It’s important that you recognize and thank your staff members as often as possible, and Christmas gifts are a festive way to do that. But it can be hard to think of meaningful gifts that aren’t super obvious.
Here are ten suggestions to help you get your creative gift-giving juices flowing.
1. Childcare for date nights
When many parents of young kids line up childcare, it’s to fulfill an obligation. It can feel like getting a sitter for a night out is a hard-to-justify luxury. This can be a great gift—especially when it’s paired with #2.
2. Entertainment gift cards
Gift cards to restaurants, movie theaters, or other local haunts are helpful to ensure that your staff is using your Christmas gifts to pamper themselves and relax.
3. A staff retreat
Putting together a staff retreat where you and the team can get away is a wonderful idea. If your staff is a little smaller, Airbnb can be a way to create a memorable but affordable time. With a modicum of preparation, you can put together an incredible team-building experience.
4. Family portraits
A professionally done family portrait is one of those things that everyone would love, but a lot of people can’t justify the expense. If your church has a photographer (or there are some great local photographers in your town), paying for some family portraits can be a blessing for your staff and these artisans!
5. Time off
Want a good idea that isn’t going to require a lot of out-of-pocket expense? Why not gift your staff with a day or even a week off to use at their discretion? (The week between Christmas and New Years would be especially appreciated.)
6. New Bibles
You can get your staff new Bibles. Want to make it extra meaningful? Don’t get your staff all the same Bible. There are so many great choices out there. Why not work at finding the ideal study or devotional Bible for each individual?
7. New digital devices
Has someone gone above and beyond this year?
A brand-new digital device can make a meaningful thank-you Christmas gift. This could be the latest tablet model from their favorite brand, a smart watch, or any other emerging gadgetry.
8. Custom wearables
A fun idea is to create special shirts, jackets, or fleeces for your staff. Maybe it’s a one-off church design, or maybe it’s a team-related wearable (e.g., shirts specifically for the hospitality team).
The one thing these shouldn’t be is normal gear that they could get anywhere. The idea is that these are “limited-edition” gifts that you can only get by being a member of your church’s epic team.
If you pull this off well, you’ll create a sense of camaraderie among your staff, but there are some not-so-obvious benefits, too. A custom t-shirt doubles as an advertisement for potential volunteers who want to get in on the action. And if you make a tradition of giving out these special Christmas gifts every year, it motivates your current volunteers to continue helping out—they don’t want to miss next year’s hoodies!
9. Spa day
So many church staff members (women and men alike) could use a spa day, but they would never treat themselves to one. I’m guessing everyone on your staff could benefit from an hour with a masseuse.
10. Public affirmation
Don’t have much of a budget but you want to do something especially meaningful? You can take time on successive Sunday mornings to focus on a few staff members. Talk about what makes them so important to the church and to you. It doesn’t cost anything, and public affirmation can mean so much more than anything you’d buy for them!
Invest time into staff Christmas gifts
This isn’t the time to jump over a low gift-giving bar. Your Christmas gifts say a lot about how you feel about your staff. Spend some time really thinking about ways to make the season as significant as possible!
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