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The Best Gifts for Clients
During the Holiday Season

December is a good time to show your appreciation to clients with a gift. With only a few weeks left in the year, here are a few guidelines and ideas.


Guidelines for Gift Giving

 There are three general rules to follow as you consider gifts for your clients. These rules can help narrow your choices and make an appropriate gift selection.

  1. Stick to a budget — Keeping costs in mind makes practical sense and can also help you avoid an embarrassing mistake: Some companies have policies that prevent employees from accepting gifts valued over a certain amount. Make sure you know what this amount is before giving a gift.

 Also, keep in mind that business gifts are deductible up to $25 per person—another reason to stick to a budget.

  1. Don’t make it too personal — Anticipate how your client will perceive the gift. Make sure it’s not too personal. Examples of items to avoid include cologne, clothing or jewelry—all of which may send a wrong message.
  1. Remember that it’s not all about you — As much as you want to remain top-of-mind with your clients, you should avoid sending personalized items with your company’s name or logo on them. This columnist from Inc.com advises strongly against this practice.

A Few Gift Ideas

 Now that you know the rules, what makes an appropriate gift for you client? Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Gift cards — Gift cards for restaurants, retailers or coffee shops are practical and fun gifts and a great way to support local businesses as well. In the Atlanta area, local restaurant groups—including the Buckhead Life Group, Fifth Group and Ford Fry restaurants—offer gift cards that can be used at all their locations.
  • Food baskets — These are thoughtful and attractive and not something people buy for themselves, which makes them even more special. There are many companies that specialize in gift baskets and deliver around the country for convenience. For out-of-town clients, gift baskets with local food products are a good way to personalize your gift.
  • Wine — Red, white or bubbly? Have your clients mentioned a specific country or region, or do they enjoy travelling to a certain part of the world? If you client enjoys wine, a bottle of something they haven’t tried makes a thoughtful gift.
  • Books — Books can be a great gift, especially those related to business. Check out these recommendations from Business Insider.

As a creative freelancer, December is a great time to connect with your clients and show you value your business relationship with them. To make the gift truly authentic and sincere, don’t forget to include a personal note—and skip the business card
in the envelope.


Authored by Cheryl Syrett

Cheryl Syrett is a marketing communications writer and editor and former Freelance Forum board member. You may reach her at cherylosyrett@gmail.com and connect through LinkedIn.