The 12 Best Trader Joe's Buys For the Holidays
Everything you need for a festive home
Like many people, I have an obsession with Trader Joe’s. The store — themed like a Jimmy Buffet song — is the perfect Goldilocks size (not too big and not too small). It’s staffed with friendly people, easy to navigate, and filled with a good mix of healthy choices and naughty indulgences. The company also has a high employee approval rating on Glassdoor and strives to be a good community partner by donating food to food banks and sponsoring local organizations. In 2022, Trader Joe’s donated more than $411 million worth of products to non-profits across the country.
Although shopping at Trader Joe’s is always a fun experience, it really shines brightest during the holiday season when the store is stocked with all manner of goodies ranging from festive wines to live trees to Wisconsin Kringles. Here are my favorite holiday items from my favorite grocery store.
To me, it’s not Christmas until I’m sipping a mug of steaming gluhwein. The sweet wine combined with the subtle spices and hints of citrus warm both body and soul. This bottle is premade, but zhuzh it up with orange slices, chopped apples, and cinnamon sticks. Bonus: your home will smell divine as it warms up.
These traditional holiday pastries are beloved throughout the Midwest. Trader Joe’s flies them in from OH Danish Bakery in Racine, Wisconsin.
Rosemary and Lavender Trees
These fragrant trees make a fantastic centerpiece for Christmas dinner and can be replanted in your herb garden when the holidays are over.
Looking for a last-minute gift? TJ’s Italian-made panettones come pre-wrapped for an easy present that everyone loves.
Danish Butter Cookies
It’s pretty likely that your Grandma (or Abuela here in Miami) had a tin of Danish butter cookies in the house. It’s also likely that if you opened the tin you might find sewing supplies instead of candy. After all, the real prize is the tin, itself. These cookies come in a tin festooned with a Scandinavian Christmas motif, which is perfect for storing sewing, receipts, or even ketchup packets from all your Uber Eats deliveries.
Hot Cocoa Polar Bear
This adorable chocolate bear is actually a cocoa bomb. As you plunk him into a mug of hot milk, he’ll gently melt away revealing a tummy of chocolate chips and marshmallows.
Gingerbread House Kit
One of my fondest memories was when my friend Hannah invited friends over to make a gingerbread town. We each received a gingerbread house kit and, while the wine flowed, we made and decorated our houses. I made a gingerbread strip club called the “Candy Bar” complete with a candy cane pole. What I love best about this house are the adorable candy creatures that come with the house. Buy several and invite the squad for a gingerbread decorating evening.
Happy Paw-Lidays Dog Treats
When celebrating Christmas, I never forget my friends’ puppers. TJ’s has little stocking stuffer-sized treat bags that come pre-decorated and ready to fill in your favorite doggo’s name. I bought a bunch to give out to my favorite four-legged friends.
A Hanukkah tradition, the gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins aren’t just for kids. I place them on a tray in my entryway for my friends to take as a sweet “tip” when they enter my condo.
Cookie Mug Hangers
These little gingery cookies will hang off your mug before you bite their little heads off. They’re not just for hot cocoa, either — think of how these guys will brighten your morning coffee!
Olive Wood Serving Board
TJ’s olive wood boards look far more luxe than their $12.99 price tag. Buy a few for cheese, Christmas cookies, and crudites for your holiday gatherings. Holiday pro tip: Buy one or two more for last-minute host or Secret Santa gifts.
Step Up to the Snack Bar
If you’re having a holiday gathering with cocktails, you need a few cans of TJ’s “Step up to the Snack Bar”. It’s a delightful sweet/salty mix of honey mustard pretzels, honey roasted nuts, cheddar cheese puffs, corn chips, honey roasted sesame sticks, and chili lemon corn sticks.