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3. Cooking class

2. Absinthe & spoon

4. Gift Horse by Juniper

The Obligatory Gift Gone are the days when a few woven potholders or Shrinky Dinks satisfied everyone on your gift list. Now we feel obligated to buy tokens of holiday cheer for people who make our everyday lives better (teachers, babysitters) and others who are, for better or worse, part of our everyday grind (co-workers, neighbors). These reasonably priced goodies will make the recipient feel merry and bright. – Kellie Hynes

Buttermilk Body Butter Teachers may love your children, but their germs? Not so much. A bottle of deliciously scented (and vegan) A Breath of French Air Baby Buttermilk Body Butter soothes hands chapped by antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer. Best of all, it’s made right here in St. Louis. $12. The Foundrie, 263 Chesterfield Mall, Chesterfield, 636.730.4130, thefoundrie.com

Absinthe & Spoon Indulge your giftee’s creative side with a 50-milliliter bottle of absinthe, the anise-flavored spirit loved by poets, painters and Sazerac drinkers alike. Pair it with an absinthe spoon, which is traditionally used to dissolve a sugar cube into the drink. Absinthe: $11. Absinthe spoon: $5 to $12.50. Vom Fass, 7314 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.932.5262, slmo.vomfassusa.com

Cooking Class Instead of an object, give an experience: Pick up a gift certificate for a Dierbergs School of Cooking class and let them learn from the pros. Classes cover everything from the basics (Cooking 101) to food trends (Hello, Paleo!) to romantic evenings (Couples Cook). But our favorite, of course, is Wine & Dine with Sauce Magazine (the next class is Dec. 5). $38 and up. Dierbergs, various locations, dierbergs.com/school

Gift Horse by Juniper Give them a taste of the South with a bag of goodies from Juniper. The CWE restaurant will fill a canvas tote with favorites like its pimento cheese, chowchow, apple butter, ketchup, hot sauce, pickles, mini pound cake and assorted boxed candies, guaranteed to liven up any roomful of Yankees. $45 and up. Juniper, 360 N. Boyle Ave., St. Louis, 314.329.7696, junipereats.com

Saltwater Taffy Is there anything happier than a pile of colorful taffy? Not when it comes in awesome flavors like cherry cola, chile mango and maple bacon. Fill a vintage mason jar with taffy, and you’ve got a delightful gift for less than $10. Saltwater Taffy: $6 to $8 per bag. Rocket Fizz, 6303 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.833.4614, rocketfizz. com. Mason jar: $1.50. The White Rabbit, 9030 Manchester Road, Brentwood, 314.963.9784, thewhiterabbitstl.com

5. Saltwater taffy

1. Buttermilk body butter

6 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com

Guide to the Holidays 2014

Profile for Sauce Magazine

Guide to the Holidays 2014  

Guide to the Holidays 2014  

Profile for saucemag