If you want to give something to your customers for the holidays but time or money or ideas are in short supply, here are five suggestions for gifts you can make or buy quickly, easily and quite inexpensively.
Stuffed Mugs Take an ordinary coffee mug (you can almost always pick these up at the one-dollar stores, but if you already have mugs with your logo, use those) and stuff it with candy canes, chocolate dipped pretzels, cocoa mix, biscotti, chocolate Santas, or whatever suits you. Then, wrap with cellophane wrap (the bags work quite well!), tie with curling ribbon or raffia, and attach your business card. Voila – a great way to say you remember and appreciate their business.
Candy Bags Skip the mugs but use cellophane bags you can find at hobby stores. You can even find Christmas themed bags this time of year, but clear bags work well and you can use them year-round. You can be very creative with these bags and even put in items other than candies. Small office supplies, teas or coffees, bath or spa products, lip balms, and so on.
Homemade Food or Beverage Items. I have given tons of these over the years because I like to make and gift them. Some ideas include Spiced Tea Mix, Hot Chocolate Mix, and Mocha Mix (a big hit). Also, consider your favorite homemade Holiday cookies or candy. A few pieces of decadently delicious fudge beautifully wrapped will surely be savored and remembered. Home-baked breads and quickbreads work, too and make pretty packages. Use small loaf pans and you can get more gifts per recipe and they look very cute when wrapped.
Stockings You can find (or if you can, make your own!) stockings in various sizes and at various prices at hobby shops and discount stores. Any size works, too. For an office, choose a big stocking and put in fruits, nuts, and candies for everyone to share. For just a couple of people, choose smaller stockings.
Personalized Items If you or someone you know has decent handwriting, you can personalize almost anything. One year, I bought off-white, glass, ball-shaped ornaments and had an artistic friend write the names of all my almost 100 employees on them in gold permanent marker. They looked like they were very expensive and everyone loved them. I’m sure they still hang on many trees today and that was almost ten years ago. You can give these along with your other gifts, too. If you do not know names, use holiday symbols or write the company name. Wine glasses, mugs, containers of almost any kind work, too.
Unless you have a huge customer base, you can probably get these done in an afternoon, and all of them are well under $5 per gift. Some you can do for less than $2. But, all of them can look very costly if you wrap and present them with as much care and attention as they deserve. And, the personal touch that all these gifts have makes their actual cost in dollars irrelevant. You are giving a token that says you value someone and that is truly priceless.
These bags and gold/silver markers will come in handy in creating your holiday gifts: