There really is a tangible benefit for citizens
of a community to shop locally, and shopping anywhere in town is
good for everyone.
president of Main Street Lincoln, said that the local trend suggests
that the majority of customers are coming from neighboring
communities such as Decatur, Springfield and Bloomington. As a
result, downtown businesses are extending their hours through
Christmas, in order to serve those last-minute shoppers.
In downtown Lincoln you can find well-known
collectibles, as well as popular, locally made items. Whether your
shopping needs lean to the sophisticated or to the practical, you'll
find something for everyone. Downtown shops offer some of the best
gift-giving merchandise you will find near or far.
And, don't forget to stop for a bite to
eat and some local atmosphere at one of the many
great food establishments scattered around the downtown area.
Also remember, if you can't make up your mind
or would like to leave the choice of gift to the individual, you can
always give a gift certificate.
Below are just a few of the popular places
where merchants and their sales staff are hoping to serve you, their
friends and neighbors, this holiday season.
welcomes those looking for that special gift to come browse her
business, the Treasure Chest Gift Shop, located at
St. The Treasure Chest has personable gift-giving
items ranging from the quirky to the charming to the practical, and gifts
can be found for any age.
The Treasure Chest offers a selection of many
different craft items, glassware and many things that you will not
find anywhere else, no matter how far you travel.
Another downtown specialty business in
Lincoln's historic business district is Beans & Such.
Located at 115 S. Kickapoo St., Beans & Such offers gourmet
coffees, teas and gifts. Mary Lanterman, who is co-owner of the
business with her son, David, says that vintage paper houses and
handcrafted chalkware are popular gifts at the store.
is handmade in the U.S. and is "an early form of ways to mold
figures," says Mary.
The popular shop is also known for their
gourmet coffee holiday gift bags.
Across the square at 610 Broadway St.,
Mary Todd's Hallmark has several items that are popular
sellers this year, including Jim Shore products -- "a huge hit," according to
store owner Julie Tarter.
Other popular items include Yankee candles and
Willow Tree figures, although Tarter notes that Willow Tree "seems
to be big every year."
Mary Todd's is always open seven days a week.
Tarter notes that, like most business owners, she was concerned about
the economic news, but the store is bucking the trend. Business has
been really good this year, and Julie is "very pleased."
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Helen Rainforth is
owner of Abe's Carmelcorn Shoppe at 117 N. Kickapoo
St., where the store sells lots of gourmet food baskets and bags,
including their customized Abe's popcorn tins "filled with our
homemade gourmet caramel and cheese corn."
very popular gift item under $50 at Abe's is the Vinturi wine
aerator, which provides instant decanting for your wine. The Vinturi
has "taken the specialty food/wine industry by storm," says Rainforth. Let Abe's Carmelcorn take you by storm
-- a truly
incredible and yummy store in downtown Lincoln.
Next door to Abe's at 121 N. Kickapoo St. is
Prairie Years, specializing in books, gifts and
educational toys. Store employees note business has been nice and
steady, and it always increases even more as Christmas gets closer.
popular items include book and animal combos, such as author Eric
Carle's books with a corresponding stuffed animal -- a great gift
idea. Another very popular book series is the trilogy of "Twilight"
books by Stephenie Meyer. Webkinz are also a hot item at the store.
Melody Shew, the owner of MKS Jewelers
at 614 Broadway, noted that the very popular jewelry and gift store
has now been on the square for 27 years. Melody says they have many
hot items this year. One is chocolate freshwater pearls, which are
very beautiful and different than standard pearls and start as low
as $103 for a necklace.
Another very popular gift this year is Kameleon
jewelry. These earrings, pendants and necklaces allow the stones to
be easily removed and changed with other stones that are very
reasonably priced as low as $18. This line of jewelry allows you to
build a collection of jewelry without spending a great deal of
Other interesting and unique gifts MKS carries
are serving platters. You can then buy various holiday medallions to
interchange on the platters. This means you can have a holiday
platter for any occasion while only buying one platter.
The above shops and their unique and special
wares are just a sampling of the specialty stores that make up
historic downtown Lincoln. If you have put off shopping until the
last minute, downtown Lincoln is the place to find those special
gifts that are sure to be a hit on Christmas.
[By GEOFF LADD]