Whether you’re in charge of gifts for a professional team, or thinking through whether to give a gift to your colleague, boss, or direct report, navigating the holidays with professionalism and humanity can be a feat. We spoke with two gifting experts: Sara Rodell (Founder & CEO of Loop & Tie) and Laura Jennings (CEO of Knack) to bring clarity to your holiday gifting this season.
Start with Your Values
“One of the biggest questions I’ve been getting this season is how to approach gifting in this economic environment.” Sara Rodell reveals. “People are more sensitive to seeming extravagant or wasteful- which I think is amazing because what it actually means is that they’re now looking at a thing they were doing kind of unconsciously, and bringing awareness.”
“My favorite conversation is to talk about what you’re communicating when you’re giving a gift. How does your gift communicate a value that both resonates with you and the broader tone in the world right now? The values that we’re seeing pop up to the top of the list are environmental stewardship and social impact.”
Corporate holiday gifting makes up 242 billion dollars in budget. “This is money that can go to a cause! Sometimes people think that causes are all nonprofits, but economic empowerment is really important. Sometimes people think the only way to be impactful is through donations - and that’s a really powerful way - but it’s certainly not the only way. If we all thought about how we could be impactful with budget - knowing how much budget is on the corporate side - I think things would change.” Sara explains the power of choosing your sources for gifts intentionally.
“Take a minute to think about what’s authentic to you, then include that in your gift message.” Sara emphasizes that you can - and should - include a message that explains a bit about why you selected the gift that you did.
For example, if you choose a gift because it’s sustainable, or from a small, BIPOC-owned business, or because you believe it’s something the receiver will enjoy, created with values they care about - say that!