This Christmas, my grown son’s getting something healthy and delicious from Kate’s Real Foods.
Before Santa could even get them off the counter and into the secret hiding place, my son discovered and ate one of the Barton’s peppermint-bark candy bars I’d just discovered at the dollar store for a lot less than you see them for on Amazon.
My son hasn’t believed in Santa for about 20 years. But that doesn’t stop me from putting out the milk and cookies with a note near the fireplace and hanging the stockings by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nick …
This Christmas, 2019, my son happens to be living at home. It could be one of my last chances to be the Santa in his life. Soon enough, there will be a wife and his own kids at the center of his merry gift-wrapped universe.
But while I have him, I’ll be getting up in the middle of the night and putting the wrapped presents under/near our tiny tree and hanging his big childhood stocking on the silver reindeer mantel hook.
Now that I think about it, I’ll probably just stick to a stocking. For years he’s been of an age and mindset that there’s really nothing I can choose for him that he’d like — except maybe the latest iPhone (his is new enough, thank you!) or some other high-dollar item like a new laptop (which this strapped Santa is definitely not able to afford right now).
What it boils down to then is a bunch of well-chosen gift cards (selected for maximum mitigation of borrowing money from Mom) and a check. On the list: Einstein Bros. Bagels, Chipotle, Walmart, and High Stone Reflexology.
You can’t just throw a bunch of gift cards and a check in a stocking and call Christmas done, which is why I’ve been casting around for fun small stuff that will make it seem like Santa put some real thought into this happy charade.
The peppermint-bark bars (minus one), a pair of Bombas socks (a friend gave me my first for Christmas and there’s no going back), and what else?
Every Christmas when I was growing up, Santa inexplicably would put a tangerine in our stockings. Less mystifying but equally traditional, there’d also always be some foil-wrapped Mexican wedding cake cookies (which I baked all my teenage years for Santa to pilfer). Since that’s what passes for Christmas-stocking tradition in my family, my son will get tangerines and Mexican wedding cakes, and, I hope, like me, he’ll always associate the singular smell and taste of a peeled tangerine and a festive dusting of powdered sugar with Christmas morning.
Of course there will also be Hershey’s Kisses in red, green, and silver foil. And then for something new, I’ve found Kate’s Real Food energy bars. A personal trainer and power-lifter, my grown kid will appreciate these hand-rolled bars made from organic ingredients that sustain energy.
Kate’s Real Food gets high marks from everyone from Forbes to Outside to GearJunkie. But what really sold me besides the ringing endorsements was the Western back story:
“In the ’90s, Kate was living the ski-bum life in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Between days on the slopes and nights waiting tables, Kate was always on the move — and she needed a tasty organic energy bar that could keep up with her. When she couldn’t find one, she decided to make it herself. Over ten years later, Kate’s continues to support people as they pursue a healthy lifestyle.”
USDA Organic. Non-GMO. Gluten-free. All-natural honey. Sustainable. Voted “Best Tasting Bar at REI” on the Adventure Sports Network.
Here’s what my lucky son is getting in his stocking: the Lemon Coconut Ginger Bivy Bar, Mango Coconut Tiki Bar, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Grizzly Bar, Peanut Butter Hemp and Flax Stash Bar, Dark Chocolate Cherry and Almond Handle Bar, and the Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Tram Bar.
Best thing about them besides how delicious and healthy they are is the super-cool outdoors- and adventure-inspired packaging that means Santa doesn’t have to wrap them. And if the peppermint bark was fair game for stealing before Christmas morning, Santa might just have to nick one of these and skip the milk and cookies.
Get some at katesrealfood.com, Amazon, REI, and specialty grocery stores and coffee shops.