The season of giving is upon us, so for the second part of our Holiday Series, we are going to share what local businesses had to say about gift-giving ideas and spreading holiday cheer. What better way to show appreciation and care for someone than by giving them something that was made and/or bought locally? You just can’t beat it!
Gifts don’t always have to be physical items. Some of the greatest presents are those that don’t come in wrapping and bows, but rather they let us improve a skill, try a new hobby, or share an experience with our loved ones. We spoke to several businesses about offerings they have that would make wonderful gifts for kids, friends, and family!
All in all, during this holiday season remember to be cheerful and enjoy time with those around you. We at Strictly Business sure appreciate each and every one of our clients; here is what some of them had to say about holiday cheer and gift-giving during the most wonderful time of the year.
For the Musician
Are you looking for something unique, something that your child will truly appreciate and benefit from for years to come? Sometimes, it’s the presents that don’t require any wrapping that end up being the most meaningful. If you want to gift an experience that’ll be enjoyed instead of an item that will collect dust on a shelf, consider giving music lessons from The Music in Motion (themusicinmotion.com) as a gift this holiday season. Owner Michelle Moyer is passionate about teaching and helping young children grow as musicians and performers. She has worked with young children as a Music Together educator for over 18 years and has her Level 1 Certification, adding to her reputation for creating a safe, caring, and musically rich environment where children explore and engage in fun, developmentally appropriate activities. We spoke to Michelle about what it’s like to take a course of study or lesson in her studio.
“During a course of study, I cover all areas of musicianship: theory, technique, formal analysis, ear-training, sight-reading, performance, and a comprehensive study of musical literature in a progressive fashion,” Michelle explained. “I truly feel that a well-rounded musical education helps students define for themselves what music means to them. During the lessons, I establish the needs and goals of the student and work on a plan for accomplishing those goals. No two students are exactly alike and learn at different rates of speed. I approach students as individuals and attempt to challenge each according to their own unique potential.”
There are many benefits of giving music lessons as a gift this Christmas. To begin, music is the gift of an experience, and research shows that life experiences provide more lasting happiness than possessions do. While most Christmas gift ideas involve wrapping paper and bows, giving experiences is a good way to extend the joy of the holidays all year long. Surprise that special child in your life with the gift of music lessons, and consider gifting others on your list the gift of experiences, too.
Next, music builds character. Michelle explained that as children learn new skills – including how to read music, sing a new song, or play the piano – they’ll gain a boost in self-confidence.
“Learning to play an instrument requires more than just attending a lesson at the same time every week,” said Michelle. “They’ll need to practice daily, keep focused, and build their musical skills, and in the process they’ll produce impressive character traits. For example, daily practice builds self-discipline, performing in public builds confidence, and learning to focus builds a child’s listening skills.”
Music is also something that lasts a lifetime. The ability to play a musical instrument is a gift that someone can enjoy their entire life. Even if your child doesn’t continue to play an instrument past a year or two into the lessons, the benefits of the lessons will endure. In studies, adults who took music lessons as children have been shown to have faster response times and an increased emotional awareness. Furthermore, the hard work, discipline, and attention to detail that goes into learning music are beneficial in all aspects of life.
“Studies have shown that taking music lessons can actually make you smarter,” Michelle shared. “Learning music stimulates multiple areas of the brain, increases a child’s ability to focus, and improves coordination. Studies have also shown that children who participate in music lessons do better in school and score better on intelligence tests. Music education can improve listening skills and may even help them get ahead in subjects ranging from foreign languages to math. Here’s some SAT stats that may have you running to sign your child up for music lessons: a study of 500 high school students found that those who engaged in some form of music lessons scored 57 points higher in verbal comprehension and 41 points higher in math on their SATs.”
Finally, beyond the educational benefits, music lessons are an enjoyable and constructive way for children of any age to spend their time. Unlike some activities, music has the unique feature of being able to be enjoyed alone or with a group. It can be a fun social outlet for kids, or a relaxing and renewing hobby for those who may be a bit older.
The Music in Motion sells gift certificates for private voice and piano lessons, as well as group classes. Their current irresistible offer for the holiday season: Purchase a package of 10 lessons and receive the 11th lesson free!
“With its range of sounds, variety of instruments, and compelling elements, it’s virtually impossible not to like music,” said Michelle. “Giving the gift of music will pave the way for your child, grandchild, or friend to learn a brand new skill. So, what are you waiting for? Cross that gift off your Christmas list and purchase music lessons for a special child in your life today!”
For the Nebraska Fanatic
We strongly encourage you to consider shopping local for your holiday gifts, and it can be made easy by stopping at the From Nebraska Gift Shop (fromne.com) in the Haymarket! They have a great selection of Nebraska products – if it’s made in Nebraska or about Nebraska, they have it.
“All of our products make great gifts for the holidays; whether it’s for family, friends, or for corporate gift-giving, people love to receive a Nebraska-made gift,” said Owner Barb Ballard. “We have a great selection of pre-made baskets to choose from, or we can customize any gift. We’ll even take care of shipping it out if need be. The great thing about what we do is that we take all the stress out of it and make it as easy as possible to find that perfect gift.”
Whether it is a food item, clothing, a book by a Nebraska author – just to name a few – you can find all of it under one roof. From Nebraska can package the gift up in a decorative box, gift bag, or even a basket in the shape of Nebraska. The gift shop also has a children’s section with Nebraska books and toys, which is a great way to gift the young Husker fan in your family.
“The other great thing about us is that we also own James Arthur Vineyards and have a tasting room at our downtown location, so we can add award-winning wine from Nebraska’s oldest and largest winery to any order,” Barb said. “Plus, with the expansion of the Haymarket Mercantile, we have a number of other great gift items that are unique and would make the perfect holiday gift. And best of all, we have a year-round Christmas store in the gift shop, which features the area’s best selection of Christmas decorations, ornaments, and fun holiday offerings. It’s the perfect store for the Christmas season!”
For companies looking to send a customized gift to clients or employees, From Nebraska Gift Shop can add branded items to the basket such as apparel, coffee mugs, or anything else you can put a logo on. Some selected Nebraska food companies can even add a company logo to their packaging. It’s a great way to get your company brand out there!
“We take pride on offering the best of Nebraska and we try to make the gift-giving process as painless and as seamless as possible.”
For the Confident Peacemaker
If you want to teach your kids how to avoid and resolve conflict with confidence while remaining at peace, consider signing them up for an Aikido class at Aikido of Nebraska (aikidonebraska.org) this holiday season. Aikido is a type of martial art that focuses on harmonizing with your opponent to end verbal or physical conflict with a peaceful resolution. According to the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, “To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the art of peace.” Teach your children the art of peace with confidence by gifting them Aikido classes. Youth Aikido classes are taught by Sensei Marcia Roberts in their studio at 33rd and Pioneers.
“The Japanese martial art of Aikido is a specific type of martial art in the fact that we focus purely on self-defense and character building,” explained Marcia. “We teach kids to first avoid verbal and physical confrontation and then how to deal with those situations without hurting themselves or the other person. We also focus on community service and how we can support our family, friends, and neighbors.”
The youth Aikido classes are geared towards kids ages 7-15 and take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They also offer a morning class on Saturdays starting at 10 a.m. Classes take place every week, though a monthly membership allows you to take as many classes as you want in that timespan.
Aikido of Nebraska also offers free trial classes to let individuals take one lesson to learn more about Aikido and see if this training is a good fit for them. The classes focus on kids’ confidence, respect, awareness, and safety.
“We are an Aikido family that supports each other,” said Marcia. “We all come from different backgrounds with different life goals and we learn from that diversity. Regardless of your rank, we all help each other grow, and support each other in all aspects of our lives.”
Aikido of Nebraska also offers personal safety classes for youth and adults as a community service. Marcia encourages gathering a group of friends to take this class together. There is a fee for the class, but 100% of the money goes as a donation to The Friendship Home, a local charity that supports, shelters, and advocates for victims of domestic violence and their children.
This is a great opportunity to round up your children and their friends to teach them some skills to be self-aware, protect themselves, and give you and their parents’ peace of mind whenever they are not with you.
For the Relaxation Enthusiast
If you are really looking to spoil someone you love, we have an idea – but it won’t fit under the Christmas tree. Find your next great gift at Home Innovations Spas (spasonline.com). They carry spas, hot tubs, and swim spas across multiple brands. Whether it’s for your whole family to enjoy, your child is grown and in their own home, your spouse has been interested in one, or you just want to treat yourself this holiday season (you deserve it!), Home Innovations Spas can hook you up with the hot tub or spa that’s meant for your backyard.
There are many benefits to owning a hot tub. To start, they are a great way to relax and unwind after a stressful day. At the end of the day, it’s not about deadlines or meetings, it’s about taking some time for yourself. The heat from a hot tub will relax your muscles, ease tension, reduce stress, and the jets even offer a calming massage. Relaxation is beneficial to your physical and mental health; it lowers your blood pressure and soothes your muscles. There are also many medical benefits of owning and using a hot tub. Studies have shown that heat and water massage can reduce muscle pain and arthritis symptoms. Spas and hot tubs can also improve cardiovascular health and sleep. When you soak in a hot tub, your blood flow is increased, warming up your muscles. Your body re-circulates the heat within, delivering therapeutic results to your muscles, while reducing blood pressure. Furthermore, your central nervous system’s sensitivity is dulled, bringing pain relief to joints, muscles, and other chronic aches. Lastly, owning your own hot tub offers privacy and rejuvenation.
If an in-home spa is on your gift list this year, Home Innovations Spas can do more than just provide the hot tub. They will deliver and set up whichever product you choose, and they are also happy to help with any maintenance you may need down the road. Spoiling the special person in your life with a spa from Home Innovations Spas is a great way to dive into the holiday season!
For the Sweet Tooth
This one is for all the chocolate lovers out there! Visit Lulubee Artisanal Chocolates (lulubeechocolates.com) for melt-in-your-mouth sweet treats that will leave you wanting more. Lulubee Chocolates has a full selection of hand-crafted artisanal bonbons, caramels, chocolate bars, and toffee. You’re bound to find an elegant treat for your clients, employees, friends, and loved ones that are sure to leave them saying, “Wow!”
“Chocolates are a sweet way of showing you appreciate someone during the holiday season,” said Gaylene Steinbach, owner and chocolatier. “We have a variety of different chocolate products that make for great stocking stuffers, gift baskets, or even as a gift on its own.”
Enjoy mouth-watering flavors like Lemon, Peanut Butter Pretzel, Sea Salt Caramel, White Chocolate Raspberry, Brown Butter Caramel, and much more. Lulubee Chocolates has also rolled out special holiday-themed sweets.
“In addition to our artisanal treats, we’re introducing those must-have cocoa bombs, delicious peppermint bark, and decadent turtles for the holidays,” shared Gaylene. “These festive treats can be added to the custom gift baskets that we offer.”
Their chocolate creations also make great additions to goodie bags, tasty party favors, or thoughtful thank-you gifts. The Lulubee team can even package and ship or deliver your treats. They want to ensure that everything is sweet for everyone on your gift-list!
For the Athlete
If you have an active kiddo in your life, treat them to some new gear from Lincoln Running Co. (lincrunningcompany.com) They offer a wide variety of options across multiple brands for kids of all ages. Shoes may be the first thing you think of, but they offer much more, including clothing for all times of the year, fitness watches and glasses, track and cross country gear, headbands, gloves, and hats, just to name a few.
“For the holidays, we will offer not only our wide selection of shoes, apparel, and accessories, but also gift cards and home delivery – by bike or Fedex!” shared Owner Ann Ringlein. “We will also offer our spring marathon/half marathon class, so a membership would be a great, unique gift.”
Perhaps you or a loved one is looking to become more active with the New Year quickly approaching. Lincoln Running Co. can help you out! Ann explained that they will be hosting more runs from the store – going with the theme of Donate and Dash – where entry into the fun run is a donation to a Lincoln nonprofit.
“We are community focused in all ways, from getting people ready to run the Lincoln Marathon, to running with individuals at treatment centers, to getting the young college students focusing on their health and running, to donating shoes to grade school runners,” said Ann. “We try to cover all aspects of Lincoln and all individuals making up this great city. We feel a healthy Lincoln is a better Lincoln and we would love to get everyone moving.”
For the Daredevil
If you want to give someone the gift of a fun experience this holiday season, book them a reservation at Tomahawks Axe Throwing (tomahawkslnk.com). They offer axe throwing for a variety of group sizes, and can even quench your thirst after you hit your target with a cold beer or seltzer. Axe throwing has been growing in popularity, so if you know someone who hasn’t tried it yet (or maybe they have and they loved it!), then a reservation at Tomahawks is a great idea for those who love the gift of a good time.
“We also offer gift cards, which are a great way to encourage someone to try something new,” shared Tommy Winn, co-owner. “You might just help someone find their new favorite hobby! The best part about axe throwing with us at Tomahawks is that you don’t have to have any prior experience. An instructor will be with you at all times, and they will show you how to safely throw an axe and compete against each other.”
For the Party Animal
What’s the holiday season without a party to celebrate? Gather your friends, family, clients, and others to spread some holiday cheer at Talon Room (talonroom.com). Talon Room offers a wide range of services that can assist with the planning process for the event and provide you with a venue, seating, and food to celebrate the holidays. They have a proven record of going above and beyond to create a holiday celebration that helps you ensure that your guests know how much they mean to you—and the folks at Talon Room will do all the heavy lifting for you. That way, you can kick back, relax, and make memories.
Talon Room can seat between 50-250 guests. Talon Catering is available, whether your party is at Talon Room or at a separate location, and can serve your guests gourmet appetizers and entrees with options that can meet any budget and time of day. Bar services can also be brought to your party, and Talon Room has a full-service in-house bar that can mix together delicious drinks for your guests. Furthermore, Talon Room has partnerships with a variety of local vendors, so they can plan and execute any event you can imagine.
“Being located in downtown Lincoln, we have a great location that is close to the many entertainment hotspots during the holidays,” said Talon Room Owner Matthew Rogge. “Our customer service also is next-to-none, as we go out of our way to make sure everyone is comfortable, happy, and treated with respect. Our location and quality of service are why so many companies bring their employees and clients back holiday after holiday!”
Another great option for a party venue is one that has wheels – try out Tailored Dreams Party Buses (tailoreddreamslimousines.com). Tailored Dreams has multiple party buses available that can fit anywhere from 26 to 45 passengers. These buses can take you to a destination of your choice – in style, of course – while jamming to music that gets everyone dancing and having a good time. Buses are equipped with a Bluetooth sound system, thumping speakers, heating and A/C, and LED lights! Even more, they are the only party bus company in the area that has handicap accessible buses in their fleet.
“Having your party on wheels is a fun alternative to other venues,” suggested DeeDee Loomis, owner. “There have been so many groups that have had the time of their lives with us on our party buses! Our team takes pride and joy in making every occasion perfect. The holiday reservations fill up fast, so book now!”
For the Food Connoisseur
Planning on throwing a party this holiday season? Make sure you have delicious food to serve to your guests! Try out catering from Tipsy Tina’s Taco Cantina (tipsytinas.wordpress.com). They can bring a mouth-watering taco bar right to you, where you can build your own taco or create some of their most popular options: Carne Asada, the classic steak and onion option topped with cilantro and salsa; Carne Fajita, steak topped with grilled onions and peppers and sprinkled with cheese; Al Pastor, a soft taco filled with pork, cilantro, onion, pineapple, and salsa verde; Carnitas, pork topped with pickled onions, jalapenos, and chipotle lime crema; American, a shell filled with ground beef, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, and cream; or Pollo, a chicken taco that includes black beans, pico, cotija, and chipotle lime crema.
“Another catering option we provide is our Taco Box. Pick out up to four different types of tacos, and we will make a total of 12,” said Nathan Stewart, co-owner. “You have a variety of taco options to choose from; it’s your chance to try each corner of the menu. Try our Chorizo taco alongside the Buffalo Chicken, Shrimp, and Sweet Potato tacos. We even have breakfast tacos!”
In addition to the countless tacos they can provide you, Tipsy Tina’s can also provide chips and dips, salads, churros, bites, and refreshing Jarritos Mexican sodas. Even if you are not looking for tasty catering for a party this year, Tipsy Tina’s is a great place to enjoy with friends and family visiting for the holidays. They have 32 draft beers, over 200 tequilas, and signature blended drinks.
For many of us, fond holiday memories probably include Grandma’s delicious home-made entrees and desserts. Bring these memories back to life by ordering from Stauffer’s Café & Pie Shoppe (staufferscafe.com)! Their huge menu of pie flavors (they include sugar-free options, too!) can help you find something the whole family will enjoy. These pies are homemade and created from recipes passed down from Grandma herself, Claridy Stauffer. Pies are offered by the slice or whole six-inch or nine-inch pies. If you are interested in one of these tasty homemade pies for the holidays, be sure to order in advance!
Stauffer’s Café & Pie Shoppe is far more than a pie shop, though. In fact, is wasn’t always a pie shop at all, but the addition of Grandma’s pies is what made the café famous and brought it to the forefront of Lincoln culinary delights. The all-day breakfast menu includes all of your favorite eggs, omelets, platters, hash browns, muffins, rolls, delicious plain and fruit-topped, homemade whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes, Belgian waffles, and some of the best chicken-fried steak you’ll ever sink your teeth into.
The breakfast menu is just the tip of the menu iceberg, with a full slate of sandwiches, burgers, melts, baskets, and dinners including pork tenderloin, ham steak, chopped beef steak, sirloin steak, chicken breast, home-fried chicken, Frito pie, chicken livers and gizzards, seafood, catfish, salmon steak, and more, including a full kids’ menu with all your little ones’ favorites. Take your family or staff to Stauffer’s Café and Pie Shoppe for a special holiday meal or celebration, and they’re sure to thank you for a long time to come!
For the Traveler
Traveling over the holidays can be tedious and frustrating, so make things easier for yourself or your family coming to visit by booking a flight with the Lincoln Airport (LNK, lincolnairport.com). LNK is “The Airport for People Who Hate Airports,” and they fly direct to Denver, Chicago, and Minneapolis through United and Delta Airlines. By flying with LNK, you are making the trip to the airport much quicker, and you won’t have to worry about dealing with the hassle of long security lines. Take some stress off your plate and contact them today to book your flight for the holidays!
Have you started your holiday gift shopping yet? These local businesses can help you stay ahead of the game with their fun and unique gift options while spreading holiday cheer across the community!