During the holiday season, it may be tempting to cut back on expenses by not giving gifts to clients and staff or canceling the company Christmas party. Although it may be easier on your pocket book, being a Scrooge this year may end up costing more than a little holiday cheer. Here are some things to consider before you cancel the holiday party and steal presents out from underneath the tree.

The Spirit of the Season

In the midst of tough economic times, it is easy to become so preoccupied with finances that we forget the spirit of the holiday season. The holiday season is about taking the time to recognize the people who are important in our lives and trying to give them something that conveys our appreciation. The giving of gifts is customary and sending clients a gift helps to reaffirm the bond that you have built with them. A survey from American Express from 2009 showed only a slight decrease from 2008 in the number of small businesses that still intended to send gifts to clients.

It may seem obvious to send gifts to clients because they dont have to be doing business with you, but what about your employees. You, as the owner, may have had to make sacrifices, but dont forget that your employees make sacrifices, too. Many companies have had to downsize, leaving it to the remaining staff to fill the void. Try not to forget the extra responsibilities they may have taken on or the extra hours they worked to keep the company running. This is true all throughout the year, not just during the holidays.

Giving Back to Employees

The recession has taken its toll on everyone. Longer hours and increased workload begins to weigh on employees. A study from CareerBuilder showed that two-fifths of employees are feeling less motivated at work and almost a quarter of employees dont feel loyalty towards the company. Those are disturbing numbers if you think about it. Both motivation and loyalty are essential to a business success, since a lack can be very detrimental to productivity. On a existential note, wouldnt you want your employees to be happy and feel satisfied with their job?

Giving gifts to all of your people may not be in the budget for the year, but there are things you can still do to make the holidays special. Giving your employees time off does not cost anything, and it can go a long way in showing your staff that you care about them. A holiday party is also another viable option. Holiday parties are less expensive than giving out gifts, and they go a long way towards re-establishing a positive work atmosphere. If you do not have a party, especially if you had them in the years prior, the staff might draw the conclusion that the company is in financial trouble, which will just further damage employee attitudes.


The party doesnt necessarily have to be a big, gaudy affair. A potluck dinner or a small luncheon can be a great way for the staff to relax together and share in the holidays. Spending time mingling on a personal level allows the staff to connect and creates team unity. Time off or a holiday party gives everyone (including you) a much needed chance to de-stress. A good holiday season can be key to starting the company off the new year on a positive note.