Are you feeling stuck for ideas of what to give or do for the holidays for your employees/team? I’m hearing from a number of leaders who are concerned about connecting and appreciating their teams while respecting the challenges the pandemic presents.  

Given the circumstances and weather where you live, some of these ideas may be more or less do-able. I’m hoping the ideas below inspire you to find creative ways for this year’s appreciation to happen. 

  1. Inquire with local small businesses, they need the business and are offering some creative ways to make “special” gifts or work with delivery – some will gift wrap your purchases (we do!
  1. Look on Etsy – many thoughtful and creative custom ideas 
  1. Check out for creative ideas and customized gifts 
  1. Send unexpected flowers with food and plan your Zoom party – share a meal and/or play afterward.  
    1. For an upscale foodie experience, check out you will be impressed with what 40 minutes with Chef Oscar and Jackie Keller feels like walking you through your  highbrow food is like – fun, tasty and filling! 
  2. Plan a scavenger hunt. You can do this outdoors, in a large space like the a local park or online. The planning is worth it and you can team up to increase the competition 
  3. Try the Houseparty app 
  4. Check out the events on there are many group experiences and coupled with your team makes for a fun get together with comedy, music, tastings and pairings 
  5. Play the secret Santa or secret gift game, everyone anonymously gets a name, you can make it a day, or week(s) of inspiration and fun – online or in person with the final event being a $20 or less gift for your person…keeping the fun going to inspire and surprise someone is a lasting memory 
  6. If your team is small enough, deliver a meal from a local favorite restaurant yourself with a handwritten thank you (one of my personal favorites).  
  7. Have food or beverages delivered and hire a musician, magician, comedian etc…and share together – online or in person, it’s a win for everyone 


  • Sue Hawkes

    CEO, Speaker, Best-Selling Author and Entrepreneur

    Sue Hawkes helps CEOs and their leadership teams succeed. As a bestselling author, keynote speaker, Certified EOS Implementer, Certified Business Coach, WPO Chapter Chair, and globally recognized, award-winning seminar leader, Sue brings over twenty-five years of experience to her clients. She is CEO of YESS! and has designed and delivered dynamic, transformational programs for thousands of people. Sue has received numerous awards including the Dream Keeper award recognized by the Governor’s Council for her leadership program, the Regional U.S. Small Business Administration Women in Business Champion of the Year award, the Exemplary Woman of the Community award, WomenVenture’s Unsung Hero award, Women Who Lead from Minnesota Business Magazine, NAWBO Minnesota’s Achieve! Vision Award and named a 2018 Enterprising Woman of the Year. Her most recent book, "Chasing Perfection- Shatter the Illusion; Minimize Self-Doubt & Maximize Success," is available now.