12 gift ideas to thank your employees, clients and customers this holiday season

Employee christmas gift ideas

'Tis the season to give a big thank you to all the people who’ve helped you reach your goals this year. But before things get too busy, it's time to start thinking about holiday gifts that are memorable, professional, and something your staff, clients and customers will be excited to unwrap and use (or devour) right away.

Though planning holiday gifts for those in the workplace might be a headscratcher, no matter what your budget is or how many people are on your gift list this year, we have 12 gift ideas that are unique, personal, and practical for both your employees and customers.

Employee gift ideas

  1. A hometown treat
  2. A fleece jacket to keep them warm
  3. A solar phone charger
  4. A plant to decorate their desk
  5. A bag with extra compartments
  6. A desk calendar to start the year

Customer and client gift ideas

  1. A tote bag for Holiday shopping
  2. A mug for warm winter drinks
  3. A selection of local chocolate
  4. A USB to keep memories
  5. A Thank You card set
  6. A wall calendar to say thank you

Employee gift ideas

1. A hometown treat for their taste buds

Sweet treat employee gift idea
If you're looking for a sweet treat to send your employees home with as they wind down for the holiday season, source something delicious from other local businesses. Put in an order for cookies, cupcakes, or brownies with a local baker or pastry chef. You can package treats by placing them inside a personalized coffee mug (with either your company's logo or the employee’s name on it) or wrap them in special paper and put a personalized “Happy Holidays from [Insert your name and the company's name]” sticker on top.

2. A fleece jacket to keep them warm

Fleece jacket employee Christmas gift
As the chill in the air starts to creep into your workspace, give out fleece jackets to your employees, to keep at their desk or for morning jogs or strolls around the park. To make sure no one's jacket gets misplaced, add personalized embroidery to each fleece with their name, job title or company name on it.

3. A solar phone charger

Solar phone charger employee gift idea
A person can never have too many phone chargers, especially when they’re always on-the-go or using their phones to snap family photos or hunt for the best prices on gifts. A clip-on solar phone charger powers up a smartphone when it's exposed to sunlight, helping its battery life last longer by harnessing the sun’s natural energy

4. A plant to decorate their desk

Desk plants as gift for your staff
By the end of the year, most of your employees' desks are taken over by paperwork, office supplies, stacks of folders and envelopes. A novel way to help them set the mood for a fresh new year and brighten up any desk is with a succulent in a colorful vase. Pair this gift with a personalized thank you note wishing your employee well this holiday season and for the new year.

5. A bag with extra compartments

Custom backpack as a holiday gift
The start of the new year is the perfect time for your employees to get some upgraded gear, starting with something they use daily: their backpack or laptop case. Create custom backpacks for your employees, picking either the classic backpack for those who use it for more personal items or the computer backpack for those who use it for travel.

6. A desk calendar to start the year

Custom desk calendar employee gift
Nothing gets the year off to a fresh start like a personalized desk calendar that gives your employees a way to organize their days. Choose a colorful design that adds instant personality to their work space or office. Maybe customize it with their name along with your company logo. It’s an easy way to keep the weeks and goals for 2020, front and center. Add a smile to every month, no wall space needed.

Customer and client gift ideas

1. A tote bag for Holiday shopping

Festive Christmas gift mug set
A gift that’ll come in handy this holiday season and beyond is a custom-made tote bag with your company's logo printed on it. While your customers are off shopping for gifts or traveling around the world on their vacations, your tote bag gift will be the savior they need when they find themselves having to pack up and go.

2. A mug for warm winter drinks

Local chocolate client gift idea
The winter season is a time when people sit back and relax, catching up on their favorite TV shows while sipping on their favorite hot beverage. Give packaged mugs that include packets of hot chocolate, coffee beans from local roasters, or a selection of holiday-flavored teas.

3. A selection of local chocolate

USB flash drives as client gifts
If you’re at a total loss, chocolate never fails to tantalize the taste buds. But instead of buying it from the big-name brands, find local stores that offer artisan versions in original flavors. Give your customers a treat that celebrates the hometown that your business runs out of while also supporting another local small business.

4. A USB to keep memories

Thank you card set for customers
As families gather and people head off to different parts of the world to celebrate the end of the year, a USB flash drive is a small, portable and practical gift.  Store photos, movies, and even backups of important documents (like passports and driving licenses) that are essential when traveling.

5. A Thank You card set

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One last-minute item that a lot of people set out to buy around holiday season are thank you cards. Gift your customers a set of custom printed and personalized thank you cards (adding a photo if that's fitting) and a customized pen. That way, when they’re looking to end the year without any lingering tasks, they'll be able to write their own thank you cards and place them in the mail before the ball drops on New Year's Eve.

6. A wall calendar to say thank you

Custom wall calendar client gift
Really appreciate your customers? Show them with a wall calendar that starts the new year with more than just days of the week. Customize yours with monthly offers or send a private sale their way. These little perks not only show how much your value their business, it also keeps your company front and center 365 days a year.

The holiday season will sneak up on us before we know it. As the end-of-year tasks start to pop-up on your employee’s to-do lists and your customers begin to get in full vacation mode, start planning the best ways to show both groups of people that you appreciate them for everything they've done for you and your business this year.

Get started by sitting down and making a list of who you'd like to give gifts to this holiday season and matching their names with a fitting gift.

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About the author

Jen Glantz is the creator of the blog, The Things I Learned From and the author of the books All My Friends are Engaged & Always a Bridesmaid for Hire. She's a freelance writer, a public speaker, and the founder of Jen & Juice, a coaching business that's served more than 50 individual clients and companies like Google, Hyatt, Brooklyn Brewery, and ESPN.