Gift Giving Mistakes to Avoid This Holiday Season

Image courtesy of xlordashx's photostream

Image courtesy of xlordashx’s photostream

Gift giving season is approaching, and soon, people will separate into two camps: those who are ahead of the game and purchase gifts well in advance, and those who wait until the last minute to do their shopping.

No matter what camp you belong to, it doesn’t hurt to at least come up with ideas now for your gift purchases later, especially if you are buying in bulk for customers or employees. But while you are coming up with these memorable gifts (check out this recent blog post for ideas), try to avoid making the following mistakes as suggested by Susan Payton, President of Egg Marketing & Communications:

1.    Giving gifts that are too expensive, or can’t be taken. It’s becoming more common that people are only allowed to accept gifts of a certain value, or in some cases, not at all. Before delivering that box of candy or sterling silver pen set, check with the gift recipients’ companies for what they allow and don’t allow. Even if you are giving gifts to your own employees, it is smart to check on your company’s policy beforehand. Otherwise, you may have a lot of gifts sitting in your office!

2.    Not knowing what a recipient will enjoy – or can’t enjoy. While giving a turkey to every employee may seem like a generous idea, it’s likely that not every employee will enjoy it. People may be vegetarians, or may abstain from meat for religious reasons. The same thing goes with alcohol; some may appreciate it, but some may stray away from it. The best idea is to stay conservative, and find something everyone will be able to use.

3.    Assuming everyone celebrates the same holiday. I grew up surrounded by people who celebrated Christmas, so Christmas parties, Christmas cards and ‘Merry Christmas’ wishes were the norm. It wasn’t until I went to college that I saw the value in saying ‘Happy Holidays’ to my neighbors of different faiths. The value is there for you as well in the business world. Whether you are planning on giving cards or are having a greeting imprinted on gifts, make sure the message is welcoming to every recipient.

4.    Forgetting to include someone. Make your list and check it twice! You will not want to leave anyone out, in particular your employees. It’s ok to give different gifts to different people, but make sure everyone is included. The point of giving gifts is to show how much you value a person, and acknowledging all of your customers and employees during this time of year – even if it is with a card – helps spread holiday cheer.

The overall lesson about gift giving is this: play it safe rather than being sorry later. There are still plenty of great gift ideas to choose from that everyone will appreciate – and will ensure you don’t have leftovers remaining until August.

For more gift-giving ideas, check out http://smallbiztrends.com/business-gift-giving.

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