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New Year's Gift Advice for Your Business

Updated on December 25, 2017
heidithorne profile image

Heidi Thorne is a promotional products expert and author of SWAG: How to Choose and Use Promotional Products for Marketing Your Business.

An imprinted mini ice bucket filled with candy can make an ideal New Year's business gift.
An imprinted mini ice bucket filled with candy can make an ideal New Year's business gift. | Source

Don't worry if you missed giving out business gifts during the holidays. In fact, New Year's can even be a better time to give!

Why New Year's is a Better Time to Give Gifts

During late November and December, people get snowed with mail and email. Some are friendly holiday greetings. Others are advertising offers because businesses know that people are in a buying mood around the holidays, both at home and at work. At home, purchases are for gifts and celebrating. At work, companies are often scrambling to either spend up existing budgets or plan for the next year. On both fronts, people are so overwhelmed by January 1 that they're just interested in plopping in front of the TV to watch the Rose Bowl before they have to go back to work. Ugh! The party's over.

In many areas, January is a month of drab winter weather and few, if any, holidays. Add that to the back-to-work doldrums. It's a time a year that needs some excitement! Why not be the provider of some excitement with an unexpected New Year's gift?

One company found out how valuable January was for gift giving after their gift supplier messed up and sent the packages out after New Year's. The company's surprise gift was so well-received that calls of thanks and appreciation came flowing in. With it being the beginning of the year, those kinds of calls can provide a great opportunity to talk about doing business in the year ahead.

Types of Business Gifts that Work for New Year's

With the element of surprise that a New Year's gift provides, really any type of gift might work. But here are some ideas that could be winners for a business:

  • Fresh Fruit and Healthy Snacks. After indulging over the holidays, a healthy eating gift of fresh fruit, nuts or snacks could be welcome. Gift packaged fruit boxes are available from many online sources. Some even offer a "Gift of the Month" type program where a different fruit of food gift is sent to recipients once a month for the entire year. This is an effective way to keep in touch with mega or key clients.
  • New Year's Themed Gifts. New Year's might be over by the time they receive a gift, but any gift sent in January can feature the theme. Ice buckets and champagne bottles filled with candies or food fit right in.
  • Calendars. Surprisingly, paper calendars are still popular in the age of e-calendars on mobile devices and computers. They become changing works of art! So choosing themed calendars with beautiful photography and artwork get attention. Or choose a 3D calendar that can occupy a special place on a customer's desk. Giving calendars in January is best, but anytime through the first quarter of the year can still work.
  • Super Bowl Gifts. Got football fans as clients? No doubt that right after New Year's they're getting pumped up for the Super Bowl, especially if the local team is in the playoffs. Sending a food gift of snacks and cheeses the week before the big day can be quite a surprise and will definitely get used. Pizza gift certificates or certificates to restaurants that will be showing the big game can also work. Also use football theme promotional giveaways with the business name on them, but DON'T put the NFL team's name on them! Big licensing no-no.

Chinese New Year and Jewish New Year Gifts

For some businesses and communities, alternate "New Year's" celebrations are even more important than the end of the calendar year. Two of the most widely celebrated are Chinese New Year (usually occurring in late January through mid-February, depending on the year) and Jewish New Year (also known as Rosh Hashanah, which occurs in early September to early October, depending on the lunar cycle).

Each of the cultures has traditions that need to be observed so as not to offend recipients. If you are not well familiar with the traditions, consult a marketing consultant specializing in these markets before purchasing gifts.

Disclaimer: Any examples used are for illustrative purposes only and do not suggest affiliation or endorsement. The author/publisher has used best efforts in preparation of this article. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered or allowed and all parties disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for your particular purpose. The advice, strategies and recommendations presented herein may not be suitable for you, your situation or business. Consult with a professional adviser where and when appropriate. The author/publisher shall not be liable for any loss of profit or any other damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. So by reading and using this information, you accept this risk.

© 2013 Heidi Thorne


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  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

    Hi purl3agony! I love giving at non-traditional holidays! It does have impact and is, as you note, has less potential to offend. And now you have a whole year ahead to plan those New Year's gifts. :) Thanks for all your support in the past year. Keep those great hubs coming and Happy New Year!

  • purl3agony profile image

    Donna Herron 3 years ago from USA

    I love your ideas for New Years themed-gifts and agree that it is a better time to give gifts to colleagues and customers. In addition, you run less risk of accidentally offending someone for religious reasons. I think I might start a New Year's gift tradition with my neighbors and colleagues for next year! Thanks for this great idea!!

  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

    Hi RTalloni! Let me know how it goes. I love giving on non-traditional holidays. All the best of success in the New Year!

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

    This makes good sense! And you've given me an idea that I hope to develop and get back to you on… :)

  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

    Mahalo hawaiianodysseus! I say even if you've really forgotten the whole holiday thing, treat your New Year's gift as if that was the plan all along. (We won't tell anyone.) Seems like the holidays are quite a ways off, but I'll be going to the promo show in a few weeks that will feature gifts and such for the holidays. Yikes! :)

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Heidi, finally, someone with a very practical way of ridding oneself of the guilt that comes with having spaced over a Christmas gift remembrance. There's still time, and there's still hope of salvaging a relationship or saving face with a colleague or boss. Ha-ha! Thank you for this reminder, and with lots of time for us to start doing the post-its on our bulletin boards: Six months and a few days until New Year's Day! LOL! Aloha, my clever writing peer!


  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

    Thanks, billybuc, for stopping in! My friend accidentally found the power in New Year's gifts. And I always give my clients their gifts for Thanksgiving. It's really appropriate!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Great ideas, Heidi, and the whole concept makes a lot of sense. Christmas gifts are almost expected; doing the unexpected sets your business apart from the rest and actually gives the impression that you care more.