13 Gender-Neutral Custom Holiday Gifts

Tis the Season of Inclusion: 13 Gender-Neutral Custom Giveaway Items for the Holidays

Did you know that holiday sales are expected to reach upwards of $720 billion this season?

With the winter holidays quickly approaching, it’s time to start considering how you want to honor the most important people in your life.

Today, there’s a growing demand for gender-neutral items in both personal and professional gift-giving. These gifts provide a sense of universal inclusion regardless of societal norms or expectations.

Let’s get into some of the top custom giveaway ideas you can consider today.

Edible Treats

Who doesn’t love to eat? And who doesn’t enjoy free food? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t appreciate the simple power behind edible goodies.

Beverages

Got a colleague who’s a wine aficionado? Or who can’t start the morning without a first (or third) cup of coffee? You’ve got yourself an easy gift! Consider providing them with a fancy beverage of their choice or leveling up and signing up for a monthly subscription box.

Desserts

51% of Americans have a sweet tooth, and 19% indicated they enjoyed eating a sugary snack every day.

That said, from gourmet chocolate to homemade cupcakes, there aren’t many people (except those who are, of course, dieting) who wouldn’t appreciate an indulgence.

Gourmet Food

Beyond drinks and sweet treats, don’t overlook the upscale version of everyday staples. For example, many people would love to receive a basket of gourmet cheese and salami.

Additionally, avid chefs would be appreciative of olive oils, jam, and jellies, or even assorted spices.

Gift Cards

They’re just about as good as cash, but they’re somewhat more personal than dollar bills.

Furthermore, gift cards provide recipients with the valuable opportunity to buy exactly what they want. No more awkward guessing games about their clothing size or living room color schemes.

With gift cards, you can opt for general companies that offer everything (like Amazon.com or Target), or you can tailor them to the individual’s particular preferences (favorite restaurant or clothing store).

If you choose to take this route, make sure that you’re cautious with the amounts you offer. Employees can and will compare their gifts, so it’s usually best practice to keep the monetary amounts equal.

However, with gift cards, keep in mind that people quickly forget where they got the gift card and not as effective for strengthening your relationship as branded promotional items.

Travel Experiences

If you want a gift that will be the envy of your next company event, consider gifting a travel experience.

Research continues to show a growing trend of people valuing experiences over things, and anyone would be thrilled at the chance for a subsidized or free travel experience.

You can get creative with this gift. For example, consider a gift card to an airline company or hotel brand. Or take the DIY approach and make a ‘camping essentials’ basket complete with a stove, set of sleeping bags, and tent.

Charitable Donations

If you want to give a corporate gift that keeps on giving, consider donating to a charity that best supports your business and client’s needs.

There are infinite possibilities available to you, but make sure that you do your research in finding a reputable organization that you can trust to put your dollars to the appropriate use.

Not only do charitable donations feel good, but they can benefit your business as well. Studies show that consumers prefer to patronize companies that exhibit social responsibility and charitable giving.

Corporate Giving Programs: Some companies directly administer these programs via their HR or Community Relations team. While some organizations publicize these programs, you may need to hunt down the team for smaller teams.

Company-Sponsored Foundations: Companies can create and organize their own private foundations. It’s subject to IRS rules, meaning that they must disclose their giving.

Keep in mind that you don’t just have to focus on the money aspect of charitable donations. Consider how you and your organization can donate your time to help those less fortunate. For example, what about adopting a family or engaging in a park clean-up?

Handwritten Thank You Notes

If you’re looking to save costs while still conveying how much your clients or employees mean to you, don’t overlook the powers of a handwritten note.

It’s obviously inexpensive, but what you sacrifice in cost, you will consume with time. If you’re going to do this route, it’s vital that you put in the time and effort to make it meaningful and authentic.

If you’re concerned that this gift may come across as ‘cheap,’ remember that most people end up with tons of clutter and junk around the holidays. While writing notes may seem like a dying art, it’s one that most people acknowledge they still appreciate.

After all, in a world consumed by instant gratification and digital communication, who doesn’t love getting a special surprise in the mail or delivered on their desk?

Unsure how to format your notes? Consider the following points:

  • What do you most appreciate about this employee?
  • How does this employee positively impact your company?
  • What recent successes has this employee had?
  • What are you looking forward to in this employee’s future?

Don’t focus too much on the length of the note. This is a quality-over-quantity kind of gift, so as long as it comes from the heart, so focus on keeping it genuine.

Memberships

Whether you’re gifting a meal preparation service or a membership to the local museum, most people love this gift idea because it’s something they wouldn’t usually purchase for themselves.

A membership feels exclusive, and people are inclined to use them because they’re intriguing and compelling.

Not sure which membership is right? Reflect on the various interactions you’ve had with your clients or customers. Have they mentioned any particular hobbies they enjoy or places they prefer visiting?

If you choose to take this route, consider asking companies if they offer bulk memberships or group discounts. Many places happily provide reduced rates in exchange for repeated business.

Keep It Local

If you want to support other small businesses and provide your clients or employees with original, one-of-a-kind products, consider looking into locally sourced gifts.

It’s a surefire way to provide gifts that your recipients will appreciate. A staggering 90% of Americans shop and support local businesses, so this is an excellent way to give back to your community.

Check out the local farmer’s market, art galleries, or even local online directories to find the right gift for everyone on your list.

Office Gifts

Looking for some simple, promotional ideas to give out to your employees that also help promote your business at the same time?

Consider gifting office supplies. After all, everyone needs calendars and pens, but you can even think outside of the box and get creative with picture frames, custom doormats, and paperweights.

The average employee spends around 6 hours per day at their desk. Your employees deserve to have a space they can enjoy!

That said, some people will roll their eyes at generic, company gifts, especially if it looks like you’re just trying to market your business. The key to this strategy is to provide employees with a gift they will actually use and enjoy.

If everyone has a million pens, they aren’t going to want one with your logo on it. Simple as that.

Health & Wellness Gifts

Many people are health-conscious and looking to make positive changes in their daily living habits. That said, celebrating health, fitness, and physical well-being can be a popular hit at corporate events.

Consider how you can integrate fitness ideas (yoga classes, gym memberships, fitness equipment) or consider something more practical (like first-aid kits, bandage dispensers, and even pepper spray).

A healthy workplace makes for a happy workplace, so keep that in mind as you’re shopping for this year’s gifts.

Stress Relievers

What do fidget spinners, stress balls, and zen gardens all have in common? Each of them helps ward off stress, and with most of us feeling overwhelmed throughout the day, it’s important to be able to decompress on a routine basis.

There are many ways that you can promote stress relief in your custom giveaways. What about creating squishy stress balls with your company logo? What about gifting employees portable punching bags they can use when they need to release anger?

Holding onto stress can adversely impact work performance and mental health functioning. However, most people don’t even realize how stressed they are on a daily basis! A gift like this can help people regroup and ground themselves into a calmer and more positive mindset.

Time Off

In a land of excess consumerism, gifting material items have its worth, but the gift of time cannot be stated enough. In fact, a recent study found that more American employees desired PTO and a week of vacation time over an additional $500 pay increase in 401(k) matching.

If you have the advantageous opportunity of providing additional paid family days off or ‘early leaves,’ this is a gift that’s bound to receive positive reactions.

Employee recognition is one of the top tenants in retaining excellent talent. This holiday season, consider skipping the fancy material goods and simply focusing on how you can give some vacation.

Even if you can’t justify entire time off, it’s always worth considering if people can work remotely for you. This provides employees with the opportunity to spend more time at home with their family during the holidays.

With more and more people valuing flexibility in the workforce, this not only conveys generosity, but it keeps your business competitive.

Company Outing

Do you have an exceptionally large team or several remote employees on the books? In lieu of traditional gifts, consider hosting a company outing or dinner around the holiday season.

With this gift method, strategizing and preparation are key. As calendars quickly fill up during this time of year, it’s essential that you provide the date and time well in advance.

Consider the following creative and fun corporate ideas:

  • company scavenger night
  • office trivia
  • improv workshops
  • karaoke night
  • amusement park outing
  • escape room games
  • laser tag
  • painting-and-wine class
  • cooking class
  • mystery dinner
  • team cook-off
  • yoga retreat
  • adventure or mud run

As most of these have some level of competition, you can consider purchasing prizes to encourage team cohesion and participation.

This idea is not only a great way to foster team unity, but it’s also excellent for creating happy memories and giving back to the people who work hard for you.

With this option, it’s essential that you keep in mind various employee limitations and health conditions. You don’t want anyone to feel excluded from participating.

Educational Opportunities

Many employees and clients value higher education and attending conferences and workshops related to their field. However, the time and cost can often deter potential participants.

You can make a profound difference by considering how you can gift various educational opportunities to your team. What about signing everyone up for a yearly conference? What about gifting your team with a set of new books related to their line of work?

IF you aren’t sure how to provide the gift of education, consider asking your team directly! If, for example, they had an extra $100 to spend towards advancing their careers, what would they want to buy?

Use their answers as guidance for how you can make some of their career dreams come true.

Final Thoughts on Creating The Perfect Custom Giveaway

Tis the season of giving and the season of celebrating the people who matter the most to you in your life.

Regardless of how you choose to honor them, it’s best to aim to leave a lasting impression on all of your recipients.

Are you interested in design and gift inspiration? Check out our extensive custom giveaway products today. No matter the season or occasion, Perfect Imprints has you covered.

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Patrick Black
patrick@perfectimprints.com

Patrick Black, MAS, is the founder of Perfectimprints.com and has been in the promotional products industry helping businesses and organizations since 1999. When not geeking out over the newest and greatest promotional items, you can find him paddleboarding at the beach or hanging out by the pool with his wife, three kids, and his basset hound in Fort Walton Beach, FL.