5 experience days for the office Christmas party

by Stewart 3. December 2013 18:47

The Christmas party can be the best night of the year for you and your staff and so it should be!
 
If you want to take everyone on an exciting trip then have a look at our 5 favourite experience days for the office Christmas party:
 
Go-Karting
 
This is a great outing if you have lots of competitive types in your workforce as there’s nothing more likely to bring out a love of winning than a racetrack!
 
Take your whole team along for a day of competitions but remember to brief them on dress code first so that they don’t all turn up in black tie.

 
Comedy club
 
If you don’t think your employees will enjoy a day of high-speed racing fun then maybe a few laughs will be more to their taste.
 
Some comedy clubs offer cheaper rates for large groups and you’re always guaranteed a hilarious night out, whether your laughing with the comedian or at them.

Paintballing
 
If the team is full of young ones then let them burn off some steam by running around a field firing brightly coloured paint pellets at each other.
 
You can split the company into teams to really amp up the competition; everyone will love the chance to get the boss

Cocktail making

This is one for everyone!

There are very few people who don’t enjoy a cocktail or two throughout the festive period and you could even have a mixologist come to your office and teach you in house.

Just remember to have virgin cocktails for the drivers.

Salsa class
 
If there’s one thing that Strictly Come Dancing has taught us it’s that men love dancing too.
 
Ask your staff to dress up and take them for an evening of dance tuition with a professional; even if they’re wary to start off with they’ll soon be polka-ing with the best of them!

For great hampers to serve at your Christmas party head over to our office Christmas hampers page.

Employee motivation at Christmas

by Stewart 2. December 2013 23:44

Here are our five top tips to improve employee motivation this Christmas.
 
1.  Give the gift of flexibility

In a survey by Canada Life Group 36% of UK workers stated that flexible working hours would improve their productivity.
 
If you can’t allow flexitime all year then Christmas is the ideal time to let your staff choose when they work; time to see family, buy gifts and go to school plays will mean your staff are focussed at work.

2. Deck the… desks

Spending eight hours a day in the office during the festive season could be depressing without a bit of Christmas cheer.

Darren Tracey of staffmotivationmatters.co.uk suggests running a competition for the most festive desk.
 
This will encourage interaction between staff and a small, inexpensive prize may be all the motivation they need.

3. Ask about their life

Paul Jewitt Harris, practice director at Lane4, says that chatting to your staff about their day as well as asking them about their Christmas plans is great for raising spirits.

If you’re a SME then financial motivation may not be possible but it costs nothing to show interest in someone else.

4. Give a gift

There’s a lot to be said for the traditional approach to staff motivation. According to a Forbes article from Vicki Salemi happy workers are 180% more energized than their unhappy counterparts.

If you want to spread the Christmas cheer amongst your staff then give them a Christmas hamper full of luxury goodies for the last week at work before the holidays; a quick mince pie can do wonders to improve happiness!

5. Remember the New Year
Even the most dedicated staff can get the January blues.
 
Wayne Harrington from Edenred says:
“Spreading the motivation programme across the festive period into the New Year banishes January blues traditionally associated with the return to work and motivates staff for the year ahead."
 
An annual membership to the cinema or national trust is a great motivational tool and lasts the whole year!


For a selection of lovely hampers visit our Corporate Christmas Gift page.

Christmas gifts for foodies

by Stewart 12. November 2013 21:24

If you’re a foodie then Christmas is the best time of year and if you’re buying presents for a food lover then you’re in luck!
 
Here are our five favourite luxury food hampers for Christmas:

Christmas treats hamper

Including Mrs Bridges Christmas Preserve, Guylian Temptations Christmas Tree Artisanal Belgian Chocolates and a Matthew Walker Classic Christmas Pudding this is the ideal show stopping present for a smaller budget.

Festive fayre food hamper

McKenzie's Oval Alberts Savoury Biscuits, Edna May's Traditional Victorian Christmas Pudding and Hamlet Luxury Belgian Chocolate Assortment are just some of the treats included in this well priced hamper.

If you have a friend in mind that loves cheese, biscuits and wine then this is the ideal treat for them!

Family favourites gift hamper

If your recipient has a whole family of food fans at home then this is the perfect hamper for them.
 
With all the essential snacks for the festive period including Tyrrell's Sweet Chilli & Red Pepper Potato Chips, Paterson's Luxury Shortbread Fingers and Mackays Vintage Dundee Orange Marmalade this is the best present for a foodie family.

 
Christmas classic hamper

Filled with all of the traditional Christmas eats as well as two bottles of wine this is the perfect gift for a couple of food lovers.
 
Grandma Wild's Luxury Mince Pies and Christopher James Brandy Butter and Award Winning Plum Pudding are just three of the selection of luxury treats included in this well stuffed hamper.

First Noel Christmas hamper

The best way to splash out on the foodie in your life.
 
With two bottles of Senso wine, Epicure Assorted Cheese Snacks and Excelcium Assorted Chocolate Pralines as well as much, much more this is the king of Christmas hampers.
 
All of these products have been chosen to compliment each other and are of the highest quality.

 

You can find more hampers for the food lover in your life on our Christmas Food Hampers page.

Secret santa gifts for female colleagues

by Stewart 9. November 2013 00:39

If women think men are hard to buy for at Christmas it is nothing compared to the fear instilled in men’s hearts when they realise that they have to buy a secret santa present for a female colleague they hardly know!
 
Never fear, our top five secret santas for ladies will solve your problem:
 
1. A flower arrangement
If you know that you are handing out presents before everyone goes on leave for Christmas you can give your recipient a lovely bouquet of flowers to keep at her desk.
 
If you time it right they might even last her till Christmas day.


2. A voucher for two

If she has a significant other then vouchers for a Christmas activity are a great idea and a novel approach to secret santa gifting.
 
A ride on the big wheel or a day tasting mince pies and mulled wine are the ideal treat around the festive season.

3. A hat and scarf

Practical but useful too!
 
Ask around the office for her favourite colours and maybe even order online to ensure you are supervised while choosing the perfect present for your secret santa recipient.

 
4. A magazine subscription

If she’s forever spending her lunch hour buried behind a glossy mag then take note and order her a subscription to be sent to the office each month.
 
She’ll love the convenience of a delivery right to the door and you’ll get to have a look once she’s done!

 
5.Chocolate and wine
If all else fails you can most definitely rely on chocolate and wine.
 
A luxury bottle alongside some high quality choccies will make anyone (male or female) happy at Christmas and there’s a high chance you might get a glass and maybe even a chocolate or two!

 
For more secret santa ideas have a look at our Christmas food hampers.

 

5 Christmas gifts that aren't vouchers

by Stewart 7. November 2013 18:34

Buying Christmas gifts for your staff at Christmas time is an essential part of employee care. Kevin Kruse, contributor at Forbes magazine states that “feeling appreciated—which comes from recognition from others—is one of the top three drivers of employee engagement.”
 
We’ve thought up 5 unique staff Christmas presents that step away from the traditional voucher.
 
1. A Christmas decoration
Step away from the commercially branded baubles and think more unique.
 
A different Christmas decoration for each member of staff will be well received and needn’t mean you spending hours trawling the shops.
 
You can order a selection of high quality baubles online and package them separately.

2. Flowers
At Christmas time flowers are a fantastic addition to an office desk or home.
 
Poinsettias are a classic flower for the festive period and a plant or arrangement can be found relatively cheaply.
 
Staff will love the cheerful Christmas vibes around the office on gift day.

3. A bottle of luxury

A bottle of wine is a great place to start when gifting to staff.
 
An extra bottle of wine in the house will never go amiss with your employees.
 
If you want to be known as the best boss in the world then have the bottles personalised.

 
4. Do something nice
Why not gift your employee a service?

Arranging to have their car valeted or their house cleaned is a great surprise that shows that you have thought about their hectic life.

A clean house just before Christmas will be a dream come true.

5. A voucher… for a restaurant
There is a difference between a voucher for the cinema or a coffee shop and a voucher for a high quality local restaurant.

Not only is this showing your staff that you want them to relax it is also supporting local businesses which is great for your company as well as the others around you.


For more inspiration head over to our port, wine & cheese hampers page.

Christmas presents for drinks lovers

by Stewart 4. November 2013 18:46

There are so many different luxury tipples out there that it can be hard to decide on just one. If you want to buy someone an extra special bottle this year then we can help; here are our five favourite wines, ports and champagnes:

1.     Don Ramos Rioja 2010
This is a fabulous rioja for wine drinkers that aren’t familiar with the Spanish rioja. Described on the label as an ‘approachable’ wine it embodies the classic characteristics of a Tempranillo.

You can expect to taste strawberries and spice while drinking, making this the perfect wine for Christmas time.

2. Ventisquero Pinot Noir Reserva
A high quality red with a complex taste; this pinot noir has a fresh taste with notes of cherry and vanilla.

The finish is long and smooth with notes of spice and fresh red fruits.

This pinot noir should be served at 12-15oC and should be enjoyed alongside game, white meat, steamed fish or pasta.

3. Castell Llord Cava Brut
A fantastic festive treat is on the cards with this beautiful bubbly.

Made from local Spanish grape varieties this is a clean cava made by the traditional methods with second fermentation occurring in the bottle.

The wine lover in your life will enjoy sharp citrus flavours and a satisfyingly dry finish.

4. Taylor's Fine Ruby Port
Taylor’s port is the perfect after dinner drink for the wine lover at Christmas time.

A smooth and elegant drink that remains fruity and intense it epitomises the Christmas drink.

It is fantastic when served with blue cheese or dark chocolate and berries.

5. Bollinger Champagne
If you really want to treat the wine lover in your life then a bottle of Bollinger is the most luxurious Christmas gift you can buy.

The tastes of pear, brioche and fresh walnut are the most notable as well as a hint of spice.

This is the perfect tipple for Christmas morning.


 
For more sumptuous beverages have a look at our port, wine and cheese hampers.

 

 

Secret santa gifts for the boss

by Stewart 31. October 2013 19:21

When buying a secret santa for the boss there’s always the potential for disaster but this needn’t be the case. In fact, you can have a lot of fun buying a super Christmas gift for those in charge!
Here’s how:

1. An inspiring biography

If he or she is a real business mogul then a biography of one of the world’s best businessmen or women is a fantastic present and might really please your boss.

Try Richard Branson’s “Losing my Virginity” or “Wild Company” by Mel and Patricia Ziegler.

2.  A great bottle of wine

If your boss is over eighteen then a bottle of wine is likely to hit the spot. From riojas to viogners there’s a vast selection of choices for both taste and price.

If you want to jazz up your present then why not personalise the bottle with their name and a Christmas message.

3. A smartphone cover

A great cheap present that is functional too.

You can choose to go funny and have a picture of your boss or a particular catchphrase of theirs written on the cover.

4. A gift hamper

If your boss is hard to buy for then a hamper filled with Christmas goodies is just the thing.

You can add luxury mince pies, a bottle of red or white wine, chocolates and even a slate cheeseboard to your gift to make it even more special.

5. Office snacks gift box

A subscription to some healthy office snacks is a wonderful idea and one that a health conscious boss is sure to appreciate.

With so many companies delivering direct to your office door all you have to do is choose your treats and click send.

For a wealth of Christmas hamper ideas and inspiration have a look at our Luxury Christmas Hampers page.

Surprise office Christmas gifts

by Stewart 25. October 2013 02:08

If your office is lacking Christmas cheer and festive spirit then a surprise present is a fabulous way to add some much needed sparkle to everyone’s day.
 
Small presents for everyone can turn Christmas at work into a really special occasion.
 
Here are our five favourite surprise Christmas gifts for the office:
 
1. Cupcakes
A box of Christmassy cupcakes will go down a storm amongst your colleagues and surprising them with a sweet treat with their cuppa is a thoughtful gesture. 

There are many great places to purchase cupcakes these days – from cupcake boutique to locally bakeries - but there is something extra special about homemade goodies.
 
2. Coffees
Surprises don’t need to be expensive or showy; giving everyone a festive coffee from the local shop is a lovely idea and may even warm the heart of the office Grinch! 

Ginger, mint and even Christmas pudding flavoured coffees are available if you’d like to add some extra sparkle to your gift.
 
3. Christmas cards
In the digital age sometimes it can feel as if people have forgotten the real traditions of Christmas.

Receiving a Christmas card from a colleague is a lovely feeling and will make everyone smile, especially if they are handmade…get the kids to help!
 
4. Chutneys
A small jar of chutney for a Christmas cheese board would be a unique surprise gift for your workmates. 

You can buy jam, chutney and other preserves in mini jars which will make the gift less expensive but extra special.
 
5. If all else fails give wine
If you are out of ideas then a bottle of wine for each of your colleagues is sure to make them smile.

 

Arriving on the final day of work with surprise bottles of wine for everyone will get all of you in the mood for Christmas. 

For more office Christmas gifts have a look at our Corporate Hamper Range.

Christmas gifts for staff and their families

by Stewart 21. October 2013 19:46

Showing staff that you think of their life outside of work is a great way to demonstrate your thanks.

Choosing gifts for families can be a lot of fun and there are many different options to consider.

Here are our top 5 gifts for staff and their families:

 1. A day out

A day out with the whole family can become expensive so your staff will really appreciate tickets for the local theme park or a trip to a Christmas panto.

Such a great experience will mean that staff feel truly appreciated by their employers and are more likely to perform well.

 2. A board game

Cranium, Pictionary and Monopoly are great for wiling away the time at Christmas.

When mum and dad are busy in the kitchen or wrapping presents, an exciting new board game will be a great addition to any household.

3. A membership

A family membership to the zoo or cinema is a gift that keeps on giving.

Whether it’s during the long summer holidays or on a rainy weekend, your staff will thank you for putting the thought into this one.

4. A gift hamper

A hamper filled with treats for the whole family is a fantastic present for staff and their families.

Pop in a bottle of wine for mum and dad as well as some biccies for the kids and maybe a selection of hot chocolates for everyone to share.

5. A donation

If you think your employees and their families would appreciate a gift of good will then make a donation to charity in their name.

You could even sponsor an animal at the zoo, buy mosquito nets for Oxfam or donate to a charity of your staff’s choice.

For more Christmas present inspiration head to our Christmas Hampers page.

Personalised office Christmas gifts

by Stewart 21. October 2013 19:28

Christmas is almost upon us and the list of presents to buy just keeps growing!
 
Buying gifts for colleagues can be great though, especially if you add a bit of fun to each present.

Personalising Christmas gifts is a good idea and add a little extra razzmatazz to traditional gifting.

Here are our favourite personalised gifts for colleagues:

1. Wine or champagne

An easy present with a thoughtful twist; these bottles can be personalised with the recipient’s name and even an image if you’d like.

With bottles of red and white as well as champagne there is a tipple to fit the biggest and smallest of budgets as well as personal preference.

2. Mouse mats

You can personalise almost anything these days and one of our favourite ideas has to be putting pictures of family and friends on a mouse mat!

You can upload your pictures online and have the finished articles delivered to your door. Simple as that.

3. Mugs

There is nothing stranger than the obsessive feelings people have for their coffee mug at work and nothing worse than spotting a colleague drinking from your cup.

Solve the problem by purchasing a personalised mug for everyone; from simple initials to embarrassing photos, you can have some fun here.

4. An office calendar

If you can gather enough evidence - sorry, photographs - to compile a calendar then you are on to a winner.

An embarrassing photo for each month will provide the whole office with a laugh for the rest of the year.

5. Notebooks

Bin the boring stationary and give everyone a notebook with their name embossed.

From luxurious brown leather to bright pink and fluffy there is a multitude of options and a choice for all budgets.

This way no-one will mix up your important project with their weekly shopping list!

If you’d like more office Christmas gift inspiration visit our Christmas Gifts page.

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