As we look towards the holiday season this year, many of our contributors have echoed two priorities when planning their gifting this year: family-focused/experiential gifts and supporting small and local. In fact, three of our writers started small businesses this year: Magical Munchkin Fun, RemiJean Design Co. and Chrissy Williams Nutrition.
As our executive team curated our Shop Small Guide this year, we were intentional in selecting recommendations that support local moms and families in Arizona that we sincerely wish to give a little extra love to as we close out 2020, because wow, what a year it’s been.
By supporting local this holiday season, we are celebrating what makes the East Valley and our state unique, while helping local families pursue their dreams through their businesses. We invite you to do the same!
What We’re Gifting our Kiddos
M is for Mesa Kids Box
Downtown Mesa is a great place to take your family for kid-friendly activities to provoke your child’s curiosity! We know it’s been a tough year, especially for the little ones, and we think this ‘M Is for Mesa’ box can help spread a little bit of joy and create new, fun memories from home.
Each box contains an activity for one kiddo including a DIY cookie kit, miniature toy, smelly pencil and notebook, play foam, a certificate for a banana pudding, an assortment of stickers, charms and buttons, and more. We love that with one purchase (that ships) we can support six local businesses.
An EdZOOcation Pass and a Phoenix Zoo Membership
If your kiddo has memorized the plaques at each exhibit at the zoo, edZOOcation is a great way to supplement your weekly zoo outing. With six modules for different types of animals, your kiddos will be able to rattle off more interesting facts next time you visit the zoo. (EdZOOcation is not affiliated with the Phoenix Zoo; we paired them together as a gift to complement each other!)
Young Art Lessons
If you’re sensing a theme here, yes, we love extracurricular activities for our kiddos. Art classes can be pricey, and with COVID precautions, many arts classes for kids have been paused indefinitely. Young Art takes budding artists as young as four years old on a virtual art class with specific fine arts classes such as “drawing video game characters” or “Harry Potter’s Hedwing Pencil Sketching” (both of these are ages 7+ classes). Affordable at just $1/day for an unlimited membership of classes we’re giving this not only to our kids but nieces and nephews, too.
What We’re Gifting our Kids’ Teachers
Teacher Box from Made on Main Street
Our very own contributor, Ashley, a former teacher, designed this gift box for Made on Main Street. Filled with everything a teacher actually wants, this $20 box is the easiest gift to say thanks to teachers for pivoting and figuring out how to adjust teaching methods throughout this semester. Filled with sweet treats, a gift card to Chupacabra Taproom, locally-brewed cold brew and a bath bomb, this box supports four local businesses with one purchase. And, they ship!
A Gift Card to Peacock Wine Bar
This locally-owned wine bar is our latest go-to spot for girls night or date night. Boasting an impressive, yet affordable selection of wines and welcoming staff, Peacock Wine Bar is a local gem on the boarder of Mesa and Gilbert. Now through December they’re offering a holiday gift card sale: spend $50 and get $10 or buy $100 and get $25.
Our contributors who are teachers all agree, teachers thrive on sweets! Locally-owned Fairytale Brownies is a classic gift that we keep coming back to year-after-year because they’re individually packaged, ideal for a teachers lounge, and they’re always a crowd-pleaser. They always have free shipping, which is much appreciated!
What We’re Gifting our Girlfriends
Our full executive team is pursuing cleaner lifestyles and trying to clean up the products we use in our homes and on our bodies. Arizona Soapbar is a Gilbert-based soap maker (and mama!) who uses only essential oils and colors in her beautiful bars of soap. For out of state friends, we love the “Copper State” bar. For local friends this holiday season, the “All the Thieves” bar smells like Christmas!
Witty Coffee Stirrer and a Coffee Gift Card
Sometimes a gift card is the path of least resistance for a last minute gift and coffee is always appreciated by moms. We ordered a few of Twig & Lace’s witty coffee stirrers to pair with a coffee gift card to make it seem a little less last-minute of a gift. Plus, who doesn’t love a gift card for coffee?
As moms, we all spend a lot of time in the car and good keychain bling goes a long way. We love the happy, bright colors of these “MOM” keychains made by Magical Munchkin Fun, a Queen Creek mama (and one of our writers). Made from an epoxy mix, these are unbreakable even in the depths of the purse-turned-diaper bag.
Merkin Market Pasta & Sauce
Ideal for a hostess gift or a neighbor gift, we love to keep these on hand year round! This handmade pasta from Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room and Osteria, located in Old Town Cottonwood, is made with Arizona grown and milled flour. Their tomato sauce is perfect –it can be eaten as-is or doctored up with chicken and veggies. We first discovered them thanks to our site manager, Cara. They have a tasting room in Old Town that is Cara’s go-to happy hour location for a mom’s night out.
What we want to be gifted
A Class Pack to Vibe Barre
It’s no secret that this blog loves a barre workout—we’ve found it to be our sacred ‘me’ time and gives us the space to pursue our own wellness, and that’s a gift we should give ourselves, but often overlook. With onsite childcare run by the owner’s mom, this new northeast Mesa studio is our new favorite barre workout in the East Valley.
Bracelets from Monroe & Co
This is what a local shop by a mama of three is all about. Started as a project in her kitchen to make pretties for she and her little girl, Kait grew her business focused on making 100% customizable bracelets that are as unique as each mama. Perfect bracelets for stacking for moms, and also selling mini sizes for little ones, Monroe & Co makes it so fun to wear arm candy even when we’re just doing a grocery pickup.
A Standing Nail Appointment at Modern Allo with Childcare
We really just want a few minutes of self care to unwind and relax, can I get an amen? Chandler’s Modern Allo provides every mom’s haven: on-site childcare, a coffee bar and a safer-beauty nail bar (and more!). Can we just get a standing appointment for all of 2021?
Happy holidays, and happy shopping, from all of us to your family! We hope you find at least one new local shop to support through your gift giving this holiday season.