It’s that time of year! And, wow, what a year it’s been. For the 2020 edition of holiday gift ideas, I couldn’t help but put a little pandemic twist on thoughtful presents for networkers. So, with that, here are my top picks for this season of joy…
Face Coverings. Please know, this is not a political statement! The fact is that face masks are required in a number of states. And, though the standard, non-medical grade blue paper masks do the trick, they are not so stylish. If you want to make a real impression, consider sending a customized face mask to your favorite contacts! I ordered one from Vistaprint.com, and was very pleased with the quality. The company offers a variety of pre-fab designs; if you have your recipient’s company logo, you can design your own. Note that it did take at least three weeks to receive the finished product from the date I placed the order.
MASKerAID. So, as long as we’re talking about face masks, I must – absolutely must – advocate for this ingenious little fashion statement: The MASKerAID is a beaded necklace that connects to your mask making it easy to wear. You can wear your mask as usual, but then conveniently pull it down when you don’t need it and have it stored comfortably out of the way. Not only does the MASKerAID come in a number of stylish designs for women and men, but all of the proceeds go to benefit a food pantry. They are the brainchild – and community service project – of 12-year-old, Jonah Stein, in Kansas City. So proud of this young man… so excited about his cool product line!
Oak Wisdom Laptop. Seriously, this is one of my favorite discoveries of the year. Talk about “innovation,” this gorgeous cool weather “technology” from Laurie Jacobi Design out of Minneapolis is a 27” x 37” lap blanket that doubles as a shawl to be draped over your shoulders. Made of ultra-soft merino wool, this lightweight “laptop” is perfect for keeping you warm while dining outdoors as the weather turns brisk. It is a very special gift for a very special networking contact.
Second Season Planner. This has been a very unusual year. For many, it has meant an unexpected early retirement or job loss. As such, I am particularly excited about this beautiful new softcover daily planner from my dear friend, Marcia McMullen. You may remember that I have featured Marcia and her books, the Mentor Collection, in the past. Now she offers a highly useful planner that includes monthly spreads in which the holder can organize and detail monthly goals and weekly tasks. It allows for journaling of ideas, visioning, and action steps. It’s the perfect retirement gift or for anyone in career transition and will provide the motivation your recipient needs for a fresh start!
Engraved Wine Bottles. I just love the unique engraved wine bottles distributed by Mano’s. The company is an urban winery which sources, selects, blends and bottles a number of wines. The bottles are then deep-etched and hand-painted with a variety of designs – you can even customize your own. They make wonderful, memorable, affordable gifts that are always appreciated.
Coffee Lunch Coffee: A Practical Field Guide for Master Networking by Alana Muller. Again this year, a bit of shameless self-promotion! My book offers an accessible, relevant, immediately actionable approach to professional networking for anybody interested in connecting with others, getting involved in their communities, seeking to advance their careers or looking to build social relationships. It will help you formulate a strategic mindset around networking while creating a game plan to get out there and connect. BONUS: Now through December 31, 2020, if you order directly from my website, I’ll personalize an inscription to your recipient and even include a free copy of my fun minibook, Coffee Lunch Coffee: Five Tips for Making the Most of Networking Events. No promo code necessary.
Happy gift giving! Happy Networking!