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As we celebrate Thanksgiving, small business owners should take time to say thank you to the people who serve as the backbone of their company – employees.  Some owners may be in the position to throw an extravagant end-of-year party or give significant bonuses.  However, if you are looking for something that won’t be cost prohibitive but will still be meaningful and memorable, consider the following A-to-Z list of small business holiday gift suggestions.


 

Athletic club memberships can be expensive, but picking up a month or two could be a nice gesture.

Baskets of almost any variety – from fruit and candy to games and puzzles to thumb drives and mouse pads

Charitable donations in your employees’ names to organizations of their choice or a large donation (i.e. a percentage of sales) given to a charity your employees select

Desk organizers that run the gamut from pen-and-pencil sets to leather iPad holders.

Entertainment events with a holiday theme, i.e. a folk concert, an art exhibit or a book signing, held on company grounds

Food items personalized based on your knowledge of an each employee’s palate – from organic jams to exotic cheeses

Gift certificates to restaurants certainly, but also spas, sporting events, local travel, cooking lessons, or art exhibits

High-end “Secret Santa” where employees exchange services or products and have a chance to network in the process

International potluck dinner as a less expensive alternative to a glitzy party and potentially a greater boost to morale and camaraderie

Java sample packs from online retailers like eRoast or local microroasters that offer a wide variety of coffee flavors

Kid-friendly party for employees’ children, stepchildren, nieces and nephews, or grandchildren

Logo-endowed items, ranging in extravagance from stainless steel coffee mugs to backpacks to carry-on luggage

Membership to a wine or beer of the month club

Notecards or stationary personalized with employees’ initials

On-site classes in anything from financial planning to yoga

Photography sessions for employees and their families, all to memorialize special people, events and moments

Quiet time during the day in the form of extended coffee breaks or a walk outside

Red and green – or silver and gold – decorations, hand-painted to the liking of each of your employees

Seats to a local theater, concert hall or sporting event

Time off of at least half a day or several opportunities to leave early or come in late during the holiday season

Umbrellas, mittens, scarves and other gear for inclement winter weather

Vendor discounts from your major suppliers from cellular service to computer equipment

Wine or beer tastings on a Friday evening after work, which can be less expensive than an office party and just as festive

X-box and Wii games, karaoke competitions and gambling tables as part of a grownup night of fun

Yearbook for the company, incorporating recipes, photographs, holiday stories and original poems contributed by employees who choose to participate

Zoo or other experiential party in an outdoor location, as long as climate conditions allow

 

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So there you have it: 26 gift ideas for your employees this holiday season.  Whether you are an out-of-the-box type or someone who likes to have fun with your staff, there is a perfect gift out there that says “thank you” just the way you want to say it.  How do you show your employees that you are thankful for them? Do you plan to use any of the recommendations above? Share your thoughts with the SBOC community below.