November 20, 2019 by

The Omaha Daily Bee, one of the city’s earliest newspapers, printed a story in 1889 reminiscing about Christmas in 1854 in Omaha. One of the people the paper interviewed remembered the general store located on 12th and Jackson streets that sold two things—“whiskey of a very poor quality and some garden seed that never had a fair chance to exert itself.” Needless to say, holiday shopping in Omaha has improved immensely since the mid-1850s. Today, one can find a variety of gifts that are unique to Omaha and can be shipped anywhere.

Those who enjoy giving gifts of sweets certainly do not need to go out of their hometown. Omaha offers chocolate makers and bakers that can compete with anyone in the world.  The specialized chocolate-covered cherries created at Cordial Cherry, located in the Shoppes of Legacy, were inspired by a grandmother’s recipe. Owner Melissa Stephens even sells a nativity set made from chocolate-covered cherries. Stephens ships her family’s recipe around the world, often selling out during the holidays. The Old Market Candy Shop offers the mud ball. This chocolate-covered truffle made of cookies and cream cheese is a local favorite, and is probably the only mud ball that someone will truly appreciate as a gift. Also located in the Old Market is Chocolat Abeille, which sells chocolates infused with honey from the owner’s personal beehives that are almost too
pretty to eat.

It takes artisan bakers three days to make the mouth-watering Old World Napoleon torte at Lithuanian Bakery in south Omaha. Even premium ice cream, yes, ice cream, can be shipped to loved ones around the world. eCreamery in Dundee has been featured in O,The Oprah Magazine and The New York Times. Two of people’s favorite scoops are Sea Salt Carmel ice cream and White Chocolate Peppermint gelato.

Omaha Steaks makes it easy to ship decadent cuts of beef to meat lovers. This fifth generation, family-owned business has been around for more than 100 years, and offers a variety of special deals during the holidays.

An Omaha experience also makes an awesome gift. Those whose loved ones include baseball fans can give NCAA Men’s College World Series tickets. CWS Inc. sells a 10-pack of general admission tickets for about $90; that translates to an affordable $9 a game. Another bucket list-worthy sporting event in Omaha is the 2020 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials. A 4-Day Pass places gift recipients in the arena to watch future Olympians get one step closer to going for gold in Tokyo. Omaha is the only place to experience this—now that’s a unique gift.


Happy holidays, and check out visitomaha.com/omaha-gifts to find more uniquely Omaha gift ideas. 

This column was printed in the December 2019/January 2020 edition of B2B. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Keith Backsen

Keith Backsen is executive director of the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau