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Holiday Gift Guide

Locals in the Know

Dr. Julie Swift

Topeka Periodontics

Dr. Swift is a Board-Certified Periodontist, her office is located at 3100 SW Huntoon St., St. #103. Her husband Brad was hoping to have Anthony Bourdain help with his wedding proposal but had to settle for asking Julie to marry him on the beach at the Cayman Cookout – an annual event where chefs from around the world come together. She loves to plan trips around food and wine. The couple has visited vineyards in the USA as well as France, Portugal, Spain and South Africa. They also enjoy making their own cocktails or sipping wine on their back porch. Check out Julie's travel and cocktail related gift-giving ideas. 

Houdini Winged Corkscrew, Amazon

Cocktails: Modern Favorites to Make at Home, Amazon

Crossbody Bag, Amazon 


Kyle C. Lear

Community Insurance Solutions LLC

Kyle is an owner/agent of Community Insurance Solution and says that the Lear family lifestyle typically revolves around sports and traveling. The house is a divided one, consisting of 2 Wildcat fans (wife Abby and oldest son Kelm) and 2 Jayhawk fans (himself and younger son Banks). This past year's Christmas gifts included trips to bowl games in Memphis and New Orleans. There have been other Christmases, Thanksgivings, or even birthdays where the gift was a vacation to places such as Boston, Chicago, Hawaii, New York City, Washington DC and even Costa Rica. In short - See the World.

Gecko Xbelt, Amazon

Travel T-Shirts,

RFID Bifold Security Wallet, Mingus Leather Studio


Dr. Jared Fox

Fox Family Dental

Dr. Fox is a dentist who owns Fox Family Dental. For his family, adventure comes in many shapes and sizes with lots of laughter. Gathering for dinner can be an adventure. Unique dishware is always exciting, especially if it makes fun sounds. His boys enjoy gaming adventures more and more. Gamers HQ offers day passes for their gaming lounge to try new games and to meet up with friends. For a big adventure, a visit to Helping Hands Humane Society to find a new addition to the family might be the perfect gift!

Gurgle Pot, The Linen Tree

Day Pass, Gamers HQ

New Family Pet, Helping Hands Humane Society


Cathy Lutz

Associate Broker/Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Cathy is a Luxury Property Specialist with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. She feels blessed to have been raised before online shopping and Wal-Mart, in small towns like Midland, Texas and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Gift-giving was often an exercise in creativity. Small towns didn’t offer a lot of selection. Times change, but she still loves the hunt of finding local gifts whether it's gifting fully prepared meals for a family, a lasting "living" gift for a special client like a tree, or a special birthstone piece of jewelry for her daughter or nieces. 

Meals, Engroff Catering

Trees, Skinner Garden Store

Birthstone Jewelry, Calhoun’s Jewelers


Seth Wagoner

AIM Strategies

Seth is the CFO and CEO of AIM Strategies. He is an avid Boston Celtics and baseball fan. He likes to find out what people have as hobbies, interests and passions and get them something unexpected. A few gift ideas are anything pug related-cards, shirts, mugs, etc.  He mentions that pugs have an even and stable temperament. They have great charm and are loving, outgoing and loyal. Pugs are everything that he strives to be. More ideas are sports collectibles and Southwest gift cards. He shares that life is too short to miss out on an adventure. People should take that vacation or see that concert. The opportunity may never happen again.

Gift Cards, Local Merchants 

Sports Collectibles, R&D Collectibles

Pug Merchandise, Amazon


Tami Cortez

Cortez Transportation

Tami Cortez is the COO and CFO of Cortez Transportation. She's a practical person and enjoys giving to others. She always tries to give gifts that someone would not necessarily purchase for themselves; something specific to the individual. Because she is a grandmother, gifts usually are centered around grandchildren and family. Her suggestions include family memberships to the Topeka Zoo and or Kansas Children's Discovery Center. Educational toys or items that relate to a specific interest or skill are always a must. 

Family Membership, Topeka Zoo

Family Membership, Kansas Children's Discovery Center

Magnetic Books, Paper June


Lisa Williams

Williams Family Law

Lisa is an adoption attorney with a law degree from Washburn University School of Law. After a successful decade-long career as a classroom teacher, her decision to specialize in adoption law was deeply personal, stemming from her experience as an adopted child. Reflecting on the blessings her parents provided, she is committed to helping others create the same love-filled lives through adoption. She enjoys needlecrafts such as knitting, crocheting, and tending to many houseplants. She finds joy in giving hand-crafted gifts and plants that beautify living spaces, as well as holiday sweet treats.

Floral Arrangements, Porterfield's Flowers & Gift Shop

Sweet Treat Gift Boxes, Hazel Hill Chocolate

Yarn Crafted Items, Yak 'n Yarn  



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