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Top 5 Worst Corporate Holiday Gifts

It’s that time a year again. It’s time for corporate gift giving and the gifts have started to roll in. We’ve received the usual gift baskets full of yummy treats like candy, cookies, and fruit. FruitcakeSome clients send alcohol or personalized items like tote bags, fleece blankets, coffee mugs, and t-shirts and then there are the booby prizes which typically consist of items that were left over from tradeshow giveaways that the company couldn’t unload at the show—so they use them as gifts.

We received the latter and it got us thinking about bad holiday offerings, so we thought we’d put together a list of the five worst corporate holiday gifts. In reverse order, they are:

5.     A Charitable Donation (this is only really on the list because we couldn't think of a 5th and lists sound better with 5 things): I’m all about giving back, especially around the holidays and I think it is noble that organizations make donations on behalf of those they work with throughout the year, however what if the charity is one that you don’t support?  It could be because you have declared that you only support charities that help children or you only give to charities that fight cancer, or help puppies—I don’t know. What I do know is that people are sensitive when it comes to charities, so if you do make a donation ask the person that you’re honoring what cause they’d like to contribute to.

4.     Amateur Gift Baskets: It’s nice to send something homemade; however those on the receiving end need to have peace of mind that the gift they’re receiving is safe to consume.  If you go the homemade route remember presentation is IMPORTANT—I can’t stress that enough! 3.     Fruitcake: Forever renowned as a bad gift, it’s probably not worth the cost to ship it.

Tradeshow Swag: While it’s a memorable gift, it’s memorable for the wrong reason.

An Invite to a Company Party: Most people don’t want to go to their own company’s party according to a recent Glassdoor survey, let alone feel obligated to go to a partner company’s party. By extending an invite to clients you’re guilting them into coming and nothing says, “Happy Holidays” like the gift that keeps on giving—guilt.

So that’s our list of the worst corporate gifts, do you agree?  Let us know if you have any horror stories of awful gifts that other companies have sent you.