Hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas can be fun but also a bit tricky. Preparing your home for holiday guests involves a combination of cleaning, decorating and food preparation that can take you longer than you might think.

The first step is to clean your home and clear away any clutter that could get in the way of your guests. You don’t need to stress about making everything meticulous – nobody is going to look in the closet you hid everything in on their way to the bathroom that’s on a separate floor. If you’re worried about that, or want a better clean anyway, look at hiring a professional that will take care of everything for you. There are plenty of great local businesses right here in Lincoln that are happy to help you clean among other things.

Next, consider adding a touch of holiday decoration to boost festivity. You don’t need to go overboard; even simple touches like placing a wreath on the front door, stringing up some holiday lights and adorning a beautifully decorated tree can set the holiday mood.

One last thing that is important to consider for your holiday party at home is the food. Deciding what to make for the main focus of the meal is the easiest place to start. From there, figure out what sides you want to make and what dessert you want to finish the night off. If you aren’t cooking a big meal, or are having people over for an extended period of time, planning snacks ahead of time can be a tremendous help. Though some of us love to cook, if you aren’t a great cook or don’t have the time to cook everything you want at the holiday meal/party, consider catering. Some of our favorite foods made by the best Lincoln chefs can be delivered right to your doorstep.

Kevin Witcher
Screamers Family Restaurant

Celebrate Away from Home

Going out to eat to celebrate holidays is a cherished tradition, offering a way to unwind while sharing memorable moments with loved ones. It’s wise to make reservations ahead of time, especially during busy holiday periods, to secure your table. Selecting the perfect restaurant that aligns with the holiday and your group’s preferences is essential, taking into account factors like the type of food and ambiance of the restaurant. Be sure to check if the restaurant offers special holiday menus or promotions that can enhance the festive experience and add a unique culinary touch to your celebration.

“When it comes to celebrating the holidays, remember that this is a busy time for everyone,” emphasized Kevin Witcher, Owner and one of the main performers at Screamers Family Restaurant ( “Sometimes, keeping it simple is the best way to make something happen. At Screamers, your family can have dinner and a show all at once! It’s a built-in party with every reservation. If you have family visiting from out of town or just getting together with co-workers and friends, Screamers provides delicious food and fun for all with our variety of world-class menu options and singing servers, featuring music from all styles, genres and eras.”

Outdoor Holiday Lighting

Whether you’re decorating for Christmas or Thanksgiving, outdoor lighting adds a touch of magic to your space. From twinkling string lights to illuminated figures and wreaths, the options are endless. You can line your rooftops, windows and trees with colorful lights, or opt for classic white or warm white tones for an elegant and timeless look. Whether your style is subtle and elegant or bold and vibrant, outdoor holiday lighting allows you to express your festive spirit and spread the holiday cheer to all who pass by your home.

As providers of fine outdoor living, Landmark Nursery and Landscaping ( in Eagle wants to fully understand your goals so they can create a space that is designed for you. With the addition of professional-grade outdoor path lighting, spot lighting, mood lighting and more, Landmark’s use of low-voltage LED technology will save you money as your vision comes to life this holiday season.

Outdoor holiday lighting not only brightens the winter nights, but also brings joy and a sense of togetherness, making it a cherished tradition for many families. Let Landmark Nursery and Landscaping help make this holiday season special and memorable.

A Gift You Can Eat

Edible Arrangements ( provide a unique and delicious way to celebrate the holidays. These arrangements go beyond the typical gift by combining artistry and taste, making them a perfect choice for spreading festive cheer.

The heart of Edible Arrangements® lies in their carefully crafted fruit and chocolate combinations. Imagine vibrant, fresh fruit, carefully selected and meticulously arranged into stunning displays that resemble floral bouquets or other festive shapes. Complementing the fruit are delectable chocolate-dipped strawberries and other treats.

Edible Arrangements offers beautifully crafted fruit arrangements that can serve as eye-catching centerpieces. These meticulously arranged displays of fresh, colorful fruit are not only visually stunning, but also delicious, making them a conversation piece at any holiday gathering. When you need a quick and thoughtful gift, especially for those hard-to-shop-for recipients, Edible Arrangements is the answer. You can choose from a variety of arrangements, ensuring that your gift is both personalized and well-received.

One of the most appealing aspects of Edible Arrangements is the ability to customize your gift to suit the recipient’s preferences. You can choose from an array of arrangements, sizes and fruit types to ensure the gift is a perfect match for the person you’re celebrating. Whether you need an elegant centerpiece, a quick gift or a delicious appetizer, Edible Arrangements’ fresh-fruit arrangements are the perfect gift.

Barb Ballard
James Arthur Vinyards

Don’t Forget the Wine

Selecting the perfect wine to accompany your holiday meal is no easy task. There are countless options, with each complimenting your festive table differently. For the Thanksgiving turkey, it is recommended to include a versatile option such as a light- to medium-bodied Pinot Noir. Its red fruit flavors and balanced acidity pair beautifully with both white and dark meat, making it a favorite for Thanksgiving. For those who prefer white wine, a Chardonnay with moderate oak and bright acidity can harmonize with the varied flavors of your meal. If you’re going for a sweeter note, a Riesling can be an excellent choice to complement the sweet and savory elements of Thanksgiving dishes. Though these specific wines might not be available to you, ones very similar in composition and taste are just as good to pair with your holiday meals! If you would have wine leftover, which we are sure you won’t, they are all excellent choices for your Christmas dinner as well.

James Arthur Vineyards ( can provide you with premium wine selections to complement your family’s holiday meals and festivities, and answer any questions you may have during the selection process. Their range of wines, including holiday-themed varieties, are sure to be a great addition to your holiday celebration. “Two of our most popular holiday wines include our Sleighbell Blush and Santa’s Secrete. They are great to include in your dinner and are also the perfect gift for a holiday gathering,” stated Owner Barb Ballard.

John Aguirre
Ovation Salon

Thoughtful Gifts for You and Your Guests

Taking care of yourself during the holiday season is crucial, especially with the stress that often accompanies it. John Aguirre from Ovation Salon ( emphasizes the importance of self-care amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday planning and commitments.

“With the pressure of shopping mall crowds and potential family conflicts, it’s easy to become overwhelmed,” John shared. “I recommend pampering yourself with a facial or a hair-care treatment to rejuvenate and de-stress. It’s essential not to forget about your own well-being while being overly concerned about everyone else’s holiday experience.”

Ovation Salon not only offers a space for self-care but also provides a range of products that can make thoughtful gifts for your loved ones. Among their offerings, wigs stand out as versatile options. Ovation stocks a variety of wig types, including synthetic and human hair wigs from top brands. Wigs can be valuable for those experiencing hair loss, dealing with the side effects of cancer treatments or simply desiring a new look without committing to permanent hair changes. Consider gifting a loved one a gift card to Ovation so they can choose how they want to pamper themselves, adding a personal touch to their self-care during the holiday season.

So Clean it Looks New

Deep cleaning your floors in preparation for the holidays is a smart way to ensure that your home sparkles. This entails going beyond routine maintenance to address embedded dirt, stains and scuffs. To save you the time and hassle, consider hiring a professional floor cleaner such as PureCare Carpet Cleaning (

Rather than employing traditional carpet cleaning methods, which often leave excess moisture that can lead to issues like mold growth, subfloor damage and loosening of carpet fibers and glue over time, PureCare opts for a dry cleaning approach. This dry method ensures that your carpets maintain their appearance while minimizing potential damage. Most notably, it virtually eliminates downtime associated with waiting for carpets to dry out, allowing you to enjoy your refreshed floors almost immediately after the cleaning process is completed.

The importance of a quick and efficient dry carpet cleaning method for the holidays cannot be overstated. Holidays are a time when our homes become bustling hubs of warmth, togetherness and celebration. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas gatherings, the last thing anyone wants is to contend with damp, freshly cleaned carpets that can take hours or even days to fully dry. With the swift pace of holiday preparations and festivities, having carpets that are ready for use almost immediately after cleaning is a game-changer.

DeeDee Loomis Tailored Dreams Party

An Unconventional Holiday Party

Unconventional family parties for Thanksgiving and Christmas are a great way to put a twist on your holiday celebrations. Consider booking a party bus to create unforgettable moments that the whole family will cherish. Party buses offer a unique and lively party atmosphere on wheels, complete with music, festive lights and a whole lot of fun.

Since these unique party experiences are highly sought after, it’s wise to plan ahead and schedule your holiday party well in advance. Availability can be limited, and with dates filling up rapidly, you wouldn’t want to miss out on this exciting opportunity. While they can’t guarantee last-minute availability, Tailored Dreams Party Buses ( can guarantee a great family experience.

Owner DeeDee Loomis stated, “We know how to throw a party and love hearing about the success afterward. We are known for great service and our ability to please every crowd.”

With a dependable and luxurious fleet of party buses that can accommodate 26 to 45 passengers, you can choose the perfect bus to suit your family’s unique style and size. All 35-passenger party buses are wheelchair accessible, ensuring that everyone can partake in the festive celebrations. So, make your Thanksgiving and Christmas family gatherings extraordinary by adding a party bus to the mix and create unforgettable holiday memories.

Marcy Haas
Sweet Things
by Marcy

Perfecting Your Holiday Meal

Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are known for their delectable desserts that add a touch of sweetness to the festive feasts. During Thanksgiving, it’s a tradition to savor classic treats like pumpkin pie, pecan pie and cranberry sauce. At Christmas time, traditional offerings often feature warm and comforting choices like fruitcake, gingerbread cookies and mincemeat pie. For many of us, the holidays just aren’t the same without these delicious desserts.

However, crafting these desserts to their full potential can be quite a challenge. Achieving that perfect blend of flavors and textures requires a level of culinary skill that not everyone possesses. If you want amazing desserts that impress everyone, consider getting them from local bakery Sweet Things by Marcy (

“My bakery specializes in authentic southern-style desserts. Our desserts are made from scratch, with real butter, real vanilla and real love,” said Owner Marcy Haas.

Sweet Things by Marcy offers a wide range of flavors and dessert choices, giving you the flexibility to enjoy traditional treats or add a creative twist to your dessert spread. Whether you prefer the classics or want to introduce a touch of uniqueness to your dinner table, Marcy’s culinary expertise can cater to your dessert desires and leave your family wishing the holidays never ended. To ensure you get exactly what you want, place your order online before November 11!

Katy Tezak
Sartor Hamann Jewelers

A Gift that Sparkles

Jewelry is a timeless and meaningful gift that holds a special place in the world of gift-giving. However, shopping for jewelry online – as many of us tend to do when buying gifts for several people – can be frustrating since it’s challenging to assess the quality and size through a computer screen. Often, it results in the hassle of returns and starting the search anew. Because jewelry is a highly personal item, it’s best experienced in person, allowing you to see and touch it to determine its quality.

If you are searching for the perfect gift to round out your holiday shopping, try something that sparkles from Sartor Hamann Jewelers ( With their wide array of stunning jewelry, chances are you’ll unearth the perfect present at one of their locations. Whether you lean towards classic or contemporary styles, they offer options to suit every taste. Additionally, their knowledgeable team is ready to provide guidance throughout your shopping journey, even asking tailored questions to help you discover the perfect gift for your loved one.

“Our clients enjoy the exclusivity of our curated selections, with limited quantities of each style, guaranteeing you a unique purchase that stands out from mass-produced items. Be sure to follow our social media channels for regular updates on exciting new arrivals that you’ll want to grab before they disappear!” stated Katy Tezak, a Diamond Specialist and Social Media Manager at the Downtown location.

Start a new chapter of your love story or make a loved one’s holiday bright with a piece of jewelry from Sartor Hamann Jewelers. The lights on the tree won’t be the only thing shining this holiday season!

Laurie Fraser
Doorstep Diner Catering

Indulge Yourself

One of the best aspects of the holidays is the food we get to indulge in. We get to savor special dishes that, for many of us, only make an appearance around the holidays. From the Thanksgiving feast to the Christmas dinner, holiday meals are unbeatable. They remind us of special recipes and the joy of sharing and spending time with our families and friends. It’s also a time to be grateful for what we have and take a break from our usual routines.

Providing your guests with fresh, quality food is a must for the holidays, though cooking it all yourself can be overwhelming. Catering food for the holidays is a convenient way to ensure a stress-free and memorable celebration. When booking Doorstep Diner Catering (, you won’t have to worry about the food impressing your guests or making it to dinner on time. Delivering from their doorstep to yours, you’re guaranteed amazing, fresh food for everyone to enjoy.

“We are a culinary team that will take you on a journey of taste and service,” stated Owner Laurie Fraser. “We love the holidays just as much as you do, and will do everything we can to make this year’s festivities the best ones yet.”

From traditional holiday favorites like a perfectly cooked ham and all the trimmings to innovative dishes that can elevate your feast, catering allows you to enjoy the festivities without the hassle of shopping, cooking and cleanup. Whether it’s an intimate family gathering or a large-scale holiday party, Doorstep Diner Catering has you covered.

Matthew Rogge
Talon Room

Not Enough Space at Home?

As your family continues to grow and your holiday gatherings become larger and more festive, the limitations of your home’s space can become evident. This is where the idea of booking a suitable venue for your family’s holiday celebration comes into play. This approach allows you to enjoy the holiday season with your family to the fullest extent, focusing on togetherness and joy rather than the logistics and limitations of your home’s space.

At the Talon Room (, you and your family can step into a world where timeless elegance intertwines with modern enchantment. From the first inquiry to the final farewell, they vow to transform your vision into a reality that will leave you and your guests spellbound. The holidays are all about being festive and getting into the holiday spirit. At the Talon Room, you won’t have to worry about a holiday gathering being mistaken for a random get-to-together.

“We offer catering, bar service, decoration packages and venue setup and teardown so that you can focus on spending time with your family and friends, many of which you might not have seen in awhile and might not get to see again for an extended period of time,” shared Owner Matthew Rogge. “We firmly believe in exceptional customer service and unforgettable events, and want this holiday season to be your best one yet!”

Prepare Yourself – Not Just Your House

As Thanksgiving and Christmas draw nearer, the hustle and bustle of preparing for parties and events can consume all our time and energy. The holiday season is notorious for its whirlwind pace, with festivities seeming to fly by in the blink of an eye, whether we’re prepared or not. To help you be a little more prepared for the upcoming holiday season, Skin Experts’ ( team is ready to help you look and feel your best.

Their range of services, from rejuvenating facials to soothing massages, is designed to enhance your natural beauty and boost your confidence, ensuring you make a lasting impression during the holiday season. Plus, their services will help you relax – something much needed during the stressful holiday planning process.

Skin Experts is committed to expanding its range of products and services, continuously introducing new seasonal offerings to deliver ultimate rejuvenation and relaxation, perfectly complementing anyone’s skincare routine. If you’re aiming for the ultimate glowing skin, consider indulging in their luxurious Glö Serum, hailed as “The Holy Grail of Facial Serums” by Bella Magazine. This light, restorative facial oil brings together Full Spectrum CBD, harmonizing probiotics, hydrating omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants in a technologically advanced, patent-pending formula featuring over 15 botanicals. The result is skin radiance that is nothing short of astonishing, leaving you with a glowing complexion that continues to astound and inspire. Skin Experts’ dedication to innovation and excellence ensures that you can experience the very best in skincare and achieve that coveted, luminous holiday glow.

Doug Neill
Top Spot Cleaning & Solutions Too

Prepare for Guests from the Bottom Up

Preparing your floors for the holiday season is an often overlooked part of getting your home ready for guests and festivities. While your attention around the holidays is often focused on decorating, meal planning and entertaining, the condition of your floors not only impacts the overall aesthetic of your home, but also contributes to a sense of comfort and relaxation for your guests. Whether you have hardwood, carpet, tile or any other flooring type, taking the time to prepare your floors ensures that every corner of your home is ready to shine during the holiday season.

When it comes to cleaning floors, many people tend to just vacuum and wait far too long to deep clean their floors. While vacuuming serves as a quick and efficient way to eliminate surface dirt and debris, it doesn’t address the embedded grime, allergens and stains that accumulate over time. Top Spot Cleaning & Solutions Too ( knows the importance of having clean floors for guests, especially if they are staying for a few days and have allergies or sensitivities.

“My fundamental carpet-cleaning advice is that if you can visually tell that your carpets are dirty, you’ve waited too long to clean them,” emphasized Top Spot Owner Doug Neill. “It’s essential to recognize that appearances can be deceiving, and while your floors may seem clean on the surface, they could be silently dispersing airborne contaminants that affect your indoor air quality.”

Memorable Gifts and Delicious Cake

Nothing Bundt Cakes ( specializes in creating delicious and beautifully crafted desserts that are ideal for holiday gatherings. These sweet treats are so good there won’t be any leftovers. Whether you’re hosting a large party or an intimate get-together, Nothing Bundt Cakes offers a variety of cake sizes to suit your needs. For a delightful bite-sized option, consider their Bundtinis, which come by the dozen, making them perfect for sharing.

But the goodness doesn’t stop at delightful desserts! Nothing Bundt Cakes also understands the importance of expressing gratitude during the holiday season. They offer a unique way to show your clients, employees and family just how special they are. You can customize your gifts with a personal touch by having your company’s logo printed on the sentiment flag, and you can include a heartfelt message on the card. This makes your gifts not only delicious but meaningful as well.

Worried about your budget? Nothing Bundt Cakes has options to suit a wide range of budgets, starting at approximately $10.

The holiday season is best enjoyed when shared with friends, family and the supportive community around us. It’s a time for creating cherished memories and spreading cheer. By patronizing local businesses, we not only find unique gifts and services but also help our community thrive. Supporting local businesses can make the holiday season even more special, as it strengthens the bonds of our community and ensures that we all have a reason to celebrate.