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Heart in the Holidays: Thoughtful, Personal Gift Ideas for Your Team

For some people, the holiday shopping season actually kicks off in September, as retailers rush to provide the earliest discounts and longest-lasting festivities, decorating their stores and offering door-busters earlier and earlier every year. But as you think about what to get your team, maybe this year you should do more than scope out the best deal as you try to get your shopping out of the way early. Instead, this might be the time to really do something to acknowledge how unique 2022 was in real estate—whether it was good, bad or just unusual.

While there is nothing wrong with picking up a useful or nifty gadget (of both the high-tech and low-tech variety), it might be easier than you think to really show the people you work with that they matter to you.

1. Event tickets (but make it fun!)

Sure, you can grab tickets for a local sporting event or play, but why not think a little outside the box? If 2022 was a tough one for your office, try a so-called “rage room”—where participants strap on goggles and gloves and smash things. Other, less violent options include escape rooms, which remain popular throughout the country; wine-and-paint studios, offering an environment of relaxation and creativity; and dinner theaters, which can offer corny, unhinged excitement. These types of participatory events are likely new experiences for most, and a great choice for outgoing personalities.

2. Customizables

 Everyone on your team most likely has upwards of 100 coffee mugs, tote bags, notepads and other gear that has your company’s branding (or is client-branded). But why not get them something they can rebrand themselves? A coffee mug you can color or write on with chalk; a t-shirt designed to be decorated; a mood board; or maybe a map that allows them to mark their favorite spots or places they’ve traveled to. Letting people express themselves is often one of the best gifts you can give.

3. Subscriptions

 Everything from wine to books to jigsaw puzzles now come in the form of online subscriptions. For a gift that keeps on giving, get your team a couple months of snacks, a selection of audiobooks or a regular box of handmade home decor. If you want to get extra collaborative, pick something that can be shared with or used by the whole office, potentially helping to motivate team members to get together more for that valuable in-person facetime.

4. A scrapbook

 Maybe the most personal and touching thing you could do for your colleagues is show them, visually and tangibly, just how memorable the year was. You can print out pictures of homes they sold or candids/outtakes from a company photoshoot, screenshots of hilarious texts or emails exchanged among the team, notes or messages or reviews from past clients, and anything else that documents the happy, triumphant, poignant and funny moments you all shared this year.

There is nothing wrong with candy and coffee mugs. But after such a tumultuous year, with even more uncertainty ahead, this holiday season might be the time to go above and beyond to make your team feel special.

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