Holiday Gift Giving in the Workplace

Dec 19, 2011 – You have your family gifts purchased, wrapped and are ahead of the game this holiday season. Wait…What? You forgot to get something for your assistant and your boss? How about that special coworker you share much of every day with? Don’t forget about your favorite clients! No problem, you still have some time, but now you are concerned with what the appropriate gift might be or how much you should spend. Here are some guidelines you can go by:

First of all, common sense should always dictate when giving inside the company. The best advice would be to communicate with those beforehand that you intend to gift to and establish some ground rules. Set a spending limit and try to enjoy giving for the sake of giving and not worry too much about trying to match dollar-for-dollar what others spend on you. If you have been a good listener, you know what your comrades like by now. Maybe a CD by their favorite musician, some of their favorite candy or perhaps a gift card to one of their favorite retailers. Some companies even participate in a white elephant blind gift exchange which can be a whole lot of fun.

Corporate gift giving to clients can be a little more daunting depending on what kind of budget you have to work with, if any at all. If you have had a good year and expectations in sales have been accomplished, then you probably need to do something for your clients and vendors alike to show your appreciation. If your company has set your sales force up with a PEX Visa prepaid business card, or perhaps a Bank Freedom Mastercard prepaid expense card, then you are ahead of the game and can go ahead with your gift purchases. Here are a few guidelines to consider when participating in corporate giving:

  • Alcohol – If you do not know the drinking habits of your clients, vendors or for that matter, co-workers, then there is significant risk in giving libations. Also, if you have out-of-state clients, then shipping wine or other spirits can be tricky with state licensing regulations. Now if you know that your local gift recipients will enjoy a nice bottle of wine for the holiday season, then by all means gift away and take the corporate tax deduction.
  • Company Products – Maybe your company produces goods or services that lend themselves as gifts. Consider sending out a “Special Holiday Edition” to your favorite vendors and customers. If you have time, create some special packaging or complementary gift to be included like a bottle of your company’s wine and cheese, or one of your technology gizmos with a prepaid debit card for accessories.
  • Gift Baskets – Fruit, meats, cheeses, candy and baked goods have been a standard holiday gift through out the ages and there are a litany of choices when it comes to baskets. If you want to keep it healthy and “green”, consider local farm co-op organic fruit baskets. Make sure you send them or hand deliver them in advance so they don’t spoil sitting in your client’s office building over the break.
  • Charitable Gifts – These are always a great thought if all else fails. Find out who your client’s or vendor’s favorite charity is and give a donation in their name. It will be viewed as a very thoughtful gesture, you will be helping your community and it will be great for your company’s brand image. Many non-profit charities also accept network-branded corporate prepaid debit cards as payment for donations.
  • Gift Cards – These are oft times considered one of the “best” gifts of all as many people love to receive a gift that they can use to get whatever they want. There are several prepaid debit cards for your customers and business associates.

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