10 gift ideas to thank your employees, clients and customers this Christmas season

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'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 Christmas 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 festive 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 10 gift ideas that are unique, personal, and practical for both your employees and customers.

Gift ideas for employees:

1. A local treat for their taste buds

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

2. A fleece jacket to keep them warm

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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 personalised embroidery to each fleece with their name, job title or company name on it.

3. A solar phone charger

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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

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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 colourful vase. Pair this gift with a personalised thank you note wishing your employee well this festive season and for the new year.

5. A bag with extra compartments

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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.

Gifts for clients and customers:

1. A tote bag for Christmas shopping

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A gift that’ll come in handy this Christmas 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 travelling around the world on their holidays, 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

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The winter season is a time when people sit back and relax, catching up on their favourite TV shows while sipping on their favourite hot drink. Give packaged mugs that include packets of hot chocolate, coffee beans from local roasters, or a selection of Christmas-flavoured teas.

3. A selection of local chocolate

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If you’re at a total loss, chocolate never fails to tantalise the taste buds. But instead of buying it from the big-name brands, find local shops that offer artisan versions in original flavours. Give your customers a treat that celebrates the place that your business runs out of while also supporting another local small business.

4. A USB to keep memories

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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, films, and even backups of important documents (like passports and driving licenses) that are essential when travelling.

5. A Thank You card set

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One last-minute item that a lot of people set out to buy around Christmas are thank you cards. Gift your customers a set of custom printed and personalised thank you cards (adding a photo if that's fitting) and a customised 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 pop them in the post before the last bell tolls on New Year's Eve.

The Christmas 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 holiday 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 Christmas 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.