They are responsible for our good years and our continued hope for the future. They are our clients, but also our teachers and friends. A card is not enough to express our gratitude. Every year at this time, we look for ways to tell our clients what they mean to us.
Here are a few ideas to please the solo entrepreneur, the small office, and the individual client. As for your own inspired ideas, please post them in the comments.
Note: Not all of these ideas fall within the $25 limit set by the IRS for tax-deductible gift limits. Too bad. While money is not the point, we would like to express our full thanks. Write your senators and representatives to raise the limit on tax-deductible gifts next year, but for now, forget the cost — just let them know how you feel.
The 1.3 liter Menu Water Pitcher provides “spa water” at the office – add lemon, mint or basil sprigs, apple slices, or other flavorings. It’s healthy, it’s beautiful. Find it at fitzsu in Los Angeles. (About $70)
Strike a blow for Urge the world toward greater civility! New York Times columnist Philip Galanes has written SocialQ’s, an entertaining and useful guide to 21st-century etiquette. Emoticons in your business correspondence? Silver spoon missing after the neighbors come to dinner? Sister re-gifting what you gave her, and giving it back to you?? Galanes addresses modern social quandaries with wit and intelligence. (Publisher’s price $23, sells for about $16 on amazon.com)
Eco-friendly. Fun to use. Helpful. Ships flat. (Did I mention fun?) the bamboo desktop dry-erase board from Three by Three, available at SeeJaneWork will please lots of clients, and bring warm thoughts of you every day. (About $ 14)
Are your clients equal parts analytical and creative? Or do you need a nifty gift that travels well? The Revolver notebook is a sturdy, attractive, and useful example of the book inder’s art. A quick flip of the covers changes the Revolver from plain paper for free-form imagination to ruled pages for no-nonsense jotting. Mails neatly. (About $ 12-19, depending on size)
Maybe you and your client have achieved the extraordinary this year – slain dragons together. Or maybe you happen to know they don’t want another “thing” in their office – but new experiences are always welcome. Maybe this is the year for Edward Tufte’s information design class, “Presenting Data and Information.” Tufte, a retired Yale professor and a towering figure in information design, has created a class that will forever change the way you think about a PowerPoint. (About $380 per person)
Just when I thought chocolate could not get any better, enter Recchiuti, San Francisco’s chocolatier supreme. Conveniently, they offer a “sharing box” that let’s everyone have a mind-blowing taste. Don’t be surprised when they start dropping hints once they’ve run out. (About $100)
I wish you all the very happiest of holidays!