Christmas really is the ‘Silly Season’ and we all go just a little crazy… we buy things we don’t need, purchase things for others that they don’t need, we try and fit in ‘everything’ before the 25th of December as if the world as we know it will cease to exist on the 26th, we stress about seeing friends and relatives we see only once a year, we plan Christmas Day with meticulous precision to ensure that we get to have breakfast with our brother’s family, be at Grandma’s in time for the turkey but ensure we leave before your Aunt has had too many sherries and be at the inlaws in time for pudding. That’s a lot of hype, pressure and stress for one day.
Religious and cultural differences aside, at its core, Christmas for many of us is about the ‘giving’ and while receiving is always fun, focussing on giving makes Christmas more meaningful.
When it comes to business and Christmas, the significance of the season can become lost in a haze of corporate gifts and boozy Christmas functions. Here are a few ideas to help your business bring some meaning back to this special time of year.
- Support a local business – when choosing a location for your Christmas function, consider supporting a local café or restaurant, or perhaps speak with a local retailer when considering your corporate gifts.
- Sustainable corporate gifts – When choosing your corporate gifts this year perhaps think outside the box and consider an environmentally friendly or sustainable option.
- Donation in lieu of gifts – rather than giving corporate gifts consider making a donation to a charity and let your clients and customers know that you have elected to do this and perhaps share a bit of background as to why you’ve selected a particular charity.
- Donate your time– we’re all busy, especially during the lead up to Christmas but could you or your staff donate a few hours of time to a worthy cause?
- Charity cards – if you’re going to send Christmas cards to clients, customers, colleagues and collaborators, perhaps consider purchasing cards where the proceeds are donated to a charity.
- Review another business – being in business can be challenging, so if you’ve received great service from another business, consider giving them an online review. That café which has kept you caffeinated all year is surely worthy of 2 minutes of your time.
- Food drive or giving tree – for some, Christmas involves ripping open presents then eating all the things until they fall into in a food coma which lasts until 1 January when the ‘diet’ starts. Unfortunately, this is not the reality for many people. Having your business support a food drive or giving tree is a great way to ensure that more people can enjoy a special Christmas.
- Say ‘thank you’ – it might sound simple, but just taking the time to ‘thank’ the clients, colleagues and collaborators of your business for their support over the year is an important gesture.
- Bake Off – the office Kris Kringle is an essential event for many businesses and it’s all fun and games (unless you draw the boss.) While the gifts are often hilarious, they are often items which ultimately end up in the bin so instead of a Kris Kringle consider organising a bake off where staff bring a plate of food to share. You can get creative, set low budgets, conduct blind tastings and offer prizes for the most popular plate.
- Recycle – have you ever done the clean up after a crazed gift giving session? The mounds of paper, tissue and cardboard is frightening. If you’re going to gift wrap your corporate gifts, do something good for Mother Nature and use recycled and recyclable paper or consider wrapping gifts in purposeful items such as tea-towels or scarfs.
How does your business do Christmas? What creative ways is your business contributing to making Christmas more meaningful? We’d love to hear your comments and stories at email@example.com.