Christmas Ideas?

I know, I know, it's only September! x:D

We are a corporate training facility with approximately 250 people, and I need some assistance from my fellow "Forum" folks to see if you can give me your ideas on possible Christmas (*oops*) Holiday gifts for your team members. Last year we gave an American Express Gift Cheque along with a trifold calendar for the following year with our logo on it (in lieu of a party). Any other thoughts? Sometimes it's so hard to be original . . . .x:-/ And this year we may have a party and may not . . .hasn't been decided yet.

Thanks in advance for your help!


  • 16 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Just my thoughts for you - about 2 months before, circulate a list asking each employee to choose one of the following: two tickets for a dinner-theatre show,
    or two tickets to a sports event ( football, basketball ), or two tickets to an evening at the opera/philharmnic, or two meals at the best restaurant in town, or two tickets to an amusement park.

    Enjoy !
  • We always have a party, but we book a year in advance....places get full fast around here. I like the dinner gift certificate idea though. I mean, everyone has to eat, right? Even if they don't like the place they can go get dessert or drinks or something.
    :) Cinderella :)
  • Wow! How lucky you all are to be able to give gifts AND a party. We are a non profit organization and are lucky if we are able to provide a luncheon for our employees, much less a gift. Ah to be so fortunate! Enjoy!
  • Njjel - I know how fortunate we are, but as you know there are others that unfortunately don't realize it . . . .
  • We don't give gifts AND a party, we just have a party. :)
  • We get lunch if we are lucky! :-) (I'm just envious)
  • We have a party and gifts, I work off a budget. We usually have about 120-130 attend. Last year we formed teams of employees only and played "Survivor" games and gave a prize to the team with the most points at the end. It was a hoot! We also draw for the centerpieces that are usually some kind of candle contraption.
    One year we gave ice scrapers with our logo on them. Another year we gave mini coolers again with our logo. This year we have ordered "captain chairs" that come in a bag for camping, soccer games, etc. with our logo on them. They will be a very useful gift! I found them at this web site: [url][/url]

  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 09-06-02 AT 02:04PM (CST)[/font][p]In addition to bonuses, the owners give turkey gift certificates and we have the standard pot-luck lunch. Some people don't redeem their coupons and I'll arm twist a handful of those. I've got what is arguably the best Southern Fried Turkey Recipe in the world and will fry as many as 12 extras, take a long ride in the country and pull up announced at houses that look to me like they aren't having much of a good day and present them with their lunch. That and a couple of tumblers of 12-year-old Wild Turkey over ice will make my day for sure. x0:) I might mention that the diversity of our organization is such that it's often cumbersome trying to accomodate the season and not offend. We can't assume everyone participates in the exchange of gifts or even festive meals at this time. Our staff includes Chinese, Muslim, India Indian, Vietnamese, Jewish, Christian, African-American, Columbian, Belgian, Communist Chinese (H1-B), a couple of yankees, and then there's me.
  • Is that a secret recipe Don?
  • One company I used to work for gave us grocery store gift certificates at holiday time. Not a glamourous gift by any means, but everybody needs groceries! The thought behind it was that we could put it toward a holiday meal in lieu of handing out turkeys.
  • We have an after Xmas Christmas Party the last Saturday in January so that everyone can have time to enjoy themselves. January is typically a slower month than December and people usually have too much to do during the holiday season to enjoy yet another party.

    We usually have a big bash at a local hotel and we serve heavy finger foods (I never can spell that fancy French word!) We also has a dee jay for dancing pleasure. Last year we combined it with an achievement awards type thing, but we had a lot of grumbling that it cut into the dance time, so I don't know if we'll do that again this year.

    We also give every employee a $25 WalMart gift certificate at Xmas time. People can usually find something they want at WalMart.

    It's expensive, but we have spoiled our people rotten and they expect it and MORE every year. I had one person tell me last year that a $25 gift certificate was "an insult". I asked that they return it to me and I would be glad to give it to charity to buy kids toys, and that shut them up real quick.

  • Can I come work for your organization?? :-)
  • Please do! I need some help!
  • Continuing on, Rockie, we were loading bonus' for various things (wellness, attendance, etc) onto paychecks which meant we had to tax the money as wages. They complained, so we decided to use non-taxed Wal Mart certificates instead which had been a suggestion from ee's. Well, you guessed it. Then they griped that Sears would have been better. But, we need to get back to the Christmas Spirit of this post, sorry........
  • The best office holiday party I was ever involved in was when I worked on the Texas Supreme Court.

    Instead of giving ourselves a party, we "adopted" a local home for single women and children and gave them a party. We got lists of things that they wanted for christmas, and each employee bought a gift for someone on the list. To raise funds for additional gifts and food, we did a silent auction, with employees donating homemade items for other employees to bid on. Also, employees brought cookies to the party. Then we had the party with the families from the home. It was the best office Christmas party ever! The kids in the home (which ranged in age from teenagers to toddlers) had a great time.

    Of course, being an employee of the state, we did not have $$ for a party for ourselves. But this is a great idea for any business to try.

    Good Luck!
  • The best thing we ever did was sponsor our own internal angel tree to provide anonymously for our employees who couldn't afford Christmas for their children. Spouses were laid off, single parents, etc. Only two people in HR knew who the recipients were. Employees would call us and ask that we talk with so and so and see if they needed help.

    We approached it from the standpoint of "Sometimes it's you're time to give and sometimes it's your time to receive. This year is your time to receive. When times are better, you will get the privilege of helping another employee." We asked the employees to wrap all presents, but not to put cards on them so that the parents could address them to each child. We got the children's clothing sizes and toy requests, etc. Some departments would adopt a whole family. Some individuals volunteered to bring one item on the list. We would meet the employees after work off site to deliever the gifts so that no one knew they were part of the program. It was great and the employees loved taking care of our own and providing for each other.

    Margaret Morford
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