Pick up some Crackberry, a tart cider made with cranberries and blackberries by Dallas-based Bishop Cider. See more gift ideas that you can pick up this week at local venues in DFW.
Dec. 20, 2023
Only one weekend left before Christmas and you're still scrambling to find gifts for folks on your list.
Supporting local businesses while also choosing eco-friendly holiday gifts is a fantastic way to contribute to our community and the environment. Plus you can drop by from now through Christmas and get some great deals!
From local farmers’ markets, to shops in your own neighborhood, or even the big-box stores, you’ll find adorable hand-made goodies, regional products that are making a name for themselves and even some national brands that are worth their weight in green gold.
Here are just a few ideas for local and last-minute holiday treasures.
How's this for a crazy idea? Make a run to the historic Crazy Water gift shop, spa and hotel in Mineral Wells for some last minute Christmas goodies. Photo by Julie Thibodeaux.
Are you crazy for Crazy Water? Why not give it as a gift?
In fact, how about a trip out to Mineral Wells (about 50 miles west of Fort Worth) to visit the historic Crazy Water factory, gift shop, spa and hotel?
Yep, you can even stay there and immerse yourself in everything crazy for around $200/night at the Crazy Water Hotel. Their Second Bar + Kitchen offers both conventional fare as well as vegan, vegetarian and even gluten-free.
Book a night at the Crazy Water Hotel for the full Crazy Water experience. Courtesy of Facebook.
The nearby Crazy Water Spa is a must-see. Spa experiences start at $45 for a 30-minute micro-bubble mineral water soak with a bottle of Crazy Water to keep you hydrated. Swedish massage starts around $60.
Get Crazy Water souvenirs at the gift shop. Courtesy of Crazy Water.
Don’t miss the Crazy Water Coffee and Water Bar where you can drink Crazy Water on tap (straight out of the ground) and drink coffee made with the stuff (yes, it’s delicious). And you’ll find T-shirts, jammies, ornaments and much more, all with the Crazy Water logo.
Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday. Don’t have time to make the trip? Pick up bottles of Crazy Water for a few bucks each at stores all around the Metroplex.
Founded by two book-loving Dallasites more than 50 years ago, Half Price Books has been the epitome of green since 1972. Not only do they extend the shelf life of books, they strive to recycle what they can't donate.
HPB, as it’s branded today, is a treasure trove of last-minute gifts for your friends, family, co-workers and teachers. From small gifts, such as mugs and DIY kits, to books of all kinds, you’ll have fun just shopping their incredible stores.
Don’t get lost in the puzzle section. I always end up buying several and you’ll probably find some for folks on your gift list.
The 2018 Posters for Change collection features posters on everything from climate change to voting rights. Courtesy of HPB.
Or how about music? Their vinyl record section features everything from Beethoven to the Bee Gees — something for every musical taste.
Speaking of vinyl records — if you have some that are too scratched to play anymore, consider turning them into useful bowls in just a few minutes.
Mia Moss, owner of Fort Worth-based Black Coffee, is a winner in more ways than one.
Mia Moss, owner of Black Coffee, in Fort Worth next to Texas Wesleyan University. Courtesy of Facebook.
She just won a grant from Santander Bank and Dallas College for excellence.
Her shop has become a local hot spot in the Polytechnic Heights neighborhood, and her coffee is amazing. Support local by gifting one of Mia’s adorable Black Coffee mugs and one of her delicious Black Coffee coffees.
A popular choice is The Poly Blend, whole bean dark roast ($17/12 oz). This Ethiopian Sumatran fusion offers bold notes of berry and chocolate for a winey, dark taste that mirrors Polytechnic Heights, Mia’s favorite East Side neighborhood.
Pick up a mug and some coffee beans at Black Coffee. Courtesy of Facebook.
Want to drink in? Try one of her signature drinks, such as Cinnamon Roll Latte, sweetened with condensed milk, brown sugar syrup and cinnamon. The Caramel Apple Matcha Latte is Mia’s popular matcha, partnered with apple and caramel. Or try SPP (Sweet Potato Pie) Latte, your favorite pie in latte form using a sweet potato puree and cream.
Mia also offers a variety of teas plus local baked goods such as almond or butter croissants, gluten-free apple cider donuts and a delicious pumpkin loaf.
Leila Bakery in the Lakewood neighborhood in Dallas offers a new twist on old school bakeries. Courtesy of Facebook.
On Dallas’ East Side, pick up some last-minute goodies at Leila Bakery and Cafe, a woman-owned bakery and cafe, owned and operated by Chef Kelly Ball. The venue offers quiche, kolache, croissants, cappuccinos and more in Dallas' quaint Lakewood neighborhood.
I have sampled many of their products and they are absolutely delicious. This is like the old timey bakeries like we used to have around town when I was a kid.
Just the smell of their dinner rolls is enough to drive anyone crazy! They would make the perfect addition to your holiday feast.
Pick up some out of this world dinner rolls for the holidays. Courtesy of Leila Bakery.
“The staff is friendly, the store is organized nicely and the pastries are well thought out,” said local chef Nadia Sturdivant.
My son and GSDFW food writer, Andrew Ridout, loves their vegan walnut muffins!
Looking for the perfect hostess gift for a casual get-together?
If your giftee, prefers something sweeter, consider Dallas-based Bishop Cider, offered in several flavors that are colorful and delicious for under the tree. My fav is Crackberry, a tart blend of cranberry and blackberry.
Throw in a festive box of Ball Aluminum Party Cups, which are reusable and recyclable. A 10-pack costs around $5 and can be found at Natural Grocers, Whole Foods and Target.
Total Wine & More also stocks a variety of wine and spirits from Kiepersol Winery, owned by the de Wet family of Tyler.
Give the gift of a wine tour at Kiepersol winery in Tyler.
Or if you’re feeling adventurous, give the gift of a wine tour at Kiepersol’s home place, about two hours east of Dallas.
The Estate History Tour gives you a deep dive into Kiepersol while walking by the vineyard, distillery and infusion room, only $35 per person. You can also arrange a private tour of the winery for $200, up to four people.
The Buy It For Life movement centers aroung buying higher quality products that will last a lifetime. The environmental slant is that buying fewer products, results in less waste.
For certain kinds of products, mass merchandisers are a must. Tools are one of those.
Many years ago when I owned a small manufacturing company, my team exclusively used Ryobi tools in our workshop. They were the perfect combination of affordable, durable and versatile. The same holds true for Ryobi today. They are running some deals right now on a combo kit that would make a great gift for your DIYer. I have gifted a similar set to my own kids as well as nieces and nephews when they’ve had their first home.
The Ryobi six-tool set is on sale for $199 at Home Depot. Regularly priced $299. Courtesy of Ryobi.
This set includes one-half-inch drill and driver; one-quarter-inch impact driver; reciprocating saw; five -and-one-half-inch circular saw; a multi-tool; and an led light; along with two lithium batteries, charger and bag. $199 at Home Depot. Regularly priced $299.
So what makes Ryobi green, besides their products’ color? They use tons of recycled metal and plastic to make many of their tools. They are innovators in outdoor battery-powered lawn mowers and equipment, so their equipment helps reduce emissions. They were one of the first companies to have an interchangeable battery for most of their tools. That means fewer batteries in your garage and fewer that will end up as waste.
All of their batteries are recyclable at Home Depot. Simply drop them off on your next trip. But the best thing is that their tools last virtually forever. The newest batteries still fit my 20-year-old drill, which has been dropped so many times it looks like it went through a tornado. It still works like a champ! That’s the true test of green to me.
$199 at Home Depot. Regularly priced $299.
MIX IT UP
The Kitchenaide stand mixer is on sale for $350 — $100 off the regular price. Courtesy of Kitchenaide.
Lowes is Kitchenaid Central right now and they’ve got $100 off the upgraded five-quart-tilt-head stand mixer — ideal for serious home chefs.
Your gift recipient will love the added capacity, which is enough for nine dozen cookies in one batch! The stainless bowl is easy to grip with its built-in handle. Ten speeds make it easy to change from slowly blending ingredients to whipping up a meringue.
Though it comes in 20 colors, don’t you just adore that retro aqua? This model includes a flat beater, dough hook and wire whip as well as a pouring shield.
More than a dozen attachments are available separately to make everything from fresh pasta to vegan burgers, veggie noodles to ice cream and more. Woohoo!
$350 at Lowes. Regularly priced $450.
Plant-based Hellenic Farms Salami is made from dried figs and is available at World Market for about $10 each. Courtesy of Hellenic Farms.
And here’s just a few more last-minute items: World Market has several stores around the Metroplex.
They offer a surprising amount of vegan products.
As anyone who has chosen a plant-based diet knows, just because you’ve made a commitment not to eat meat, doesn’t mean you don’t miss a few special treats. I just picked up some plant-based Hellenic Farms Salami for my son. I think he’ll love this, paired with some vegan cheese. Four varieties available at World Market, all for $9.99 each. The Hellenic site has a few more options.
Another family favorite is licorice. Our heritage is from Scotland and Germany, both where black licorice is king, but most of it is made with animal-based gelatin.
World Market offers several different varieties in both black and red that are totally vegan.
Our favorite is Katjes Katzen Pfotchen, which means "little kitten cat paws" in Dutch. These cat-paw-shaped licorice treats will definitely find their way into some Christmas stockings at our house. $2.99.
2023 GREEN GIFT GUIDE SERIES
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