Dear Santa…

Umm, this list is not curated by me. Instead, I enlisted the help of the brightest, most brilliant minds I know for a special pandemic edition mission inspired by Buddy the Elf because “I like to smile. Smiling’s my favourite” (right?). 

Get ready for a shot of warm and fuzzy feels as I pass it over to the real-life words of my hobbit-sized, elf-like helpers to guide you through those delicious gift-thinking stocking decisions, so you can concentrate on things like drinking wine, eating cookies and being merry.

From Sianna, aged 6

I’d like a puppy, a real puppy, and Sandrine’s macarons – they’re yummy! Umm, I’ll have 3 chocolate ones, 1 caramel and I think that’s it

From Carissa, aged 10

The List:

1. Mum’s samosas (not just any samosas only Mum’s will do) with the tamarind chutney and Poppadoms butter chicken sauce, so that we can pretend the Dosanj family is cooking for us

2. I really want to try Aman’s [The Paisley Notebook] chai/baking spice

3. Macarons from Tristan and Alana from A Sweet Romance

4. Claudio’s Sausage (all of them) from Italian Meat Master  – can I add that the logistics of sausages and frozen samosas in a stocking is a parent problem, not a ‘me’ problem?

5. Garlic powder from Ghostly Garlic


From Olive & Charlie, aged 8 & 6

(plus their ark with a cow called Valentine, 2 donkeys in Peppa and Patsy, 2 dogs, all the chicken ladies (all the chicken ladies – that was Beyonce’s farm remix), cat)

CHEESE! From Perseval & Young for like 27 million types of cheese! And QB Gelato – we like their big cookies. Local is better – they make their dough for their cookies and pastries and they make it by hand. Big shop’s stuff is produced by machines but local has love in it. Joon’s Kitchen even gives us origami that they make themselves.

From Indy, aged 4

Kathleen [from It’s a Bakery] knows I like the yellow macarons. But wait, Mom there’s TWO Kathy’s – I want a cyclone popsicle from her truck [Scooter’s Ice Cream] too!

{Extra snippet from Indy’s Mum: this year, in place of a birthday party, we had the ice cream truck meet us at the beach and his friends each got to pick an ice cream instead of communal cake and they sang happy birthday to Indy 6-feet together}

From Levi, aged 8

Hockey, hockey, hockey, 4 croissants from Karat (1 for each member of his family), hockey

{Extra snippet for all the hockey card lovers out there from Levi’s Mum, “the local hockey card store we go to is Players Choice Sports [in Kelowna]. Owners, Jason and Katie, are the sweetest people you’ll meet. They take such good care of Levi, spends a lot of time finding the right cards for him, and make sure he leaves with items within his budget, even if it’s only $5 sometimes.”}

And last but not least, the Santa request that sparked this whole idea:

From Olive, aged 9

My Christmas Wish List:

1. I love Harry’s [Bar Travelling Man] hot buttered rum mix so much I’ve asked Santa for some since it tastes like Christmas magic. I’d only drink it with hot water though, not rum because I’m 9

2. Hugs

3. Lamb (alive)


In the words of a remarkable elf, “The best way to spread [small business] Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear” (that’s Buddy, of course). But these huge-hearted humans already know that. Was remembering the business’ official name important? No. For Indy, Olive, Sianna, Levi, Carissa, Olive (#2) and Charlie it was much more than that. They lovingly know each business by the person (or people) behind the place and by their first names, too – that is the essence of supporting local. Over the years, their sponge-like minds have not only picked up epic food memories but some extended family along the way. That. Just that.

Small businesses everywhere need our help. And after the chaos and the calm, these kids are hoping their food people will be ok post-pandemic. Five years on, I still remember how crushed Carissa was when we announced we were closing our family restaurant – it stuck with both of us. So use this as a gentle reminder to shop small (now and forever). 2020 is the year of the kid after all (TIME even said so) and clearly, they know things; don’t be one of those grown-ups who ruin everything!

Dear parents, thank you for letting me borrow your children for this life lesson. Now, give them all the sugar-loaded things they’ve asked for; I think we all agree they deserve it.


Small business supporting small business.

These special humans belong to:

Thuy Tran Photography

Wiseacre Farm Distillery

Okanagan Lifestyle

Martin’s Lane Winery

Bar Travelling Man

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