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I am a consultant and have some clients that I do some light work for once a year and a handful of other clients that have me on retainer. I am thinking of sending Christmas cards this year to my less frequent clients and a gift to my "regular" customers. I am thinking of specialty chocolates.

What do you do with your clients as far as Christmas cards and gifts?

Appreciate any feedback.

L
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Just a thank you holiday note. To everyone, frequent or not.

(a lot of my clients know each other, so sending some a gift and some a card would get weird for me ---- did you get a gift from Heather? No! You did???)

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keep them healthy :)
we always send fruit or food baskets to the 'regulars'
holiday cards to all else
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I certainly don't think there is anything wrong with Christmas cards and gifts.

I have just always thought that sending a client a Christmas card or gift is like sending roses on Valentine's Day. It's expected so you really don't score a lot of points and you're doing the same thing as everyone else around you - but if you don't - it REALLY gets noticed.

Others are sending Christmas cards and gifts also, so yours might get lost in the shuffle or be minimized.

For this reason, I try to send a handwritten note or small gift from time to time throughout the year to keep me in the mind of clients. That way I can send a small card or no card at Christmas and still be considered appreciative of the business.

ShelbyBoy
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And then there is always the Christmas vs. Holidays decision.

As someone said, the U.S. is becoming "The land of the offended" rather than "The land of the free"

If you send out cards with a nativity scene on the front and mentions of Christ inside, some will consider that offensive to people of faiths other than Christianity.

If you send out "Happy Holiday" cards, that will turn off some who think you are trying to be politically correct and "diminish the real meaning of Christmas."

It probably pays to know your client and choose the proper card or gift - or as someone said - forget the cards and send fruit baskets.

ShelbyBoy

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If you send out cards with a nativity scene on the front and mentions of Christ inside, some will consider that offensive to people of faiths other than Christianity.

If you send out "Happy Holiday" cards, that will turn off some who think you are trying to be politically correct and "diminish the real meaning of Christmas."


It seems that actual offense does not happen all that often. More often it is someone who is afraid that somebody ELSE might be offended.
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What do you do with your clients as far as Christmas cards and gifts?

I don't send anything to my retail customers. I also do work for home builders. I send them holiday hams (none are Jewish or Muslim). I get good quality (Cure 81 or better) whole hams.

This was the tradition before I took over. When I first started we considered something else but I found that almost everyone on the ham list counted on the hams. One man's wife plans their Christmas Eve dinner around that ham and another uses it for New Years Day.

Seven years later I am still giving hams. There is one office where several people are on the ham list. Usually when I visit they just let me in and I wander around doing my business. But just before Christmas they start *looking* for me.

Randall
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Sending a card, no matter what the theme, is better than not sending anything. Of course we all look forward to the nicer gifts, but if we don't get anything from someone who we thought we would, it makes us feel out of touch in a small way with that person.
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I am thinking of specialty chocolates.

A company I consulted for gave me chocolate last year. Nice idea, but not great quality. The brand was 'World's Finest' but it certainly wasn't <bleah>. I'd avoid that brand.

-K
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Thank you all for the responses. I was ging between Sees chocolate and fruit. I was leaning towards fruit,but got some feedback to consider chocolate. Now I'm back to fruit. I will send out cards as well to everyone. There is a huge distinction between my clients, so sending a box of pears to my monthly clients makes sense.

Again, thanks for the feedback.

L
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<It seems that actual offense does not happen all that often. More often it is someone who is afraid that somebody ELSE might be offended.>

This is an excellent point. If you are on friendly terms with someone a card based on 'your' religion will normally be accepted as a gesture of goodwill. This year as always (with the ulterior motive of trying to get the businesses on our street to work together a bit more)we'll send 'Christmas' cards to every shop on our highly multicultural street. They've always been well received as the gesture they are intended to be, no one expects you to phone and get details of their religious beliefs before you send them a card!

Where we know someone on a more personal level and therefore we do know their religion (or lack of it)then we target the greetings a bit more specifically. Our Postmaster and his wife (joint campaigners to get the street moving!) will sincerely wish us a Happy Christmas, just as some days before we will with equal sincerity wish them Happy Eid.

I think you should be considerate about the feelings and beliefs of others but if you worry too much about this you end up doing nothing, thus ignoring them rather than sharing with them your own pleasure in a celebration. A lot of stuff about political correctness comes as you say not from folk who have been offended but from people who are over the top about the danger of giving offence because they personally have severe difficulties with personal relationships.

Lynn

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Thank you all for the responses. I was ging between Sees chocolate and fruit. I was leaning towards fruit,but got some feedback to consider chocolate. Now I'm back to fruit. I will send out cards as well to everyone. There is a huge distinction between my clients, so sending a box of pears to my monthly clients makes sense.


If you send Sees choc then my BRK shares might go up.

OTOH, if you send fruit does that mean my JNJ shares will rise? ;-)
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<<And then there is always the Christmas vs. Holidays decision>>

This debate always makes me smile. Considering that most of what we think of as Christmas "traditions" are pagan in origin, you have to wonder how those Druids etc. felt when perfectly good, gaudy celebrations like the Feasts of Saturnalia or Yule had to be expandened to accomodate those Christian parvenues.

Well....this is my excuse to send Christmas cards during the Christmas season.

Vivienne.
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