Twirl’s Christmas Toy Story

All images taken on my iphone with the best iphone tripod. And no, he’s not getting it!

Twinkling lights and fairytale grottos, a magical tree hung with mini store merch, toys, books, games, magic tricks, charms and an outside playground!

Any child would feel as if they had wandered into an enchanted castle, coming to Twirl for the first time, and I know firsthand, that they do!

I began coming here with my grandchildren a decade ago, when my oldest grand kid, Natalya was 3 or 4 years old, taking ballet upstairs in the dance studio with Ms. Amber, who was her teacher for a decade. I’d pick her up from her class and then we’d have play time outside before going into the toy shop to choose a tiny gift before going home.

Because, let’s not forget that Twirl is also a toy-shop, aside from providing our community with the most wonderful resource for our children, both at Twirl (and Twirl Too), as well as in our schools. Twirl has established itself as a powerhouse of a non-profit and an integral part in moving Taos forward into the future, and this year Twirl turned 10! What began as an interesting toy shop and playground has good reason to celebrate.

You’ve met the Twirl Triumvirate who are generally hidden in the cockpit beneath the dome, up the Magic Dragon staircase.) Unless Anais and Nina are on site at one of Twirl’s Paseo pop ups and installations, or at Invent Events, but mostly, they are busy in their eerie navigating and steering the Ship of Twirl

Downstairs, in the aforementioned toy shop, Laura Evelyn quietly goes about her business Managing and Buying for the retail outlet which is jam-packed with hard to find, unusual, educational, creative, not made in China books, toys, puzzles, dolls with purpose, art supplies, science and stem projects and much, much more. All sourced by Laura.

When I visited the other day Laura kindly took time (out of her busiest time), to talk to me about her involvement with Twirl and about a few items she’s featuring in the shop this Season that are proving to be popular choices with the kids.

At the end of the day, the Holidays are truly all about the children and Twirl has all the kids in your lives covered.

Chemistry sets, games that work with your old iphone for the budding techie you know, books that began as Kickstarter Campaigns. (Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls) sits beside a book on African-American Women. Laura the single mum of a thirteen year old daughter, is into empowering young girls through her savvy choices.

Laura has been with Twirl (along with the upstairs trio) since its inception. Her daughter has grown up with Nikki’s daughter who is the same age.

“They talk about the day when they will run Twirl,” Laura laughs. “It’s been such an integral part of all of our lives for a decade!”

She says she keeps her great attitude and smile through even the busiest of times because she genuinely loves kids,

“I like children,” she told me. “I always have – I love their curiosity and their energy so this is a good fit for me.”

We went outside for a minute to see the courtyard decorations.

Every Christmas Twirl Aglow is celebrated in the courtyard/play space with the community coming together for some sparkling Holiday cheer. The Courtyard is decked to the nines by Nina Silfverberg (one of the Triumvirate), and is always amazing. This year, Nina’s recycled tree is the standout, night and day!

The shop itself is also decorated and festive. Cookies and cider await shoppers and the whole vibe is inviting and embracing of the Season despite the lack of white stuff outside.

Laura’s clearly got her fingers on the pulse of what our kids want. She pointed out a couple of books by a local author as she took me into the back room to show me a series of beautifully made and very smart games and puzzles.

“Great for the entire family to play together.” She said.

She pointed out the game that can be played on a “dead” iphone, telling me it was important to her, as she looked for items to include in her inventory, that they be sustainable and in keeping with Twirl’s Mission.

“Play based learning is important, but so is all out fun!” She laughed.

For Christmas and Birthdays and every other occasion that requires pretty packaging and a surprise, Twirl by the way wraps gifts beautifully so you have one less thing to think about.

The shop was filling up as I took my leave, but not before tucking three gift cards into my bag. This might be the last time Natalya (who is 14 now) will find something here – I’ll direct her to the Bedtime book which is about women past and present, who have achieved much despite incredible odds.

Rebel girls who changed the course of history. Real women from all walks of life – it’s a collection of bedtime stories that will inspire young girls (and their mothers, their aunts, their cousins…) to be confident, to dream big, to cultivate their strength.

Much like the women behind Twirl – great role models for all of our kids. Both girls and boys. For as important as empowering young women is, so is raising compassionate, caring and emotionally mature young men who respect women.

I know the boy on my list is going to be using his dad’s old iphone next time I see him!

In regard to toys at least, boys will be boys!

For more on Twirl and all they do, please visit their site linked below this post.