This year our IttyBittyFoodies holiday gifts list is going small and meaningful. Our kids have so much stuff which is why last year Santa regifted their own toys for Christmas in Why I’m Giving My Kids Their Old Toys For Christmas. It didn’t go so well with my kids but my parent readers loved it! This year their Christmas wish list is more judicious, with just one or two items. Pinned on the Advent Calendar is a small note saying “Santa, Please be nice”. I had to laugh at my 12 year old’s note which stated he would like a 1000+ Lego set that he doesn’t already own. Our IttyBittyFoodies Holiday Gifts list are curated with a lot of care and thought, featuring small independent businesses, experience gifts that hopefully won’t overshadow the true meaning of Christmas.
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We love food related gifts! We are firm believers that food brings people together. Dallas has many purveyors of gourmet treats, it is difficult to feature them all. Do read our previous IttyBittyFoodies Holiday Gifts picks from other years. The IttyBittyFoodies were excited to see Val’s Cheesecakes expand to two outposts that owner, Valery Jean-Bart, refers to as the Shack, a small outpost on Maple and The Shop which just opened in Lower Greenville.
The cheesecakes are done in small batches and made-to-order. Choose from the classics like Blueberry and Strawberry or go decadent with the Nutella Cheesecake or Banana Pudding, For something different, try Brisket Cheesecake or Smoked Salmon. The cheesecakes in a jar make great party gifts for guests to take home. Here’s a little tip: Say the promocode “IttyBittyFoodies” and receive 20%. This is valid ONLY at THE STORE at 2820 Greenville Ave, Dallas.
What an intimate buying experience it is when you visit a shop and the owner or maker is there working on their craft. That’s what you get at CocoAndré Chocolatier in Bishop Arts District. Mother and daughter duo, Andrea Pedraza and Cindy Pedraza Puente are as warm as the melted chocolate they temper.
For the holiday season, the chocolate Christmas ornaments and the chocolate ‘Champagne’ bottles make delightful stocking stuffers and celebratory hostess gifts. Don’t go without tasting their handmade truffles over a cup of hot chocolate. For the holidays, use promocode “IttyBittyFoodies” and you’ll get 20% off any purchase of $30 or more.
For all the budding Itty Bitty Foodies, Cutelery lets toddlers and preschoolers transition into ‘big kids’ when they enter the world of self feeding. If Cutelery feels and looks like real cutlery rather than the kiddie stuff on the market, that’s because it is. It is high quality, ergonomically designed silverware made just for itty bitty hands.
Cutelery is more than cute, it’s clever.
Developed by local Montessori mama, Sharmin Ashtaputre, the utensils are lead-free, BPA-free, cadmium-free, phthalate-free and kitsch-free. The spoon ‘bowls’ are deep enough to keep soup and apple sauce in the spoons not everywhere else.
The fork tines are sharp enough to pierce food easily leading to less frustration. This was one of my pet peeves with using ‘kid utensils’ when my children were younger. Lastly the knife which is part of the larger 3 piece Transition Set is sharp enough to cut through steak but not through skin. Cutelery is more than cute, it’s clever. If you want to take a gander at the two different Cutelery silverware sets, head to local Dallas store, The Tot which specializes in non-toxic stylish baby and toddler products. Cutelery is available online at Amazon too.
EXPERIENCES TO GIFT
Do you believe in second chances? Cafe Momentum does which is why they top my list of experiences this year. Cafe Momentum is what I call a “life skills school” run as a restaurant. The organization, founded by Chad Houser (formerly of Parigi Restaurant) takes at-risk youth who have been released from juvenile detention and gives them a one-year apprenticeship at the restaurant. They learn all aspects of the restaurant from hosting, serving to cooking. It’s a transformative experience for them and for us as diners. “Chad Houser saved my life” is something we often hear from them.
And don’t be fooled by the word ‘internship’ the meals churned out by these teenagers are up to par with fancy restaurant meals. There’s a no tipping policy as the teens are paid a stipend, HOWEVER, anything you tip will go back to the foundation — so TIP AWAY PLEASE! They are pretty booked up during the holiday season but you can gather some friends and make a reservation a little further out. If you would like to contribute before the end of the year, there’s a link to the 40 Days of Gratitude at Cafe Momentum.
Forget “paint with wine” parties, Painting with Influence in Old Town Carrollton offers Water Marbling and Fused Glass parties. The water marbling lets you make your own uniquely designed silk scarf that you can proudly wear afterwards. Even my boys want to do this, it’s so cool. Here’s the video of me looking like I know what I’m doing! You can’t make a bad scarf — I promise!
Painting with Influence also offers clay making ornament classes during the holidays. There’s so many activities they offer from fused glass ornaments/jewelry, pottery and yes.. even painting (with or without wine) with the kids. If you call Painting with Influence, IttyBittyFoodies readers gets $5 off any public class. Just use promocode IttyBittyFoodies when you call them at (972) 446-0444 to make the booking. They can’t take promocodes online.
ATT Performing Arts Center
Last year, my IttyBittyFoodies received tickets to the Dallas Opera Family Series for Christmas. The family series are ridiculously cheap at $5 a ticket and fun. There’s crafts and kids activities an hour or so before the production and the actual opera lasts just 40 minutes. This year, they are bringing back The Three Little Pigs which was our IttyBittyFoodies’ favorite too. It’s never too early to expose children to the more culture aspects of life and the Dallas Opera does a stellar job.
This year, we’re looking at the productions at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. This year, the two productions on show are also two of IttyBittyFoodies favorite classic Christmas books — “A Christmas Carol” and “Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas“. What a fun Christmas gift experience in a state-of-art venue. It’s a win-win for parents and kids.
SHHH WHAT SANTA IS DELIVERING THIS YEAR
In case you’re curious, this is what we are eyeing for our IttyBittyFoodies this year along with our experience gifts. Here’s my research list from my Amazon Influencer IttyBittyFoodies Shop but our top gifts are listed below.
Pikelet at 12 years old, who is a budding engineer with a love of modern architecture will be receiving a Lego Architecture Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum kit. It’s a little under the 1000 pieces that he asked for but he will be forgiving as soon as he sees that Frank Lloyd Wright designed it. It’s in stock from December 12th so get onto it quick!
Ten year old Lollo, a drone might be in his future. We’re still researching and this Force 1 Beginner Drone with Camera isn’t too over the top expensive. If you have a suggestion, please comment below.
Or the Osmo Genius Kit. What do you think?
Lastly our five year old Googie gets the latest Lego Boost Robotics Creative Toolbox. He’s starting to do a bit of block coding and this is a toy that will grow with him.
For my husband, I’m looking at the new Knife: Texas Steakhouse Meals at Home Cookbook by Dallas’ own John Tesar. It might turn out to be a gift for all of us since we will get to eat the rewards.
As for me… I think from my Thanksgiving post, I have all that I need in life. A healthy family and time to spend with them. Thanks for making this another wonderful year. Keep safe during the holiday season and we would love it if you shared our IttyBittyFoodies Holiday Gifts List for 2017.
Happy Holidays to you and yours,
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