Chocolate: The ultimate Christmas gift

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Whether it’s the coin variety hung from a Christmas tree or a luxury box­ full given as a gift there's no doubt that chocolate is ubiquitous during the festive season. Christmas and chocolate go together like the proverbial holly and ivy, and there’s a reason why this is such an appreciated gift.

Chocolate Yule Log

Image by Cross Duck, shared under a Creative Commons Licence
The Feel-­good Christmas Gift

Dark chocolate has the ability to improve your mood and help your body to combat disease. It contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, which increases the brain’s endorphin and serotonin levels giving us a slight mood boost and it can also raise the serotonin levels in your stomach, thus helping your immune system. So if you’re giving some chocolate to a loved one this year you’re also helping to keep them healthy and free from Winter bugs; as long as they don’t overdo their daily one ounce intake that is!

A Gift for Everyone

There’s not many people who don’t enjoy a piece of chocolate now and again, even if it’s only on special occasions. But Christmas is, of course, a time to indulge your sweet tooth no matter what
age you are. Children love receiving selection boxes and chocolate figures of snowmen or Santa,
while opening that advent calendar to reveal a sweet treat in the run up to Christmas is a long-
standing tradition. The great thing about chocolate is everyone has their favourite, which means that you can splash out on chocolate personalised gifts this Christmas for that extra wow factor.

The Luxury Option
Those luxury boxes of chocolates made by the experts in countries such as Switzerland and Belgium may cost a little extra but it will be reflected in the taste. Most of the major stores will stock luxury brands; gift sets including a bottle of champagne are a nice touch as a thoughtful present. Try out a nice glass of wine with some of those fruit­ infused cocoa treats to bring out the flavour, especially those fortified sweet wines and ports.

Make Your Own Festive Treats
Chocolate is also the perfect ingredient when baking cakes, brownies or desserts. The cooking variety is inexpensive and can be used to make popular cakes such as spiced chocolate cake and  fruit cakes as well as puddings with syrup, home­made truffles and delicious white chocolate chip fudge. You can even buy gluten ­free cooking chocolate with no added sugar, which is ideal for making cakes for people with special dietary requirements.

Sales of chocolate soar over the festive period and it’s not hard to see why. This inexpensive but delicious foodstuff is a staple of the Christmas holidays, that is, until those pesky New Year’s resolutions start knocking at the door.

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