Holiday gifts for clients and contractors

I was just reading an article about Writing Seasonal Content for Christmas at Problogger, one of my favorite blogsites. Darren’s post got me thinking in a different direction though. That being the annual corporate gifting extravaganza.

Is it really necessary to spend a bundle on non-family (I include close friends in definition of “family”) this time of year? Let’s examine the motivation.

If we’re talking about bonuses for employees, I think that’s a great gesture, but not when you limit where they get to spend your remembrance by putting your moolah into gift cards at Walmart or Target or wherever. If you truly want to reward and thank employees for their loyalty, just give them the money and trust that they know what to do from there.

What about those clients, contractors, or colleagues to whom you want to express your gratitude for their business and/or support? If you give a branded item, are you really giving or are you just advertising? And if you give an expensive gift basket, but the items in the basket aren’t to the liking of the recipient, what does that accomplish, other than enabling the recipient to regift those items individually.

Wouldn’t a simple thank you, or a thank you note, suffice?

I don’t even know how the tradition of bestowing client gifts at the holidays began, but it seems excessive and doesn’t feel like a genuine gesture to me. All the money poured into gifts for those who don’t need them could potentially be redirected into something more meaningful, such as Adopt-a-family, items needed by troops, or some other authentic charitable organization. Or even placed into accounts benefitting someone who’s experiencing a catastrophic medical situation. Or a scholarship fund for your own grandkids, or some other deserving young person.

Holy cow, I guess this qualifies as a rant. I am not against genuine expressions of gratitude, and I may be the only person on earth who is skeptical about corporate gifts.

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