Previously on Raising the Giftbar: *intro music*

We told you to skip the sweets for yourself and to start spreading the holiday cheer like icing (quite literally) to all of the people on your nice list by sending them a Christmas gift card to their favorite sweet spot (again, quite literally). Well now we’re telling you to treat yo’self. You beyond deserve it after all of that Christmas shopping. Hard work, we know.

Note: This may get you on the naughty list. But we think it’s worth it. Countdown to those New Year’s resolutions begins now.

Not Hot Chocolate.

Haut-Chocolat. Fancy, right? Vosges Haut-Chocolat is the master of gourmet chocolate treats—we’re talking the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Bacon-infused chocolate? Yep. Chocolate bars with a fiery kick? Mmhmm. So buy yourself a gift card to spend at one of their physical locations, or just go on a massive online chocolate binge. ‘Tis the season for gluttony.


Not Your Neighbor’s.

But better. At Give Me Some Sugar in Chicago, you can make your own cupcakes, cookies, or cakes (with the help of someone who knows what they’re doing, of course) and decorate them to your liking. Doesn’t everything taste better when it was made with your own two hands? It’s like you can taste the dedication… Dedication mixed with a lot of sugar. Just how you like it.


Not Your Mother’s.

Prettier. The guys at Modern Bite know a good cake, and boy do they know how to decorate them. Sure, your mom’s secret family recipe passed down from too many generations to count is one-of-a-kind, but so are the not-so-artful smears of frosting she spreads on top. You can taste the love in every bite, but her cookies aren’t exactly Instagrammable. Well, luckily these are. Too pretty to eat, but also too delicious to pass up… What’s a girl to do? How about order cookies for yourself, gift cards for your besties, and a Nicholas Sparks movie that makes you want to eat your feelings.


Not too cold.

Never too cold. Well, at least not for ice cream—it’s always too cold for the gym. At iCream in Chicago, you can make your ice cream (classic), yogurt (“healthy”), sorbet (“healthier”), milk shake (hands-free), or hot pudding (if it is too cold) and customize it all to your liking. Even Ben and Jerry would be jealous of this place.


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