Your front porch may still sport an artful arrangement of pumpkins and mums, but it’s never too early to start prepping for the holidays, especially when shipping is involved.
Since food is a big part of the most wonderful time of the year, we’re starting with a list of culinary-themed stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, and hosting shortcuts from a talented group of Southern makers. Order now and freeze, or check the maker’s website for holiday shipping deadlines.
Holly Hill & Co.
Swap a tall glass of milk for a tumbler of Kentucky’s finest, and dig into chef Ouita Michel’s Bourbon Lover’s Cookie Box, which includes twenty fresh-baked cookies made with Kentucky-milled flour in five flavors: Bourbon Toffee Crisp, Corn, Sorghum, Woodford, and the Old-Fashioned. If you’re thinking of saving these for Santa, think again. hollyhillandco.com; $25
Famous for its decadent seven-layer caramel cakes, this bakery from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is rolling out a brand new Southern-inspired flavor just in time for the holidays. Featuring four layers of dense sweet potato cake spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, this seasonal beauty is iced in Caroline’s tangy cream cheese frosting. It’s a worthy addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert table. carolinescakes.com; $70
The newest mail-order offering from the celebrated Charleston pitmaster John Lewis, Sausage Party features Lewis BBQ’s crowd-pleasing hot guts sausage as well as its green chile and cheddar sausage. The party-ready pack is a great gift for the guy or gal in your family who loves to grill, but it also makes for an easy snack at your own gathering. shop.lewisbarbecue.com; $70
Jenni’s Ugly Chocolates
Made with local sweet potatoes and butter as well as North Carolina–grown toasted pecans, plus a splash of regionally bottled Covington sweet potato vodka and a hint of bourbon, cinnamon, and brown sugar, these misshapen mounds live up to their name. But after one bite, you won’t care about appearances. jennisuglychocolates.com; $6 for a 2-piece sampler
The Lovely Crumb
Meet the fruitcake for folks who hate fruitcake. At the Lovely Crumb in Knoxville, Tennessee, a mother-daughter duo crafts these surprising loaves in small batches from an old family recipe, loading them with dried fruits and nuts but skipping alcohol, wheat, and eggs. The tasty cakes are best served chilled. thelovelycrumb.com; $20
Sold in bundles of fifty and one hundred, these Lowcountry singles are sustainably grown in the waters of South Carolina’s ACE Basin and can be shipped nationwide. Add them to the menu for your holiday cocktail party or serve with champagne on Christmas Eve or as a Thanksgiving starter your guests won’t forget. Making it a gift? You can include an oyster knife and your choice of hot sauce or mignonette. From lowcooysters.com; $122
Ethically sourced 68% dark chocolate from Uganda is the star of this drinking chocolate from the talented team at Lumineux in Greenville, South Carolina. The recently released brew is indulgent but not cloying, and the beautifully packaged jars are the perfect size to tuck into the toe of a loved one’s stocking. lumineuxchocolate.com; $10
Altman Farm + Mill
Altman Farm + Mill’s unique cornmeal-based buttermilk waffle mix took home G&G’s Made in the South Awards honors in 2021. Naturally we love the real deal, too. Made with heirloom yellow corn, the quick-serve mix makes for an easy standalone side dish at the holidays, or you can crumble it up and stir into Grandma’s cornbread dressing. altmanfarm.com; $6
Colts Chocolate Co.
This tasty twist on tradition from a beloved Nashville confectioner combines Texas pecans and rich white chocolate inside a flaky pie crust. Worthy of top billing on the holiday dessert table, this pie can be frozen until you’re ready to eat it, then thawed and reheated. If your guests don’t guess it’s not homemade, we won’t tell. ggfieldshop.com; $32
Marsh Hen Mill
These speckled stone-ground grits are made with prized Jimmy Red Corn kernels, which the team at Marsh Hen Mill grows on South Carolina’s Edisto Island. Flavor-packed, they boast a unique nutty profile that sets them apart from their standard white-, yellow-, and blue-corn cousins. We’re saving them for our Christmas breakfast spread—if we can hold out that long. Maybe order two bags… marshhenmill.com; $12
Home Place Pastures
Thanks to the farmers at Home Place Pastures in Como, Mississippi, your family’s Christmas ham doesn’t have to be a major production—and you can feel good about what’s on your dinner plate. The Bartlett family strives to be thoughtful stewards of the land and animals, raising certified-humane Berkshire and Tamworth hogs as well as grass-fed cattle. Their spiral-sliced bone-in hams are smoked and ready for serving. homeplacepastures.com; $90