Chances are there are a few people who have helped you on your way this year. Your customers, of course. Your teacher and mentors. Your business partners and service providers. Your employees. (They say there is really no such thing as a “self-made millionaire;” anyone who succeeds has relied on many others, many times.) And now perhaps you’d like to pause and express what these people mean to you.
Of course a heart-felt note is welcome any time of the year. But perhaps you’d like to show your thanks with a year-end gift as well. I’ve gathered a few ideas to help you at this busy time.
Is there something you’ve received that knocked your socks off? Leave a comment below and tell us about it.
Traditional monograms get an update when this acrylic tray is embellished with their twitter handle. Mark and Graham (newly launched by Williams-Sonoma) offers a variety of monogram-able office items. This tray comes in two sizes. ($45 and $55)
Don’t just give a pen. Give an instrument they’ll reach for no matter where they’re writing. The aluminum stylus pen, available at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, offers a nicely-weighted, refillable pen at one end and a rubber-tipped capacitive stylus at the other – great for sketching “back of the napkin” ideas on their tablet’s whiteboard app. ($40)
Need a gift to please the whole office? Bella Viva Orchards assembles gift baskets of dried fruits and nuts from California’s fertile Central Valley. Bella Viva offers a huge variety of gift basket sizes, from a modest eight-ounce tray of pistachios to a whopping 12-pound wooden crate loaded with 15 kinds of fruit and nuts, all of it packaged for freshness and visual appeal. (From $6 to $110)
For something that’s a little more than a card but is still easy to mail, take a look at the witty file folders from Knock Knock. The company offers three different designs (for Bills, Documents, and Stuff) each with humorous check-boxes for the category. They’ll think of you every time they open that file drawer. ($8 for a set of six)
Is there a book you want to buy and share by the dozen? For me, this year, it’s How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen, James Allworth, and Karen Dillon. Christensen is a professor at the Harvard School of Business and one of the world’s leading voices on the subject of innovation. If you loved Randy Paugh’s The Last Lecture or Anna Quindlen’s A Short Guide To A Happy Life, you’ll love the way Christensen and his co-authors light the path to fulfillment at any age or stage of life. This is a life-affirming, life-changing book. (Price at the time of writing: $14.72 on Amazon, but, you know, that could change)
Experiences are the best gifts. Give them a day to remember. Type “indoor skydiving” into your web browser to find a wind tunnel in your area, where you can share the experience of a skydive without the airplane ride. (Though personally I thought the plane ride up was half the fun. Well, maybe not half…)
Or invite them to spend an hour with someone who shaped the past year and may shape the coming ones as well. Most major cities have public affairs forums such as San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club and City Arts and Lectures, City Club of Chicago, or New York’s Hudson Union Society, where you can hear some of the most interesting leaders, thinkers, artists, and writers of 2012, live and in person.
I wish you a joyous holiday season and a new year filled with all good things!