Gift giving is one of the oldest human traditions. It’s a way to affirm relationships and serves as a token of appreciation.

The most famous story of gift-giving in history is probably that of the Three Wise Men, who brought gifts to baby Jesus in the bible, but they’re not the only historical figures who enjoyed gifting. Cavemen would give gifts to each other to show appreciation, and their tribe leaders would give praise through gift giving. Back then, gifts were small things like teeth and rocks but the message and reason behind the gift giving remained the same.

Gift giving is a way to show appreciation, and it makes both the giver and receiver feel good! The same is true for gift giving in the corporate setting.

As business owners make their lists and check them twice this holiday season, they should remember to add something special on the list for their customers who show support all year long each time they make a purchase.

Do: Set a Budget

Corporate gifting should be included in your budget. Figure out what a good number is and stick to it.

Don’t: Break the Break

Gifts are about thoughtfulness; not about what was spent, so keep that in mind when determining the budget.

Do: Make it Personal

Do your research and find a gift that is specific to the receiver. For example, if you know that your client has a sweet tooth, perhaps custom cookies from a local bakery is a fun choice. If they are diabetic, sugar-free candies from a local candy maker may be a good choice.

Don’t: Gift Promotional Products

According to John Ruhlin, author of Giftology (a book on executive appreciation), business owners should not gift promotional pieces with their logo. “Don’t delude yourself into thinking that’s a gift for the recipient,” said Ruhlin. It can be a tacky action as many customers may not want to display or wear items featuring a logo.

Do: Make it Practical

When selecting a gift, be sure to choose something that the receiver will find useful.

Don’t: Forget to Personalize

Include a hand-written card or note on the package. This is where a logoed item may come in handy. A custom-designed card with a graphic on the front and a logo on the back would be acceptable and appreciated if it has a hand-written note inside.

Don’t: Overlook the Presentation

Be sure to present the gift in the best way possible. A nicely wrapped gift with a bow, or a basket sealed in cellophane is attractive and organized. A bottle of wine in a wrinkled bag is not.

Do: Hand Deliver when possible

Hand delivery goes a long way, although not always feasible. Hand delivery allows a more heartfelt face-to-face interaction, where both parties can see each other’s facial expressions. In a world where everyone is so busy, hand-delivery can really make that gift stand out!

Don’t: Forget to Show Appreciation Throughout the Year

Don’t just gift during the holiday season. Show appreciation throughout all year long with thank you notes, small gifts, and even a simple “thanks!” Be creative – think outside the box by gifting on a holiday that is not typically a corporate gift-giving holiday, like Valentine’s Day.

As customers utilize their gifts, they are reminded of the business and are likely to come back again. Corporate gifts are the gifts that keep on giving!

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