The Velvet Hammer: 12.2.20

My boss has asked me to coordinate the firm’s holiday gifting for our clients and employees. In the past, our company’s tone for holiday messaging has always been lighthearted bordering on the humorous. However, I’m wondering if this is the appropriate tone for this year in light of the ongoing pandemic and social unrest. Any guidance on messaging or gift ideas?

It has indeed been an unsettling time, and wishing someone who may have had a difficult year a merry or happy holiday with a humorous touch may not strike the right chord. Although many of us haven’t lost our sense of humor, there is a bit of a mood shift and perhaps you might want to opt for a more heartfelt, sentimental and meaningful message for the 2020 holidays.

Think about saying something you would want someone to say or share with you knowing that more of this uncertainty is forecast for the new year. You can be upbeat and sensitive at the same time.

Along with your holiday greeting card, here are a few suggestions:

employee gifts

  • Plan a virtual holiday office party complete with advance delivery of a happy hour box filled with delicious treats
  • A tea gift set or a cold brew portable coffee set to keep employees on their game while WFH
  • An urban agricultural grow kit with organic seeds, soil and a stylish container to grow veggies at home
  • Instead of individual employee gifts, consider a companywide opportunity for employees to establish a virtual friendship with a member of a local senior center. Adopting a grandparent can bring a sense of comfort to both the employee and the older adult who may not have grandparents or grandchildren, respectively.
  • Think about a virtual or outdoor holiday singalong (weather permitting with social distancing). This couldbe done on-site at the company, at a nearby park or by Zoom. Consider recording the singalong and keep the party going by sending a link with a heartfelt message from the company’s president. Either way, singing has a way of brightening everyone’s mood and helps us all get into the holiday spirit!

client gifts

  • A holiday care package with your firm’s logo containing comfort food and “cheer” (wine or sparkling cider)
  • Digital and print subscription to a relevant business publication
  • Wine or coffee of the month subscription
  • Potted green or flowering plant
  • 1,000-piece puzzle for the family
  • Festive masks with your company’s logo

Whatever you choose, the Velvet Hammer would like to wish you and yours more joyous and happier times filled with good health and positive business vibes in the new year!

Joan Lee Berkman is a marketing and public relations consultant. if you have a question for Joan, Email it to