There’s a nip in the air and there are snowflakes in the forecast. That can only mean one thing: the holidays will quickly be upon us (it’s only 63 days until Christmas). We took the opportunity to sit down with Spicemaster-in-Chief Rory to get answers to all your burning holiday questions.
Will there be a Promenade this year?
“No, not the kind we’ve had in past years,” said Rory. He went on to share the East Village Association is working on holiday celebration plans and to keep an eye out for those. “We’ll certainly have events to celebrate the holidays, they will just need to look a little different this year to keep everyone safe.”
What about triple-ginger cookies and cider?
“Samples have pretty much been off the table this year – figuratively and literally.” We won’t let a season pass without our signature Triple Ginger Cookies, though. “We’ll come up with a creative way to send you out of the store with one or two to munch on.” If you can’t wait, pick up the kit and whip up a few batches at home.
Cider is a no-go for 2020 (thanks COVID). But you can pick up a bag of AllSpice Mulling Spices to make your own mulled cider, spiked cider, or mulled wine. It’s pretty easy to do. Fill the included cloth bag, chuck it in a saucepan or crockpot with your preferred beverage, and heat for at least 20 minutes on low. Don’t let it simmer or boil – especially if you’re going the boozy route.
What AllSpice gifts are going to be the hot items this year?
We’ve created more than two dozen gift boxes – there’s a perfect option for everyone on your list! “This year we launched a number of new products which have made their way into our gift sets,” Rory shared. “We are relaunching our Curry On gift box in a few weeks to include two of our new curries: Vadouvan Curry and Jamaican Curry.” We’ve also re-released our Rise and Shine gift box, packed full of spices perfect for the breakfast lover.
“Everyone is cooking more this year and could use a little inspiration by now,” Rory continued. “AllSpice products are great gifts everyone will be thrilled to use.”
How about stocking stuffers?
Rory was full of good ideas for stuffing those stockings. “Our Café Blend Hot Chocolate, Runamok Maple Syrups (which will be restocked next week), and Ethereal Confections chocolate bars all make super stocking stuffers. A jar of your loved one’s favorite spice blend is also a great option. I know I’d be thrilled to find a fresh jar of Ammazza Suocera in my stocking. Just be careful who you give it to – your mother-in-law might not appreciate it!”
When is the best time to shop?
Rory recommends shopping early this year for the best selection. He expects all retailers will have challenges keeping everything in stock. “I’d recommend shopping at times that are traditionally less busy,” Rory said. “Take a day off. Weekdays and Sundays are a great time to shop. Fridays and Saturdays tend to be the most crowded.” Make sure to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer most retailers provide frequently to keep everyone safe and healthy. “I hope you’ll consider doing as much of your shopping with locally-owned businesses as possible. We are all working extra hard to keep you safe and provide good service during these crazy times.”
What are the shipping deadlines?
The United States Postal Service has published its 2020 holiday shipping deadlines. December 18 is the last day to ship first class packages and greeting cards for them to arrive before Christmas. The deadline for Priority Mail is December 19 for mainland destinations, a few days earlier for places like Alaska and Hawaii. “I strongly recommend beating those deadlines by a few days or more,” said Rory. “Everyone I’ve talked to who handles mail expects this year to be extra crazy.”
If you’re shipping a lot of gifts to loved ones, consider doing your shopping online at allspiceonline.com. We’ll ship directly to the recipient for you, and you can even include a personal note.
Have a holiday-related question for Rory? Ask it in the comments below and we’ll get his answers for you!