Gift giving thrived on the holiday season eve

It’s indeed that crucial time period of year when catchy gift catalogs invariably circle the office, e-cards begin to fill in-boxes, and attention-grabbing handwritten notes are fast stamped and sent out. It’s the time to wish the people and thank your clients, in particular, for their contribution and cooperation in the year gone by, helping you make it a success. Has there been any noticeable change in the pattern in 2012?

An interesting and insightful column, entitled ‘Take That Scrooge! Corporate Gift Giving on Rise’, which appeared in The CNBC (writer Erin Horan) made the following pertinent observations:

Corporate gift giving rituals have never been perhaps trickier as most compliance departments in companies require gifts received by all their employees be valued at not more than $25. With that particular price limit, a tempting fruit basket can easily be perceived as contraband rather than that warm thank you it was actually intended to be, in the past.

In spite of this, the usual scramble to send the last batch of corporate gifts was underway as usual, and it seemed that corporate gift giving reasonably bounced back this holiday season. Budgets continued to be slim in the post-recession phase, but the good part: total spending was still on rise.

Small businesses, defined as those with not more than 100 employees, dished out an average budget of close to $960 on holiday gifts, up from just $827 the previous year. Trending gifts and gadgets in the office this year were a collection of classics that ranged from fruit baskets and wine, to organizational or some useful knick-knacks like USB sticks, flashlights and even calendars. Additionally, gifts that featured local produce and organic food were popular this year. There was a push to be healthy this year, when it came to gift giving.

The director (Corporate Sales) for Harry & David, Stephen Sloan, was quoted as saying that they incorporated specific personalized details to the traditional gift baskets so as to meet each individual’s tastes and identity, including company names highlighted on packaging, coffee mugs, apart from slipping in financial reports.

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