Gift-giving is often stressful, expensive, and awkward. But it doesn’t have to be.  The perfect present can cost little or no money, and still leave a lasting impact. Here are six memorable – and meaningful – gifts to celebrate clients, employees, volunteers, the new year, birthdays, holidays, work anniversaries, and so many other occasions. Show your appreciation to the special people in your professional and personal networks with these heartfelt gifts

• The Gift of Creativity

Send a box of home-made cookies to your boss, prospective employer, or VIP client with a creative note “I will cook up hot new marketing campaigns for you!”, and include the recipe on a card decorated with flames.  That’s the Fireball Network recipe for success. 

• The Gift of Your Time

Volunteer your time and skills at organizations that your industry / employer / clients support.  Volunteering is a way to stand out, show off your skills, prove your commitment to your industry, meet a wide range of new people, and give back to the community. Be strategic. Choose volunteer roles that showcase your expertise and talents to your network. Your time and your contributions are valuable, and they will be truly appreciated.

• The Gift of Sharing

Go beyond business topics and reveal who you are, and what makes you special, and bring that out in others. Make your topics of conversation personal. At networking events, holiday parties, and meetings, share stories about your favorite family tradition, the best gift you received or gave, and your most memorable holiday experience. Then you will be memorable too.

• The Gift of Giving

Gifts don’t need to be presents. Make a donation to a favorite charity of your client, friend, colleague, boss, mentor, or family member. You can usually find out what organizations they support, and what causes matter to them by checking their social media profiles.  They will appreciate this gift from the heart more than anything you bought in a store.  Most charitable organizations will send an email or note to the person you honored. You can also enhance that message with your own handwritten card.

• The Gift of Your Expertise

Compose a song about someone’s project or company; write a poem about the holiday season; design a custom greeting card or photo frame; share a list of party planning tips; plan a surprise party, or write an article about holiday networking and gift-giving tips.

• The Gift of Yourself

The people who care about you would much prefer you spend time with them, instead of spending your time shopping for presents The most memorable gifts are experiences, not objects.

May you all give and receive the gifts of friendship, support and shared success.