In this last part of our holiday series, we’ll be helping you “wrap up” all those loose ends of your holiday preparations. We mainly want to focus on the importance of shopping local and the trend of hosting your company’s holiday party after all the busyness leading up to the new year.
Don’t just shop local, stay local! When you have family or friends coming into town for the holiday—or even if you have an event downtown and you want to do something different—choose to stay at Lincoln’s first luxury boutique hotel, The Kindler Hotel!
“The Kindler Hotel has created a cozy atmosphere and unmatched distinctively memorable guest experience,” Cheryl Deiro, director of sales at The Kindler Hotel, shared with us. “This is something that, up until now, Lincoln has been lacking in its hospitality industry. We are seeing young professionals, corporate executives, and lifelong Lincoln residents wowed by their experience at The Kindler Hotel. Our Boitano’s Lounge evokes a feeling rarely attempted in Lincoln that you’d expect from a hotel in a large urban center.”
If you want to impress your guests from out of town, book them a room at The Kindler Hotel! The staff at the Kindler partner with local brands to make their guests’ stays exceptional, and they are always happy to refer you to excellent local businesses to shop and dine.
Shop Local for Your Holiday Gifts
December calendars are infamous for being packed with holiday parties and family commitments. With so much going on, it can be hard to find time to shop around town for gifts and festive outfits. That is why many people end up doing most of their shopping online. We think this is a tragedy! When you shop local, not only do you know exactly what you’re buying, but your money goes straight back into Lincoln’s economy. This is something to keep in mind when shopping at large department stores as well, as opposed to locally-owned businesses. According to the American Independent Business Alliance, 48% of each purchase at a local independent business is re-circulated locally, compared to less than 14% of purchases at chain stores.
Every purchase you make has a direct, indirect, and induced impact on Lincoln’s economy. The direct impact is obvious—you give that business your money—but the indirect and induced impacts show the larger picture. The indirect impact happens as your dollars re-circulate in the community, while the induced impact refers to the additional consumer spending that happens as employees, business owners, and others spend their income in the local community.
Smaller, locally-owned shops have great holiday deals and steals like the large retailers do, so you can find awesome gift items at good prices while also doing your part to sustain the local job market and help our community thrive.
“Enjoying a local product always has its benefits,” noted Joe Finegan with Piedmontese Beef. “From supporting a local, family-owned business to knowing where your food comes from, both are very important in today’s landscape. We know what the holidays are all about—surrounding yourself with family, friends, and loved ones and being grateful for time spent together. Not many things bring people together like food. Many memories are made at the dinner table. At Piedmontese, we want to add a little extra flavor to those memories this holiday season, so we are offering a 25% discount on all of our beef products available on our website. We’ll ship right to your front door—or to the door of a friend or even a business client anywhere in the country!”
This time of year is also when people start thinking of their New Year’s resolutions. Eating healthier is a common resolution for many people. Fortunately, Certified Piedmontese Beef is actually healthier for you than standard beef, and it doesn’t sacrifice flavor or tenderness as a result. Their cattle, which are responsibly and carefully raised on family ranches across the Midwest, are also healthier. They’re never given antibiotics, steroids, or hormones.
“Piedmontese beef contains half the fat, calories, and saturated fats (comparable to Atlantic Salmon or white meat from a nutritional profile perspective), all while being an all-natural red meat protein!” Joe exclaimed. “At Piedmontese, we subscribe to a ‘ranch-to-fork’ approach. Our program is a source-verified operation rooted in a dedication to our land, ranchers, cattle, consumers, and products.”
Piedmontese’s progressive ranching protocols, such as EID (Electronic Identification) tagging technology, DNA testing for heritage, and database tracking initiatives all ensure their beef meets their standards for care, handling, and quality. Their method ensures traceability, environmental sustainability, humane animal handling, and responsible resource management at every step in the ranching process. Piedmontese cattle are sustained on the mixed grass prairies of the Heartland and the fresh water of the Ogallala Aquifer.
Piedmontese’s “Beef Club” allows participants to enjoy premium beef either once a month or four times a year. With two different subscription levels and the choice of when it’s delivered, this is a perfect gift for a family member or friend. They also have Business Gift collections that even include seasonings to pick from to add that extra special something to your gift.
Holiday gift shopping can be stressful if you’re feeling the pressure of getting your loved one the right thing. You want to get them something they’ll love and actually use. One way to take the pressure off is to get them a gift card to their favorite store or venue. This way, they can decide how and when they want to use it! Especially when you get a gift card to a place where memories can be made, you’re actually giving your friend an experience that they will cherish for a long time after the fact.
“When it comes to getting a gift card for someone, many people might not consider a gift card to a bowling alley,” addressed Jen Miseno from Sun Valley Lanes & Games. “However, Sun Valley Lanes is so much more than a bowling alley! We are a unique entertainment destination. Groups love coming here together to hang out, play some games, enjoy good food, and get their healthy fix of a little competition. Our venue features Splitz Bar and Grill, Big Red Keno, a full-service pro shop, a huge arcade with more than 20 state-of-the-art video games and a prize-filled redemption center, and nightly bowling events everyday of the week! When you give your friend a gift card to come here, you’re treating them to a fun experience that can be shared with you and other friends. When you purchase a $25 gift card to Sun Valley Lanes, we will throw in an extra five dollar bonus arcade credit.”
Sun Valley Lanes & Games will be open on Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. There will be open bowling the entire last week of December, so include Sun Valley Lanes in your holiday plans this year!
Another good place to get a gift card for your friend or coworker is a coffee shop. Give the gift of experience from coffee shops like Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar. This fresh, hip coffee house is locally-owned by Dennis and Jayna Nienhueser and managed by their daughter Tara Ihde. They all agree that the best gifts are those that can be catered to anyone’s tastes.
“Give someone the gift of a nice, warm, seasonal drink at Rock ‘n’ Joe this holiday season!” Dennis Nienhueser encouraged. “We have something for everyone. A gift card is a great excuse to try out a new shop that someone may not have heard of, and it takes the guess-work out of giving because it can be used for anything in our shop. We also offer pre-stocked gift baskets. This year, we have three different sizes/price ranges. They’re available for pre-order if customers want to skip the holiday rush.”
Not only does Rock ‘n’ Joe have some rockin’ coffee, but they also have pastries, sandwiches, and other food options. Rock ‘n’ Joe also has wine and Nebraska craft beer tastings all day long in their Whispering Winds Vineyards Tasting Room as well as live music and other events that keep the atmosphere cheery and bright, even through the cold winter months. They keep the winter spirit going past the 25th with their Sip, Chalk, and Create events. On January 10, they will be partnering with independent designer Stacy Hyde to teach the hottest new DIY home decor trend—Chalk Couture. Gift cards will be usable at Sip, Chalk, and Create as well as all other Rock ‘n’ Joe events.
Another local vendor to keep your eye on this time of year is Fields Floral. They will be doing “12 Days of Deals” this year, with a new special offer each of the twelve days! The fun will begin December 2, with 20% off all gift items (excluding fresh flower arrangements). Owner Sara Sudman told us that we can find the deal of the day on their Facebook page.
“If you’re looking for something more long term, we have our monthly floral membership program,” Sara said. “This is perfect for families with loved ones in assisted living programs. You wouldn’t have to worry about monthly scheduling since we get information about birthdays, anniversaries, etc. when you place the order. If you sign up for this program before December 31, you get free delivery every month in 2020!”
“As a business owner and consumer, I can’t stress the importance of shopping and supporting local,” added Sara. “It’s the small businesses that keep the community going, and when we shop big retailers, we are sending our money out of Lincoln and into corporate America. Remember, it’s the small businesses that support your kids’ bake sale, your galas and fundraisers, etc., so turn to them for your holiday shopping.”
Fields Floral also has monthly events that pertain to the season. On December 5, they will have their Wine and Design DIY class, and they will be making Mini Grinch Trees. Attendees decked out in ugly Christmas sweaters will receive $5 off their registration. There will also be a discounted shopping hour in-store following the event for any last-minute holiday shopping.
Some gifts need more consideration than others. For example, you wouldn’t give your significant other the same thing you would give a coworker. The more you care about a person, the harder can be to find a gift that expresses how much you appreciate them. If you’ve looked and looked but still can’t decide on a gift for a loved one, don’t forget that you can never go wrong with jewelry.
“The holidays are fast approaching and Sartor Hamann has fine jewelry for all occasions and every budget,” exclaimed Nancy Morgan with Sartor Hamann Jewelers. “Our knowledgeable staff will help you select the perfect gift, and we’ll even gift wrap it for no extra charge. Whether it’s the holidays or you are getting engaged, celebrating an anniversary, need custom work or jewelry repair, we want to be your local jeweler.”
“Buy local if at all possible,” Nancy advised. “Purchasing jewelry online can be frustrating because you can’t tell the quality or size from a computer screen. You may then find yourself returning it and starting all over. Jewelry is a personal item, so you need to see and touch to determine the quality. Due to our wide selection of name brand lines, we may already have your ideal gift in one of our stores. If not, we can typically order it or make it for you, and you can choose all the details. Our trained staff will guide you through the process, even probing with special questions to get the perfect gift for that special person.”
Sartor Hamann is the official jeweler for Husker Athletics, so stop in to get Husker-themed jewelry for the die-hard Husker fan in your life. In addition, Sartor Hamann is hosting their Champagne Gala Sale on December 6 and 7, so visit their SouthPointe location for yummy Christmas cookies, free champagne, beer, and hot cider while you shop. Plus, there will be $5,000 worth of prizes in-store. Some of the drawings include half-carat diamond studs, a gorgeous baguette and round diamond ring, and three $500 gift certificates. There will even be a grand prize drawing of a spectacular one-carat diamond!
While many people immediately think of shopping for a woman in a jewelry store, there are many gift options for men as well! They have their new line of Citizen Eco Drive watches that are powered by light. That means no battery replacement—ever. They also provide custom designs, jewelry appraisals, engravings, and insurance, so you don’t have anything to worry about when you find your perfect gift.
Sartor Hamann is a family-owned business that has been in the Lincoln community for over 115 years. Their jewelers are the best in the business, and they pride themselves on quality and customer service. They’re widely known for their exceptional quality, selection, and customer service. Their friendly staff is available to make your jewelry dreams come true.
Hosting Company Holiday Parties After the New Year
Having a holiday party for employees is a great thing for companies to do. It’s a time for staff and management alike to come together to celebrate the success in the current year and look forward to the year ahead. However, with so many other engagements on the agenda—whether it’s a family gathering, an open house hosted by a client, a fundraising gala, or a community event—there are a lot of busy schedules to compete with. Because of this, many companies opt to have their company party in January, after the craziness of the holidays die down a bit.
When planning a party or outing for your staff, there are a few questions to ask yourself. Are you wanting the event to be casual or are you thinking of something more fancy like a sit-down banquet? Do you want to open up the invitation for plus-ones or family of staff? Is your goal to organize a come-and-go-as-you-please event with food and drinks, or do you want there to be some kind of set program in place? Are you hoping to host the festivities at your office or at an off-site venue?
A great venue to consider for your event is the Graduate Lincoln. This unique, boutique hotel in downtown Lincoln has event space that can accommodate up to 550 people with custom catering and beverage options. Their 15,000 square feet of flexible meeting space is decked out with the latest technological touches. They also have their luxury Topgolf Swing Suites that are available for rent. Smaller companies have the ability to rent singular units while larger companies can rent the entire floor/bar space. Up to 60 people can enjoy the bar and lounge space while enjoying food and drink from John J’s Tiki Bar. This is a great space to hold an employee appreciation event or a new year’s kick-off celebration in 2020. The Topgolf Swing Suite provides a leisurely environment that helps your employees ignore the cold outside. They can take a night to escape from the pressures of work while imagining rolling greens. With Graduate Lincoln’s delicious food options as well, it’s bound to be a great time! Give your friends, employees, or family something to look forward to in January.
You can also take the fun to 48 Bowl, Inc.! We talked to Jennifer Davis-Korn to learn about why their venue would make a great place to host a holiday company event: “If you want a place where you can bring your employees and their family to celebrate the new year, this is definitely the spot. Our centers have options for large or small business and provide catering, beverage services, upbeat music, WiFi, and, of course, bowling! You can customize the food and beverage options to suit your specific company needs. We have food and drink options for every budget and group type—even non-alcoholic options—so just inquire about reservations at any 48 Bowl location!”
“We also are holding events specific to New Year’s Eve this year! We have our Family Fun Package, Early Family GloZone, Rockin’ Red Pin, and our Rock & Bowl GloZone. Whether you’re looking for a late night party or an early family-friendly option, we have something for you! Our parties all include bowling and shoe rental for up to six people. Some packages have food and beverages built in. All parties are available to reserve now by visiting 48bowl.com and clicking on the link on the home page. Hurry to make a reservation, as the popular party times always sell out fast.”
“Gift cards are also a great option if you want to give the gift of fun! A 48 Bowl gift card can be used for bowling, shoe rentals, food purchases at our Hollywood location, and beverages at both Parkway Lanes and Hollywood Bowl.”
If you’re looking to do something for just the grown-ups, consider renting a room at Talon Room. The Talon Room has a variety of price ranges to fit every budget and event type, and their unique environment sets the perfect environment for a party.
“I always tell people, we set it up, you make it a party!” Matthew Rogge, owner and director of Talon Room, told us. “Talon Room is Lincoln’s perfect venue for any social gathering whether that be professional or personal. Due to our partnership with local vendors, we have the ability to plan and execute any event you need. Event setup to full-service bar, we can meet all your event needs while exceeding expectations. As an owner myself, I get the need to go above and beyond to show your employees how much they mean to you and the company. Let us do the heavy lifting while you can make memories with the people who help your business succeed.”
Talon Room is a unique space with a lot of character. The delicious food and wide drink selection make this a perfect spot for any large company event.
Another fun experience you could organize for your team is a party bus. Party buses have become very popular. People like them because they can take you to a destination in style while jamming to music that gets everyone dancing and having a good time. We recommend renting a bus from Tailored Dreams Party Buses.
Locally-owned by Tyler and DeeDee Loomis, Tailored Dreams’ friendly drivers make all the difference. Passengers can feel safe and welcome when working with Tailored Dreams. You’ll also be pleased to know that Tailored Dreams is the only party bus company in the area that has handicap-accessible buses in their fleet. They’ve thought of everything in order to create a custom driving experience at an economical price. Tailored Dreams will work with you and your guests to make sure everyone has a great time. All of their vehicles have thumping speakers, heating and A/C, and LED lights!
Whether you’re doing some last-minute gift shopping or planning an event for the new year, don’t forget to support local businesses. There are so many people and places in the community that can help you wrap up this holiday season like a perfect bow!