As we approach Christmas, there is always lots of discussion on gift giving. For some, it’s a time when we get excited about giving – and even receiving – gifts. For others, it’s a time when we get frustrated and overwhelmed by how commercialized and materialistic Christmas has become and would rather not give or receive gifts. And even if we want to give gifts to others, it can be difficult to know what to give – or have the resources to give what we want to give.
This Christmas, I have three ideas for gifts you can give the people that you work with that don’t cost much money, but can mean a lot to them.
- Celebration. I don’t know about you, but I don’t do this nearly enough in a work setting. I’m one of those list makers who loves to “check the box” and once that box is “checked” it’s time to move to the next task or project. However, celebration can be a great way to pause, reflect and encourage the people you work with in any group or team. It can also be inspirational, motivational and energizing when you do move to that next project or task. I remember after finishing a statewide chronic disease plan that took months (or maybe a year….) to develop with close to one hundred partners, we ended our last meeting by bringing in a frozen yogurt bar. It was very memorable and a great way to celebrate the hard work and the finished product! Celebration can be as simple as sending out an email to your group highlighting what went really well and thanking everyone for their support, going out to lunch together, or bringing some food/drink to the office (and maybe balloons :). I’m sure you have many other creative ideas that will work well for your group!
- Credit. Publicly highlight specific ways people on your team or coalition have supported the work of the overall group. You might thank them during your next in-person meeting, through an email to the entire group or through social media. You could even do this during your next celebration event! Another way to give them credit is to also promote their work and their own organization’s products or resources. This is a gift that can keep on giving to them all year long!
- A Card. As I mention in the post about Keeping Thanksgiving Around All Year, saying “thank you” through a card or a letter can be really powerful and meaningful. You may also think about sending cards to people who you know may be having a particularly difficult Christmas because it’s the first year without their spouse, or a particularly happy Christmas because this is the first Christmas they have with a new baby. You may work with a lot of people and this idea sounds overwhelming to you, but I encourage you to even send one or two cards this year if possible. Andy Stanley gives some good advice about this in his message “One Not Everyone.”
I hope you will join me in implementing some of these ideas to give gifts to those you work with that may not be wrapped in a box or a bag!
What are some other ideas that you have in giving gifts to the people you work with that don’t cost a lot of money?