In this last part of our holiday series, we’ll be helping you “wrap up” all those loose ends of your holiday preparations. We understand that everyone has busy schedules this time of year and you may sometimes feel like you don’t have time to think about the finishing touches for your holiday plans. We’d like to help out and get you started by offering a few ideas that can make your holiday extra special. 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! Whether it’s in Omaha or even Lincoln, when you have family or friends coming into town who can’t comfortably fit in your home, make sure to help them find the best local lodging accommodations. If your holiday plans do involve going to Lincoln, make sure you look up 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 located in downtown Lincoln. 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, you not only know exactly what you’re buying, you also put your money straight back into the local 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 connect to a larger picture. The indirect impact unfolds 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.
Also, smaller, locally-owned shops have great holiday deals and steals just 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. You’ll be able to enjoy extra care and attention without the extra cost.
“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 just the right gift. 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 or family member an experience they will cherish for a long time after the fact.
“What could be a better gift than the gift of amazing hair?” Carissa Mangiameli, salon manager of Creative Hair Design Salon & Spa asked us with a laugh. “On December 12-14, we’ll be having our 14th annual holiday shopping event to help people give exactly that. A gift certificate to Creative Hair Design is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Not only can the recipient use it on our amazing products that we sell in-store, they can redeem it for any of our hair, nail, massage, or esthetic services. There are so many options on how they can use it depending on the person. From a simple cut to a full set of acrylics, everyone can find some way to use it and enjoy their experience!
During our holiday shopping event, December 12-14, if you buy $575 of gift certificates during the sale, you’ll receive a $50 gift certificate for free, for use on a future visit! All of our products will also be discounted during this three-day-only sale, so you can re-stock on products for your Ride or Die or anyone else, and you’ll also get a free gift with purchase.”
Creative Hair Design has been servicing all of Omaha’s beauty needs since 1982. Starting out as a 1,200 square foot space, the business has grown to a 16,000 square foot luxurious salon with over 55 stylists due to local popularity. Creative Hair sells a variety of beauty brands at the demand of both their stylists and customers alike. These brands include Amika, KMS, Unite, and more! Stop in this holiday season to fulfill all your hair and nail needs.
“Here at Creative Hair Design, we pride ourselves on our calming atmosphere that leads to your total relaxation. Let us melt your holiday season stress away with a massage, or ask us to prepare your hair, skin, and nails for your New Year’s Eve night out.”
When in doubt, you can never go wrong giving someone the gift of something delicious to eat. No better place to go for a warm, delicious treat than The Omaha Bakery. You only have to take one step inside this charming bakery to inhale delicious aromas and feast your eyes on a beautiful display of cakes, cookies, cheesecakes, and more.
We spoke with owner and expert baker, Michelle Kaiser, for more of an inside scoop on what her bakery offers.
“We can really do anything,” Michelle said. “Customers call us all the time asking for special orders. We love to experiment and play in the kitchen, and we’re happy to create something special for you.”
Michelle is no stranger to enthusiastic compliments of “This is the best cheesecake I’ve ever tasted in my life, ever!” or “What did you put in these cupcakes? They’re amazing!” And while Michelle has always had an appreciation for the sweet and delectable flavors of classic treats and goodies like her beloved lemon bars and turtle pecan brownies, Michelle’s preferences have opened up in recent months to include still-delicious though healthier treats of the keto variety, which has broadened her offerings and customer base.
“We now offer a variety of delicious keto treats made with all-natural sweeteners and clean and healthy non-gmo organic ingredients,” Michelle informed us. “Even non-keto people love our delicious healthy options because it helps their bodies stay clean. I am now celebrating one year of being pain free as a result of a keto diet. I lost 100 pounds in a year. Before, I couldn’t walk or step up onto a curb without assistance. My pain level every day was a 9 out of 10. I started keto and it changed my life.”
For the upcoming holiday season, The Omaha Bakery has tempting keto options galore—perfect for gifting the health-and-fitness foodies in your life.
“We do a lot of trays,” Michelle said. “We have a cheesecake tray with pumpkin keto cheesecake and a variety of other fun keto flavors. A cheesecake tray can include anything from peppermint candy cane or creamy mint to chocolate raspberry or plain keto cheesecake with strawberry sauce.”
And if you’re shopping for someone with a sweet tooth who likes their cake sweet and buttery—no substitutes!—The Omaha Bakery has their classic line-up of goodies as customizable and varied as you can imagine. Some families are so gone on Michelle’s goodies, they have even become a standard part of their holiday family traditions.
“People love our take-and-bake cinnamon rolls,” Michelle said. “We have customers who make a tradition of baking them at home so they can have them fresh on Christmas morning while they open presents with their families.”
For company gifts, office parties, or catering events, Michelle invites you to give The Omaha Bakery a call. They now cater keto meals on first and third Thursdays with options such as keto lasagna with balsamic salad, keto garlic wonder loaf, and keto tiramisu. For a party, they can come up with a dessert bar that works within your budget. With the help of The Omaha Bakery, you can find a gift for anyone in your life who enjoys a little something sweet!
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 success 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. This is why a lot of companies opt to have their company party in January, after the craziness of the holidays has died down a bit.
When planning a party or outing for your staff, there are a few questions to ask yourself. 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?
If you want to take the festivities out of the office, Acadian Grille is a great option!
“We just opened up our second location in Dundee, which would be the perfect space for any downtown office outing,” Owner Dan O’Brien told us. “The new location has a full bar and a laid back, historical atmosphere. It’s the perfect space to decompress after work. A simple reservation is all it takes to have a great employee event. Just relax, have some drinks, and enjoy each other outside of the nine-to-five.”
Hosting your office party at Acadian Grille can bring a truly special, spicy vibe to your event with tempting menu options such as smoked meatloaf with smoked gouda and poblano peppers; pecan crusted snapper; or bbq baby back ribs with zip-dang! barbecue sauce. Acadian Grille also mixes a variety of perfectly-crafted cocktails and mocktails, such as their tangy Trinidad Sour or their non-alcoholic Jazz Riff.
If you want to do something truly unique, host your office party on a Saturday morning and indulge yourself in Acadian Grille’s brunch menu offerings at their Dundee location. Enjoy eggs benedict with crab cakes, delicious French toast with bread pudding, a customized omelet with andouille sausage and greens or peppers and cheese—or even chicken and waffles! Finish off your morning with a refreshing mimosa or a bottomless pitcher of chicorg blend coffee. And don’t forget the complimentary hot and sugary beignets!
At the end of the day as you’re fondly remembering the good times you had with your coworkers at the company breakfast, kick back and let the Acadian Grille perfect your day and give you time to spend with your family and visiting guests, if you’re still hosting! Spend your energy, instead, on good times with those you love most rather than slaving in a hot kitchen.
“Instead of stressing about how to feed all your visiting relatives or how to entertain your friends, come have a glass of wine and a nice warm, made-from-scratch meal at Acadian Grille,” Dan said. “Or, if you don’t feel like cooking, call us and we’ll have your favorites cooked up and ready for pick up. When you have family over, cooking and especially cleaning up after can be such a hassle!”
We asked Dan what specific dishes he recommends, whether for the holidays or any other time: “Everything on our menu is prepared to satisfy, such as our burgers, sautéed pastas, shrimp and crawfish dishes, and legendary tacos. I also highly recommend our Southern Sweet Potato Pie with a side of homemade ice cream!” Dan said. “This dessert item we offer will make your sweet tooth happy! We also have a kids menu so we can cater to the whole family.”
If you’re looking to do something for your office party that is more out of the ordinary and can incorporate both fun and team-building into your experience, House of Conundrum has a captivating variety of themed escaped rooms that can take you away from the world for an intense hour of mystery-cracking and team problem-solving—a sure way to produce lots of laughs and good memories! And the great news is, the larger your group, the less it costs per person.
House of Conundrum’s escape rooms are anything but boring with categories ranging from classic and premium to deluxe, so you can choose your own adventure:
- Take a trip on an “escape ship” to the Final Frontier in a Star Trek-themed adventure full of new and exciting clues for you to explore and boldly escape in time. Live long and puzzle!
- Wander deep in the bowels of the Bat Cave in a Batman-themed challenge where the Joker lurks—he knows something you don’t!
- Travel back in time to aid our nation’s founders in a patriotic experience as you encounter a fellow revolutionary and discover whether he is friend or foe.
- Fight time and fate as you try to escape a devastating virus and the resultant zombie apocalypse…but beware. The virus has spread even to the scientists closest to the cure. Will you and your fellow survivors finish before it’s too late?
- And more!
With so many choices, there is bound to be a challenge to suit your office staff. It will be an experience you never forget. Your employees will be talking about it for weeks!
If taking your office staff to a restaurant or puzzling over a mystery in an escape room isn’t exactly what you had in mind for your office party and you’d rather put on something of your own design, Honeyman Rent-All has everything you need to pull it off! With their new Party & Event Rentals location at 11226 Wright Cir., Honeyman has a variety of fantastic items and gadgets that can take your party to the next level! They have beaded chandeliers, crystal gem trees, tables and chairs, staging, pipe and drapes including white drapes with LED lights, a 20” X 36” portable gas griddle and a 20” X 52” griddle on a fixed stand, dance floors and bars, chafers, dispensers, glasses and china…You can host any kind of party you can dream up! Whether it’s an elegant affair or a casual family night of fun, Honeyman has everything you could possibly need. They can help you with bar service, dishes and serving wear, setting up a dance floor, décor of all varieties—the list goes on!
Once you’ve made your plans for your office party and rented all your equipment, if you’re feeling a little too worn out to then also plan and prepare food for the event, we recommend letting The Old Fashioned Garden Café give you a hand!
The Garden Café has been an Omaha tradition since 1985. Their food is prepared the way Grandma made it. With delicious omelets, garden griddles, famous potato casseroles, breakfast sandwiches, and other egg-citing items, your group will be full of holiday cheer! Don’t forget about their yummy mimosas and bloody mary’s either—it’s hard not to have a jolly time after sipping on a couple of those drinks!
The Garden Café has wonderful lunch and dinner items that can be catered or ordered for carry out, such as chicken fried steak, glazed ham, pot roast, fried chicken, roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and buttered corn. They can take care of all the cooking while you focus on other party-planning details.
The staff at The Garden Café love sharing the joy of the holidays with everyone they serve, in and out of the restaurant, and they believe in shopping local and building the local community through holiday events and purchases. We talked to Brent Ganey at the Garden Café for his thoughts on why this is so important.
“Shopping local is very important to the continuing success of our local business community,” he said. “Though the ease of the big box/online next day delivery is convenient, you are not helping support the local companies that you ask for donations from when your children’s little league team needs a sponsor! Every dollar matters to local businesses and their employees!”
Not only does Brent see the value in circulating our dollars within the local community, he also understands the value of shopping smart and sticking to a budget, which may mean shifting some of your holiday plans and events to January when prices are lower if you’re looking to save money.
“I think most people would agree that operating on a budget is a smart way to do business,” Brent said. “Since space and time are limited in December, product demand is high and so are prices. January, on the other hand, has much lower consumer demand, and, therefore, better deals may be available to the consumer. There is also a noticeably reduced demand on employees’ time and attendance in January versus December. Holding a January event could be easier and even more appreciated, whereas a mid-December event might get lost in the mix and quickly forgotten. An office party in January could leave a longer lasting impression of good feelings and memories among members of an office staff.”
Whether you choose to wrap-up your holiday events in December or January, we hope you will take the time to turn to local sources for your gifts and event planning as a way of enriching both your own life and the life of our community! Most especially, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season with all of your loved ones and friends. May it be a memorable one!