I picked up Madagascar beans from Penzys today and used vodka that was already on hand. This batch won't be ready until sometime in February, which is fine because it won't be delivered to the giftees until later in January*. I'll hand deliver it along with details for letting it mature and how to use the beans for vanilla sugar. Their participation in the process will be part of the "gift" ;)
I hope your holiday gifting plans are well underway. As with everything else, planning is the key to avoid wastefulness!
* I'll be travelling up north for a very late holiday celebration due to work commitments and health. I'm sure I'll enjoy the drive much more by waiting a few extra weeks. But I'll be sending some homemade goodies up there in December ;)