Holidays like Christmas, Halloween and Valentine’s Day are all ideal chances for distributors to give self-promoting gifts while also showing gratitude to their clients. Here, however, we present lesser-known occasions, giving you year-round reasons to send a gift, put joy in someone’s day and build relationships.
Penguin Awareness Day is January 20. For a client who loves penguins, or even just the wintertime, this is an excellent opportunity to give a gift.
An ice cube tray (05028) from Elasto Form KG (asi/51817) that molds ice cubes in the shape of penguins is the perfect giveaway for any penguin lover. According to Julie Kenney of Jewels and Pinstripes, a company dedicated to gift-giving, clients with younger children would appreciate penguin-themed books and stuffed toys to give to their little ones.
January 15 is National Hat Day. Surprise an employee or client with a new cap. Novelty products, including the bottle opener cap from Openers Plus (asi/63073), give another function to traditional headwear.
It’s also National Mentoring Month. Show you remember an industry peer who taught you the ropes by giving a thoughtful, personalized gift.
February marks the start of the tennis season, and Tennis Day is February 23. Denise Knierim, of Show Your Logo, Inc. (asi/326179), suggests giving clients a tennis ball with your logo, as they can be used for a game of catch, or to play fetch with a dog, in addition to playing tennis. A leather tennis bag (G9296) from Goodhopebags (asi/57702) is an “ace” way to say thanks.
This short month is packed with unusual and quirky holidays, but one major date that is often overlooked is Presidents’ Day. If your client is a history buff or just a lover of America, a Presidents’ Day gift is a great way to stand out. The Barack Obama 44th Inaugural Presidential Seal with Signature Handmade Metal Jeweled trinket box (507) is a pewter tin ideal for holding small items. Another option is the Mount Rushmore trinket box (305). Both are from Artform, LLC (asi/30230).
On Employee Appreciation Day (March 6), let your client or employee know that you are thankful for their work. Tessa Coan, PR rep at The Gift Insider, says that personalized pens and pencils are a fun way to say “I appreciate you!” without spending a fortune.
St. Patrick’s Day is a classic March holiday that combines Irish history and lore with drinking and Irish music. Logoed pint glasses are a natural fit for beer lovers, as are bottle openers (in particular, green ones). For a more traditional gift, the Bluefaced Leicester Aran Sweater (83150) from Hammacher Schlemmer (asi/59444) is knitted from the wool of sheep from Ireland’s Donegal Mountains.
April Fool’s Day is a wonderful excuse to give your prankster clients and employees a gag gift to show your thanks. Rockleigh Industries Inc. (asi/83090) offers dozens of prank products, including squirting gum (UT-JK2) and spy glasses (UT-GL30). “Silly gifts like these help keep the fun going after the pranking is said and done,” says Coan.
Tweed Day (April 3) is not your typical holiday, but it is fun to celebrate nonetheless. “This holiday needs some planning if working with an overseas option to have a custom tweed tote bag or backpack created,” says Knierim. “You can get creative starting from scratch!” Other options include tweed hats and caps (32012) from Caplee Corp. (asi/43798), which epitomize the essence of tweed.
April 10 is Golfer’s Day, and it’s never difficult to find a golf enthusiast in the workplace. Gifts such as embroidered polos or personalized umbrellas can last for years. Crown Products’ (asi/47700) Titleist golf balls (TTLNXTTR) feature customization options and a multi-layer construction with a soft, thin cover.
On Cinco de Mayo, we celebrate our neighbors south of the border with food and, of course, drinks. Coan suggests giving a client a personalized bottle of tequila (if they drink) or a margarita glass. For something a bit wackier, the serape costume (APR519EA) from Brighter Promotions Inc. (asi/42016) gives a Mexican twist to just about any outfit that your client will be wearing during the evening’s fiesta.
Memorial Day is both a solemn day to pay tribute to veterans, as well as the official start of the summer vacation season. Since this is a national holiday, give your clients a parting gift before they head for the beach or pool. An American flag beach towel (BV8010) from Terry Town (asi/90913) is an ideal accessory for the long weekend. And hand flags with imprinted handles are great to wave at parades.
If you know a client is a father, Father's Day is a chance to send a gift for their dedicated work in and out of the office. Coan advises giving a dad an item that he can use for years in the future.
“We love giving something with a more personal touch, especially on such a sentimental day,” she says. Giveaways like watches, golf equipment and self-care products (razors, monogrammed towels, etc.) are all safe choices when selecting a gift for a dad. The Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive watch (BL80054L) from Beacon Promotions Inc. (asi/39250) is a handsome token of appreciation for the man in anyone’s life.
Go Fishing Day (June 18) is a favorite of those who enjoy spending a day by the waterfront. Use this opportunity to give your angler clients a new rod, cooler or set of hooks to let them know you are thinking of them. Gift sets like the Lake Leisure Package (C2014-LL) from Coleman Co. Inc. (asi/45647) will reel them in. It contains boating vests, a 28-quart cooler, two rods and one tackle box – everything that will keep a fisherman (or woman) hooked.
Make sure your clients are celebrating America’s independence the right way by giving them a little something before they depart for their July Fourth picnics. Novelty hats adorned with stars and stripes are a favorite among the younger demographics, but more substantial gifts include USA-themed tablecloths, plasticware sets and coolers. The Stars and Stripes cooler and lunch bag (86129) from Acehigh Tech Corp (asi/30537) is a great option.
There is nothing wrong with having a nerdy side, and on Embrace Your Geekness Day (July 13), let your geek flag fly. For all of your Potterhead and Trekkie clients, show your appreciation by presenting them with a gift celebrating their geekness. In honor of the new Star Wars films, surprise your clients with a Star Wars Darth Vader minifigure alarm clock (LEGO-9002113) from Castle Merchandising (asi/44315).
Vive la France is on July 14 – Francophiles around the world unite for Bastille Day, commemorating the start of the French Revolution. Acknowledge this “jour de fête” by giving clients some quintessentially French giveaways like berets. Another natural fit: the Belgio Wine & Cheese Ensemble (1450-34) from Leed’s (asi/66887). It contains a cutting board, cheese knives, a bottle stopper and a corkscrew – the right tools for a French meal.
With crazy schedules, it is hard to find time to read a book. August 9 is Book Lover’s Day, a great reason to give your clients and employees something related to the literary world. Consider bookmarks, reading lights and journals. The Leeman New York Americana Leather wrapped journal (LG-9069) from Prime Line (asi/79530), with its rustic leather binding and wrap closure, is a must on this holiday.
National Dog Day (August 26) is not only a day to show love to our canine companions, but also to treat dog-owning clients with something for their pets. Dogs find joy in almost any toy imaginable, so the choices are endless in terms of gifts. Admints & Zagabor (asi/31516) offers large dog-bone-shaped biscuits (DBLG-DOG-BONE), which are ideal for dogs of all sizes. For clients without dogs, try giving away stuffed toy dogs or dog-shaped stress relievers.
Extend your gratitude to your workforce by handing out something special for the Labor Day weekend. Labor Day is all about celebrating the outdoors as the summer comes to a close. Picnics and beach getaways are essential parts of this holiday, so beach towels, umbrellas and picnic baskets are well-received. For something bolder, mini charcoal grills make excellent gifts. The Go Grill Deluxe (810-5350-P) from Indigo (asi/62560) features wooden handles and a charcoal pan that holds up to 15 pounds of charcoal.
German culture has been in the spotlight recently after Germany won the 2014 World Cup. Oktoberfest (ironically in September) is a fitting way to bring out the beer and have fun observing this Bavarian tradition. German beers designated “Oktoberfest” (meaning they are brewed within the city limits of Munich and have an alcohol content of at least 6%) are unique giveaways to clients who imbibe.
Steins and glassware are other items that you can decorate with a logo or German-themed design. According to Coan, personalized glassware sets are a nice choice to get participants ready for the big day. The Stoneware raised relief Munchen stein (4649) from M Cornell Importers Inc. (asi/46713) gives users a drinking vessel beautifully embellished with images of the Hofbräuhaus in Munich.
As the global mindset begins to shift toward environmental issues, World Vegetarian Day (October 1) can be celebrated with your green-thinking clients. Even for those who eat meat, World Vegetarian Day is a chance to discuss healthy habits like reducing meat intake. Vegetable cleaners and peelers are economical items that can enforce the idea of scaling down.
Also, suggest your clients incorporate Vegetarian Day celebrations into their wellness initiatives. A book of vegetarian recipes, like the Recipes for the Vegetarian in You cookbook (FCP14) from Fundcraft Publishing Inc. (asi/55530), is a wise option.
Nothing says “Happy Do Something Nice Day” (October 5) than giving your clients or employees a special present out of the blue. “I feel like gifts are always appreciated in the workplace if they have some meaning to the person receiving them,” says Cindy Goodman, gift expert and CEO of BalanceGal, LLC. “For example, if a coworker or client drinks Starbucks every morning, a Starbucks gift card would be a gift you know he or she would appreciate.” Put it in a logoed mug, of course, and they might look to do something similar for their own clients in the future. Thinking of items that your clients want or need is essential on a day like this.
History buffs and Viking lovers unite on Leif Erikson Day (October 9) – the day America honors the Norse explorer who first led Europeans to North America. Gag gifts including Viking hats are an acceptable giveaway on this day. Another more meaningful option is the Viking board game (499309) from Wood Expressions (asi/98149), which is a primitive version of modern chess.
Take a Hike Day (November 17) is a day to celebrate the great outdoors. Activities like backpacking and geocaching have boomed in recent years. Backpacks (22619912) from Coast Fulfillment Corporation (asi/45523) can be welcome travel companions for weekend hikes or month-long treks across Europe. Filtered water bottles also have unlimited uses.
Square Dance Day (November 29) recognizes a popular American pastime, and any client who is a country-music lover or square-dancing enthusiast is the perfect recipient of a gift on this day. Knierim recommends a logoed cowboy hat or cowboy boots. A pair of cowboy-themed lapel pins (M04AB) from Wehr Industries (asi/96235) can add do-si-do to any outfit.
Ice Cream Day (December 13) is a day to unwind by the fire with a big bowl of this special treat. Personalized ice cream bowls and spoons serve as functional gifts, as do ice cream scoops. A scoop (#814) from Illini (asi/62190) can be decorated and given as part of a package.
After the hustle and bustle of Christmas, Card Playing Day (December 28), is an opportunity to treat your poker-playing clients to fun. Decks of cards are obviously a must, as are personalized poker chips. If you want to be a high roller, a folding poker table (46-2002) from Top Brands Inc. (asi/91455) will bring a touch of Las Vegas into a home or office space. You’re sure to hit the jackpot of client loyalty with one or all of these ideas.