holiday workroom christmas tree display
From unique in-store experiences to holiday-themed team-building activities, these companies have all found unique ways to embrace the holiday spirit. — Holiday Workroom/Jonny Valiant

For many businesses, the holiday season is their busiest time of year. To stand out, retailers often get extra-creative with their marketing and promotions to entice shoppers looking for that perfect gift.

However, some businesses make their entire year revolve around the joy of the holiday season. Whether they've built a holiday-themed business or simply go above and beyond to rebrand themselves during the season, these six companies truly know how to embrace the holiday spirit.

Finnegan's Toys and Gifts

The rise of online retail giants like Amazon has impacted many small brick-and-mortar retailers. However, Karen Leppmann, owner of Finnegan's Toys and Gifts in Portland, Oregon, has held her own over the years by offering a unique holiday shopping experience for local residents.

"Shopping here is a totally different experience from ordering online," Leppmann told CO—. "Customers try out toys at several play areas. We help people find the perfect child's toy or gift for an adult. You can touch the toys, find out where they're made, see how they work, get age-appropriate suggestions and [get gifts] wrapped, free of charge."

Leppmann does in-depth research on product pricing and availability before ordering inventory for Finnegan's, focusing on hard-to-find, classic toys that shoppers can't easily find at the big online stores.

"We don't want customers to pay more at Finnegan's than down the road at Target, so I avoid items that the big box stores use to draw people into their physical or online sites," said Leppmann.

[Read: Considering Opening a Retail Store? The Pros and Cons of Brick-and-Mortar Locations]

Gingerbread Wars by Team Building Hero

Corporate team-building activities are popular among businesses across industries, but you've probably never battled it out with your coworkers to see who can build the best gingerbread house.

For three months out of the year, Gingerbread Wars by Team Building Hero helps employers host a gingerbread house-making competition for their teams. With multiple activities and optional add-ons like snacks, photography and BYOB, this 90-minute event is designed to improve team dynamics and create connections with coworkers.

"[Gingerbread Wars] is fast-paced, wildly fun and probably the best damn time your team will have this holiday season," said Michael Alexis, CEO of Team Building Hero. "It's not about Christmas, Hanukkah or any other specific holiday – we just love celebrating great teams and holiday cheer."

Like all of the team-building events offered by his company, Gingerbread Wars aims to deliver "a world-class experience both for the guests and event planner," said Alexis.

It's not about Christmas, Hanukkah or any other specific holiday – we just love celebrating great teams and holiday cheer.

Michael Alexis, CEO, Team Building Hero

Holiday Workroom

It's hard work to create a magazine-worthy Christmas tree. That's exactly why industry-recognized interior stylist Erin Swift founded Holiday Workroom.

Swift leverages her 12-plus years of decor experience to deliver one-of-a-kind, show-stopping Christmas trees in private residences and public spaces. She offers multiple themes and styles on her tree "menu," including Scandinavian Modern, New England Classic, Uptown Royal, Greenwood Essential and Inspired Oeuvre.


Judah and Kristen Parness, founders of Rent-A-Christmas, are known to their customers and employees as Skeeter Gumdrop and Sparkles Peppermint the Elves. The Parnesses and their team offer an extensive product line of high-quality real and artificial Christmas tree packages, available for rent by New York City businesses, local residents and even holiday season visitors.

"Our full-costume elves ... deliver and install rentals at the beginning of the season and come back after the holidays to remove and return all rented decorations," said co-founder Judah Parness. "By combining our intuitive online shopping platform with the magical power of our elf squad, Rent-A-Christmas is able to provide a genuinely unique and uncomplicated solution [to holiday decorating]."


For most of the year, RushOrderTees brands itself as a provider of custom t-shirts. During the holidays, however, the company shifts its branding, empowering consumers to use its service to make a special and unique holiday gift for their loved ones.

"The holidays are a huge time for personalized gifts," said founder Michael Nemeroff. "Being that our product is very customizable, shifting our branding towards being a great personalized holiday gift has created a huge boost to sales."

[Read: 3 Expert Strategies to Encourage Positive Customer Reviews]

SkyPark at Santa's Village

In 1954, California resident Glen Holland spotted a Saturday Evening Post article about a Santa's Village in New Hampshire. He wanted to bring the magic of Christmas to his West Coast home, and opened a Santa's Village of his own on rented land in San Bernardino.

Today this destination has been reimagined by current owners Bill and Michelle Johnson as SkyPark at Santa's Village. The park now operates year-round (with Santa in-residence!), offering programs and outdoor activities that promote clean living, an active lifestyle and conservation.

However, visiting during the holiday season is an extra-magical experience for people of all ages. The Johnsons aim to deliver the "nostalgia of an 'Old World Christmas in the Woods'" to all who visit SkyPark during the most wonderful time of the year.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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