by Tera Keatts
Gift giving can be a sensitive topic for some families. It’s not just about the toys, clothes and electronics. It’s not just about walking into a store and picking items off the shelf. It’s about creativity and thoughtfulness and finding unique gifts that have meaning. And it’s about teaching children what the spirit of giving is all about.
Every year Colorado Proud, a program started by the Colorado Department of Agriculture to promote local food and agricultural products and businesses, puts out its gift-giving guide featuring local gift ideas. Instead of braving the crowded shopping center and standing in line for this year’s must-have gift, I’ve decided to give the gift of Colorado. I’ve enlisted the kids’ help in selecting local gifts for their friends, family and teachers.
Here’s what they’ve come up with:
The BBQ kit from Colorado Beef’s Premium BBQ Sauce will keep dad happy at the grill for hours. The kit comes pre-packaged in a festive holiday box with two types of BBQ sauce – Original and Spicy – an apron, holiday hot pad holders and hand towel.
Gourmet s’mores kits from So Much ‘Mores Campfire Desserts are perfect for friends of all ages. The kit comes with graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows in fun flavors like Cozy Cinnamon Apple and Pike’s Peak Peppermint. I love that they can be made in the microwave rather than over an open campfire, so I feel better about letting kids give this gift.
For out-of-state family
The “Big Colorado” and “Little Colorado” gift baskets from RegionalMakers.com are great gifts for those who live outside Colorado. The baskets aren’t really baskets, they’re “A Taste of Colorado” in ready-to-ship boxes filled with locally made gourmet cheeses, crackers, spreads, dried fruits and chocolates.
The fire-roasted jelly trio from Hacienda Maize is the perfect gift for kids to give their teachers. The spreads are made with Colorado-grown chilies and come neatly packaged in a holiday box. I’m going to add in gourmet crackers and cream cheese to top off this gift.
We can’t forget the dogs and cats this holiday! Auntie’s Cookie Kitchen makes natural dog treats in tasty flavors like peanut butter and bark-b-q and catnip-filled toys.
Last, but not least, for Mom
The Lavender Love Set from Colorado Aromatics Cultivated Skincare will help any Mom relax after this busy holiday season. The set comes with lavender shea soap, scented hand and body lotion, a face and body mist, and two lavender-scented “dream pillows.” And all their products are made for Coloradans whose skin faces the high altitude, dry climate and 300+ days of sunshine all year long.
Tera Keatts is a freelance writer living in Denver.