Happy Friday! Megan here.

Weather check: Still warm, but it might turn snowy on Saturday

Member check: I'm thrilled to say we've added 15 new Sioux Falls Simplified members in December, and I'd love to see that number grow to 30 before the year is out. Have you found $5 worth of value from reading this newsletter? Consider buying in to a smarter Sioux Falls today.

This weekend, I'm so excited to share the inaugural Simplified Gift Guide! We had dozens of people submit ideas for how you can support local businesses with your holiday shopping. Please consider shopping locally to help ensure the businesses that make Sioux Falls cool are here to stay! You'll also find a roundup of local events.

And now, news:


Your Simplified Gift Guide to shopping local is here

Simplified: The holiday season can feel a bit overwhelming, but our Sioux Falls Simplified Gift Guide is here to make it easy to not only cross everyone off your shopping list but also to make it extra easy to shop locally.

How we got here

Sioux Falls Simplified put out a call a couple weeks ago asking for the community to submit gift ideas by locals for locals, and you guys delivered. We saw four dozen responses to the survey with a wide range of options.

  • You can scroll through the guide to find gifts in every price point, and options range from experience gifts to stuff for kids to self care and more.

Why it matters

Unique local businesses are what makes Sioux Falls cool. By supporting them, we not only ensure they're here to stay, but we also can find cool stuff we wouldn't find anywhere else.

Show me the guide


How Midco works to be a force for good in the community

This is a paid piece from Midco.

Simplified: The Midco Foundation works to be a force for good year-round. From encouraging employees to volunteer to offering grant funding for local nonprofits, here's a look at some of the ways the company is helping out Sioux Falls.

Why it matters

  • The Midco Foundation was established in 1987 as the nonprofit arm of Midco, and since then the organization has donated more than $5 million to nonprofit organizations, governments and schools across the Midco footprint.
  • Earlier this month, the foundation opened applications for its biannual grant program for nonprofits who benefit Midco's service area.
  • The foundation also encourages Midco team members to find ways to volunteer and positively impact their community. This year, Midco had more than 150 team members out and about volunteering at company-organized events in Sioux Falls in September alone.
  • The idea of giving back is so engrained in Midco's culture that teams will often look to volunteering as a way of not only being a force for good, but also of bonding as a team.
"Our teams actively choose to build relationships and celebrate wins by going out to volunteer at Feeding South Dakota or to help serve food at The Banquet," Foundation Executive Director Wynne Haakenstad said.

Tell me more about Midco's give back efforts


Stuff to do: Dec. 8-14

  • See Santa. It's truly impossible to collect all of the places Santa will be – the man, famously, gets around. But you can catch him at the zoo, the Western Mall, Kidtopia, Mary's Mountain Cookies, the Old Courthouse Museum, Winsupply, and First Bank and Trust this week. The Harrisburg Community Library is also hosting a "Sensory Santa" which caters to families with children who would benefit from a calmer, more relaxed meeting with Santa on Sunday.
  • See (musical) Santa. The Good Night Theatre Collective is putting on a performance of "Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play" at the Washington Pavilion Dec. 14 through Dec. 16. Find your tickets here.
  • Shop local vendors. Songbird Kombucha is hosting a local vendor pop-up in their 26th and Minnesota shop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Find goodies from makers selling everything from peanut butter to dried flower ornaments to, of course, kombucha. Details here.
  • Celebrate Chanukah. The Chabad Jewish Center of South Dakota is hosting a Menorah lighting and Gelt Drop starting at 3:30 p.m. Sunday near the children's play area at the Empire Mall. Details here.
  • Pair cupcakes with beer. Oh My Cupcakes! is teaming up with Severance Brewing for a beer and cupcake pairing event on Tuesday evening at the brewery. Try four different beers and four different cupcakes. Preorder your flight here.
  • See some ballet. Local ballerinas will perform The Nutcracker starting at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Orpheum Theater. Details here.


More Simplified Stories

Why hundreds of kids are at risk of going hungry at school
The Sioux Falls School District will no longer be serving food to kids who have a negative balance of $75 or more on their lunch account. It’s a tough decision, officials said, but the alternative could be up to half a million dollars in debt by the end of the year.
What’s the greatest need for housing in Sioux Falls?
Sioux Falls doesn’t have enough studio and one-bedroom apartments for its poorest residents, according to research released Tuesday from Augustana University.
How Gov. Noem’s budget proposal could affect Sioux Falls
Gov. Kristi Noem stood before lawmakers and the public on Tuesday to deliver her annual budget address, proposing a more than 7.2 billion in spending for the next fiscal year.


What I'm falling for this weekend


How to support Sioux Falls Simplified

Has Sioux Falls Simplified made you feel smarter about where you live?

Here are a few ways to ensure this smarter, easier local news outlet is here to stay:

  • Become a member. Consider buying into a smarter Sioux Falls by becoming a member and offering financial support to the no B.S. journalism you've been reading here.
  • Give a one-time gift. Not ready to commit to a membership? That's OK! If you want to help in a smaller way, you can give a one-time gift via buy me a coffee. :)
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Want the process to be even simpler? You can schedule a newsletter or event sponsorship right here with just a few clicks and a few questions.

Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or holiday-themed manicures to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Sioux Empire United Way, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance and Voyage Federal Credit Union. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.