I abide by a personal rule not to go inside a shopping mall between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If I have to break it (not very often), I only go on a weekday. Mall culture gets to me at the best of times.
Here are 5 suggestions that don't require you to set foot inside a mall. (Oh, and don't forget about Buy Nothing Day, November 23/24, depending on your part of the world.)
1. A photograph from Equivoque's collection. I love her blue-tinted photos, which were taken with now-defunct Polaroid Time-Zero film. (The prints for sale are reprints from scans of those originals.) More Time-Zero photos can be found here.
2. Jewelry from Anne Holman's Etsy shop. Her many cool designs include custom antique map pendants, and you know how I feel about maps. The one pictured is the one she made for me, but you can ask for a custom pendant showing literally any location on earth. Vegans note that the cord is leather, but I'm sure she would have a vegan replacement.
3. Tea from Upton's. This store offers the highest-quality tea I've seen in North America. Their sample sizes are a great idea and allow you to try a bit of that special small-estate Darjeeling that's $30/bag. (Most of their teas are very reasonably priced, though!) They also have customer-submitted reviews of each tea and a detailed picture of each tea leaf.
4. A cosy knitted item from Heyday Fashion, such as this adorable toy
for the over-3-years kid in your life or this cute hat for a friend. (This hat is vegan but some of the other ones are made with wool.)
5. Don't forget charitable contributions. Seva will let you restore sight to one person in an underdeveloped country who is blind from cataracts. The cost of sight? $50.
(Oh, and if you want to send some of the best brownies in the world that are decidedly not vegan, go here. And I'm not saying this just because I've known the brownie-makers since I was 3!)