As we prepare for a holiday season of smaller gatherings, it’s time to bring the focus of our celebrations back to family, close friends and food. Lenexa Public Market merchants — seasoned cooks, entertainers and gift givers — are here to help with tips for exceptional entertaining, meals and presents.
Focus on the food
As a food hall, we’re biased: but we think great food is the key ingredient for a successful celebration. With fewer people at the table, you can focus on making your meals memorable this year.
“Intimate gatherings can be even more special than a big holiday party!. said Kate Smith of Kate Smith Soirée and (coming soon) Butterfield’s Bakery and Market. “With any gathering, food is the one thing people get the most excited about. Make sure you make all of the family favorites to make it an extra-special occasion. Hosting family? Ask them to bring their must-have holiday dish.”
“I always like to bring the food that they enjoy the most and let them know what memories I have with that food, or hear what they remember when they tried it for the first time or last time they ate it,” said Ale de la Fuente of Red Kitchen. “That brings good memories to them like a favorite song.”
Save time by preparing ahead
Katie Liu Sung of Chewology said her top tip is to plan a meal of pre-prepped dishes that you can simply heat up the day of your celebration.
Red Kitchen’s de la Fuente said tamales freeze and reheat well. They’re one of her favorite holiday meal suggestions, along with hearty pozole.
Skipping time in the kitchen by ordering more complicated dishes is a great time-saver, too. Kate Smith said she’ll have a variety of holiday desserts available for pre-order.
Take a break with carryout
All our merchants offer online ordering and carryout for easy, delicious meals on busy evenings. The butter chicken at Sohaila’s Kitchen is an ideal dish for winter with warm spices and flavors. Topp’d Pizza + Salads makes all their dishes from scratch to order, so you can feed the whole family, including your pickiest eaters.
Easy grab-and-go gifts
With a great selection of locally sourced gifts, you can check multiple people off your list at once by shopping at the Public Market. The Flower Market’s Kelly Acock said long-lasting Pickwick candles are their top seller with a range of mood-setting scents. You can also share some hometown love with Kansas City-themed towels, locally sourced socks and other thoughtful stocking stuffers.
We Got Your Back Apparel has something for every fan, said owner Rob Arnold: their super-soft shirts pay homage to not just sports, but also movies, TV shows and more.
You can also give someone the gift of fresh gyoza, pizza or coffee with gifts cards — available at merchants including Chewology, Topp’d and The Roasterie.
Celebrate traditions and people
Instead of rushing around to bustling parties, this year’s holiday season provides a unique opportunity to refocus on memory-making traditions and important people in our lives.
“For smaller in-home gatherings during the holidays, it’s all about keeping and maybe creating a few new traditions this year.” said Kelly Acock of The Flower Market. “The small special things are what creates the memories that last a lifetime.”
“Rediscover that the season is more about the importance of the contact you have in life,” said Chad Talbott of Topp’d Pizza + Salads. “This is a great time to reflect on ourselves and not get caught up in the commercialized aspects of our society. We have been given a stressful year, let’s not stress ourselves out more.”
Check out merchant hours, menus and online ordering options at LenexaPublicMarket.com.