Employee Christmas Gifts and Appreciation Ideas for this Holiday Season and Beyond

In a typical year, this time would be considered the season for office Christmas parties, but this year especially it is imperative to show your team some appreciation for their year full of challenges and flexibility. Showing gratitude to your employees is not only thoughtful, but after this year a necessary tool for motivating teams and increasing employee engagement. Lack of recognition is the top reason employees leave their jobs. And consider this: companies who spend 1% or more of their payroll budget on employee admiration see a staggering 85% boost in employee engagement!

Here are some ideas for showing your team some appreciation this holiday season and all year long

1. Consider personalized holiday gifts such as company apparel or engraved presents. Nothing rubs an employee the wrong way like receiving a thoughtless or cheap Christmas gift after a year of hard work. If you’re looking to reward your employees with a quality gift that everyone can enjoy, make it count. Have your company logo (or even employee names!) printed on premium company promotional products that your team will be proud to use for years to come. To battle those winter temps, try branded personalized gifts such as sweatshirts, scarves or masks. With lots of employees working at home this year, arm them with gear to boost performance and functionality, such as headphones, speakers or phone accessories. Amidst the virus, help your employees stay healthy and hydrated with custom Christmas mugs, water bottles or bar accessories.


2. Hold a raffle on an online call. Concerned with the cost of premium office gifts for a larger team? Try an office raffle or Secret Santa instead! Invest in custom or desirable products–think jackets, golf accessories or home goods–as a raffle prize or as part of a holiday gift basket. Want to spread extra holiday cheer? Donate raffle proceeds to your local Toys For Tots and everyone will feel a bit more merry.

3. Upgrade your office for the holidays. Individual gifts aren’t the only way to show your employees that you care. Consider small improvements you can make around the office this season to show you’re looking out for your team’s comfort and safety now and throughout the new year. Start with the basics by giving employees personalized water bottles or personalized Yeti cups. For those coffee lovers, try a commercial grade coffee and espresso maker or custom coffee mugs with your corporate logo. (Hint: Get a FREE commercial grade coffee machine when you buy coffee supplies through GOS!). Are your colleagues still using office furniture from decades ago? Create a stylish and social distance-friendly office they’ll love with the best in desks, cubes, sofas and office chairs. And don’t forget the treats! Upgrade your break room with a variety of tasty snacks and popular seasonal beverages to keep them fueled.

4. Turn monthly holidays into an excuse for office fun. Besides Christmas festivities, give your employees something to look forward to on the low-pressure holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo or Halloween. Improving company morale can be as simple as putting up holiday party decorations, hosting a fun costume contest or handing out tasty holiday treat bags.

5. Award personalized gifts for a job well-done. If a department or employee goes the extra mile this year, recognize their efforts with a thoughtful gift tailored specifically to their interests. Does your marketing team love outdoor sports and activities? Reward them with high-performance watches or backpacks. For that colleague who can’t keep track of her pens or markers, try a fun pencil bag and a handful of nice pens. Have a bunch of football fans who are still trying to enjoy the season at home? Try a personalized cooler with their team name. And for the employees who might enjoy an evening cocktail after work, try a custom bottle opener with your logo or a set of engraved wine glasses. When you show you care about your employees’ unique interests, you reinforce a culture of compassion and attention. 


6. Hold regular employee activities online to promote workplace bonding. Keep morale high and build a sense of workplace family with themes and activities to ease weekly stress. After gifting employees branded company products, like custom sweatshirts, t-shirts and fleece jackets, encourage your team to wear them each week for Casual Friday, a company sweatshirt day, or an annual Christmas in July party! Or set a monthly theme (a favorite office musician, new movie release, or holiday) and challenge your employees to decorate their home office desks for the occasion. Go the extra mile by rewarding employees for participation and creativity.

7. Offer treats, just because. Few things are better than walking into the office on a cold workday and finding warm holiday cookies, pastries or seasonal treats goody bags (which are especially helpful during the pandemic since they’re individually wrapped!). For the team who prefers to laugh over lunch or dinner, order pizza, subs or holiday party appetizers for snacking throughout the workday. Everyone loves an unexpected surprise and small treats show them you care day in and day out. 

Unsure what your employees will like? Gather opinions or survey your team before charging the company card! Some teams prefer team activities or outings, while others prefer perks, like company apparel, wellness packages, extra vacation days or bonuses. 

However you decide to reward your employees this holiday season, regular acts of appreciation are sure to go a long way in creating a positive and joyful workplace all year round.

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