In Epic Battle of Holiday Gifts, Gestures of Gratitude Take Down Generic Crap
By Christina Kettler
Since opening our doors in 1999, one of our key values has been to “communicate genuine gratitude.” But sadly, this gets lost in the shuffle of daily deadlines. That’s why our team has been in full swing this December sending out holiday cards, thank you videos and gifts to our clients showing them the love.
So what’s our holiday wish? Pay the appreciation forward to your clients and business partners. We even created a gift-giving guide to help you get started. Because gestures of gratitude are a surefire way to build stronger relationships with the people who on a daily basis make the conscious decision to continue working with you. Don’t they deserve more than a generic silver-embossed snowflake holiday greeting card with a stamped signature?
What Would Santa Do?
Want to know where to start as you embark on playing Santa? Make a list (and check it twice!) First jot down your key clients, and then focus on the people you interact with the most, not just the business owners or C-suite clients. Next, determine how much you can spend for each person. Check out the ideas below for gifts to give, no matter your budget.
Because … Budget
You know that old saying, “It’s the thought that counts”; well, it truly is. You don’t have to break the bank giving pricey gifts. With a bit of research and time, a dash of creative thinking and a little elbow grease, you can send out clever gifts that make people say, “Awww!” when they receive it.
Pinterest is a perfect place to start your search for budget-friendly client gifts. Ideas that popped up included masons jars (cheap!) filled with candy such as Tootsie Rolls or peppermints with sayings such as, “I like how you roll,” or “We were mint to work together.” A bit kitsch? Sure. But it still shows you’re thinking outside the box and willing to put in time and thought to send them something different. Don’t forget to spruce it up with some holiday-themed decorations like ribbons or bows. Stores like Amazon or Michaels can help with that.
If you know a person well, be sure to personalize the gift with something you know they love. (I bet a dog lover would be over the moon if you send them dog treats they could give their favorite furry friend. And if they are a movie buff, they’d appreciate tickets to that fancy new theater in their neck of the woods.)
Another clever budget idea is a small bottle of champagne or sparking wine with a ribbon and note tied to the neck saying something fun like, “May your holidays bubble over with joy,” or “Have a sparkling New Year!”
Be sure to keep your client’s personality in mind as you research ideas. And remember, presentation is key, so no sloppy work on handmade gifts.
Kick It Up a Notch
Low-cost Tootsie Rolls not going to cut it for your client? But you can’t swing a set of new golf clubs for them either? No problem. Check out gift gurus like uncommongoods for gift ideas such as cocktail glasses with an etching of your client’s city ($14). Or maybe your client has a sense of humor about how things are forever changing in their organization. This clock ($68) might be a fun way to rib them. Don’t forget a nice note to help tie the whole thing together.
If some of these gift ideas don’t pack enough testosterone, then check out Man Crates. They send out actual crates with crow bars to open them. The insides are filled with manly snacks like jerky and hot sauce, gadgets for the grill and more ($49 ‒ $100+).
When in doubt, look up top-rated restaurants on Yelp in your client’s city and get a gift certificate letting them know dinner is on you. And who doesn’t love a free ride after drinking at a company holiday party? Gift cards from ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are also available. Adding a nice note about wanting to make sure they get home safe this holiday season is a great way to show them you care. (Just be sure that the ride-sharing service is available in their town.)
Need to send something to a team but think the traditional gift basket is played out? Make your own and customize it to their needs. Maybe it’s a special box marked, “Open in a late afternoon emergency,” filled with coffee and caffeine drinks, sour candies, chocolate and salty snacks. Throw in a few gadgets and games to help wake up their brains. Let them know you’re there to help keep them charged, even in the toughest hours of the workday.
Teams love gifts that keep on giving, and that’s why this hot list of food and beverage monthly subscriptions will surely spark ideas for you.
Gift Like a Rock Star
Money no object when it comes to your clients? Lucky you! And them! So why not set your clients up in the fast lane with a BMW driving experience where they get to race around tracks like a pro? Or surprise them with concert tickets to the hottest upcoming show in their town with VIP seats and backstage passes. And who doesn’t want a private jet to whisk them away for a long weekend on some private tropical island? If money is truly no object, let your imagination run wild. But for the rest of us, we’d better stick to our budgets.
If nothing else, try to personalize the gift as much as you can. Even a handwritten card makes an impression in our digital era. Remember that time is of the essence. Christmas is this coming Monday, and most people will be taking off the weekend before, so if you’re sending a Christmas-themed gift, make sure it will be delivered before the long Christmas weekend. If you’re not sure, aim for a New Year’s gift as it gives you more time.
Have fun playing Santa and Happy Holidays!