From your friendly FreshBooks Accounting Partner team, a non-traditional gift guide for the holidays or anytime you want to treat yourself or someone else.
We’ve got nothing against coffee mugs. (We’ve even included one here.)
But cursory slogans like “Keep Calm and Carry On” don’t quite convey the sentiment right now. Not after persevering through a year of massive shifts in tax deadlines and legislation and what feels like a constant tide of uncertainties in the accounting industry.
After all that, we are craving gratitude, motivation, and celebration.
So, instead of a traditional gift guide, we wanted to go a bit deeper and share with you some meaningful ideas to:
- Say thank-you to clients who have been through huge ups and downs with you
- Bring more joy to your work and life
- Celebrate all you’ve accomplished in the past year
- Re-energize for the year ahead
And, yes, those ideas include a few proper gifts, too!
Gifts that nourish the body and soul are ones that just keep on giving.
Comfy loungewear. Nothing says “chill” like warm, cozy loungewear. Bonus: Tentree uses sustainable materials and plants 10 trees for every purchase.
Diffuser. Scents can transform the mood of a room—or your day. And with an essential-oil diffuser or simple reed diffuser, you can change up the scent to suit your frame of mind.
Practical Work Gifts
We spend so many hours of our lives working. Want a gift that’ll actually get used or that can help to distinguish that at-home workspace from the rest-of-your-life space? You’re in the right place.
Paperless notebook. There’s something so satisfying about putting pen to paper. Downsides: It’s wasteful and all those notes get disorganized. Rocketbook feels like paper, but is reusable and notes are scannable.
Ring light. Why do you need this? Just do an Internet search for “ring light before and after” to see how a simple glowing orb can help you look your best on camera. Options range from USB selfie lights to high-end setups for pro photography.
Handmade mug. A beautiful piece of pottery that you’ll use every day? Fill ‘er up.
Don’t overthink it. Sometimes the best gift is just “because”.
Puzzles are like meditation, but more fun. Especially when they result in something beautiful like these frame-worthy landscape puzzles.
Games are great team-building activities and a game like Kanoodle is food for your brain, too. There are thousands of options out there. A local board game shop is a great place to start.
Entertaining daily calendar. Bring more fun to your work with an interesting desk calendar like this one from Mental Floss. Learn something new and spark wonderful ideas.
Socks that give back. Got something to say? Say it with socks. Hippy Feet uses recycled materials and creates jobs for homeless youth. You can even create your own custom socks.
Last-Minute or Virtual Gifts
It happens to the best of us. You need a gift, oh…last week, and now you’re scrambling. Here are some last-minute options that don’t feel like an afterthought.
Charitable donation on someone’s behalf.
Audible gift cards, or send someone a playlist on Spotify.
A brush with fame: Request a personalized video message from a favorite comedian, reality TV star, athlete, or other celeb on Cameo.
Memories: Make a slideshow of digital images you took.
Gift card for a local small business that sends online gift certificates. Or, a Visa gift card always fits!
Non-Gift Ways to Say “Thank-You”
Sometimes a scented candle just doesn’t cut it. If you have a colleague, a client, or an employee who deserves gratitude, here are some ways to express it.
Make time to call them. Send a real card or letter—not an email!
Show kindness. Random acts of kindness aren’t just for strangers. An unexpected kindness or just taking time to listen can make someone’s day.
Take something off their plate. Is there any better gift than more time and room to breathe?
Pay it forward. Do for someone else what this person did for you. Then share with them how they inspired you.
Say thank-you in a way they would appreciate. That could be privately or—if it’s up their alley—publicly tagging them in a social media post.
Favorite Ways to Bring More Joy to Your Work
Did you know that when you’re happier at work, you’re also more successful, healthier (both physically and mentally), and even more likeable?
Here’s how to find more joy in your every day.
Acknowledge people for the work they do. Even if it is their job, a simple thank-you or gesture to show that you appreciate them really boosts someone’s mood and brings a whole lot of joy to their world. Bonus: science shows that acts of kindness benefit the giver even more than the receiver
Invest in fun. Try to make colleagues smile and offer a joke or even a Zoom tea and dance break when needed.
Bring more “you” to your workspace. That might mean taking 5 minutes at the start and end of the day to tidy up your desk to instill calm. Or keeping a beautiful plant, an inspirational photo, or maneki-neko (lucky cat) in your line of sight. Whatever makes you smile.
Make time to connect with your colleagues on a personal level. Get to know who they are beyond work and take a few moments each day to chat about things that are not work-related.
Work with people and clients that you truly enjoy spending time with—virtually or in-person. (And say no to those you don’t.) Surrounding yourself with good people is so important.
Best Ways to Treat Yourself
Finally, something just for you. Because come on: You’ve got to put on your own oxygen mask before you can assist others. (Incidentally, an oxygen mask sounds like a great gift for getting through tax season.)
Here are some ways our Accounting Partner Program team treats themselves, even during the busiest times. Steal them for yourself!
Little Treats for You
These small self-indulgences can make a huge difference in your day.
“If I have only 5 minutes, I’ll find a song of choice that makes me smile. If I have longer, it’s a walk and a podcast.” —Laura
“I take a walk with my dogs down to the field to throw a ball for them and get some fresh air.” —Alex
“I make a cup of tea or refill my water. Sometimes a little interruption to the routine or a change of pace can make a big difference. (Beware the law of diminishing returns on caffeine, though!)” —Michelle
“Yoga break! Whether it’s just a 5-minute stretch or a guided 20-minute video, it’s a great way to calm your mind and relax those tight, stressed-out muscles.” —Shannon
“I take a few minutes to use the Calm app for music, an inspirational talk, sounds of nature, or a guided meditation.” —Twyla
Bigger Treats for You
Got more time? Use it to rejuvenate and restore—it’ll benefit everyone around you!
“I take a bath while listening to Ben Howard or Novo Amor with a glass of wine and a face mask on. Said bath usually has lavender epsom salt or a Lush bath bomb. Oh, and if you ask my husband, I like to spend money.” —Alex
“I love cooking before watching a movie or going to a live music show or other fun event.” —Laura
“For introvert moments, I’ll bury myself in a great book. For extrovert moments, I’ll connect with a friend.” —Michelle
“I love spending a day at a local art gallery followed by a fancy lunch or dinner—that I do not have to prepare, of course!” —Shannon
“Book time at a spa. It’s impossible to do anything at the spa but relax.” —Twyla
about the author
Shannon Kelly is a Content Marketing Manager at FreshBooks. Her background includes travel writing, cookbook editing, and managing an online business directory. She loves karaoke, lives in Toronto, and always roots for the underdog.