy Apple Garden, which offers a nice little variety.
Mary says they update Heinen’s holiday floral displays daily for a fresh selection and they are trying to inspire people to think outside of traditional poinsettias.
“Our products are festive and designed not just for Christmas, but for winter, which is nice because you can still enjoy them well after the holidays have come and gone.” Come on in and pick your favorite florals today for a neighbor, hostess or for your own home!
2. Festive Fruits
Heinen’s Demo Coordinator, Rose V. says that her go-to gift from Heinen’s is fresh fruit, edible items or products packaged in a basket, beautifully wrapped and tied up with a holiday bow.
“We have ready-made fruit baskets and also do customized orders where guests pick out the items and we assemble the basket for a selection that’s thoughtfully tailored to their gift recipient.”
Rose says custom trays and baskets from Heinen’s Produce, Cheese, Wellness and other departments make particularly meaningful gifts. “Why not create a special basket to bring cheer, warmth or health? Especially during this holiday season, you simply can’t go wrong.”
3. Merry Munchies
Heinen’s Produce Manager, Brian P. is a big fan of festive containers filled with a unique variety of nuts and chocolates that are ready, waiting and great for sharing.
They have a cheerful range of options from Ferris Coffee and Nut Company, of Grand Rapids Michigan, including the Cherries and Berries Variety Basket with dried cranberries, pecans, cinnamon almonds, dark chocolate almonds and salted cashews.
Brian says that, “they have a nice assortment from giftable glass jars filled with mixed nuts to packages of deluxe mixed nuts, party trays, nut trios and almond trios at all different price points. It’s something quick and easy and you don’t have to spend time putting anything together because it’s all wrapped up and ready to go!”
4. Jolly Jams, Spreads & Cheeses
“You could also pair some aged salamis with six different cheeses in a basket with wine. That would be really nice for friends. I have a friend who used to host game night and we’d always have cheese and wine. Right now, we’re not doing that, so it would be a great gift for her family to remember and look forward to fun times.”
5. A Fancy Feast
Dawn in Heinen’s Prepared Foods Department says she loves to bring the gift of a delicious, prepared meal. “It’s a gift that says, ‘I care. I care about your health, I care about what you eat and I want you to experience something truly special for the holidays.'”
Dawn says the Prepared Foods Team can help assemble a tray filled with a prepared and sliced beef tenderloin and Heinen’s horseradish cream sauce with beef gravy au jus on the side. She would pair that with Heinen’s Garlic Grilled Shrimp for a surf-and-turf-style meal.
This would be ideal for someone like Dawn’s mother-in-law who is disabled and unable to leave the house. “She definitely wouldn’t treat herself to something like this, and that’s why it’s exactly what I want to give her.” Heinen’s Prepared Foods Department is filled daily with fresh entrees, sides and so many options for assembling a special holiday meal.
6. Seasonal Spirits*
You’ll find endless inspiration for special holiday gifts in Heinen’s Wine and Beer Department where associates are ready and happy to help!
If you need a recommendation for wine pairings to complement your holiday meals, Heinen’s team has you covered. Heinen’s Wine Lead, Heather M. says they’ve also been busy creating displays featuring special items for holiday gifting like variety packs of seasonal gins and whiskeys made at Chicagoland’s KOVAL Distillery.
“Pair a bottle of KOVAL’s Cranberry Gin Liqueur with a Prosecco for a really nice cocktail and a beautifully packaged hostess gift.” They also offer a set of KOVAL Single Barrel Rye, Bourbon and Four Grain Whiskeys for anyone who’d like to have fun sampling while they sip this holiday season.
*Spirts available only at Heinen’s Chicago locations.