It's hard to believe but the Holiday Season is now officially upon us and what great timing. The week of Thanksgiving, I actually received my first holiday gift from a vendor I work with. She sent a package of chocolate covered cherries (a Michigan favorite) and chocolate covered malt balls, although I told my staff they were chocolate covered gum balls. I was thankful for the gift and sent an email saying thank you, followed by a handwritten note. After eating more than a few cherries and malt balls and reflecting on how I want to say thanks to my clients, I thought about how can I make it meaningful to those who I want to say thank you to. Typically, each year, I give my clients who celebrate Christmas the official White House Ornament.  A great gift for under $30. To others, I try to personalize it. I sent one client some NASCAR items as he is a huge fan, the other music from a college marching band, as he also is a big fan.

Yet, during these tough economic times, I believe the greatest gift is to make a donation in honor of your clients to an organization they support or that they are involved in. Knowing which organizations your clients support, I believe is an important aspect of any client/professional relationship. It means that you take the time to get to know your clients beyond the work they hired you to do and are familiar with the things outside the work environment that they care passionately about.

This year, I will be making a number of contributions to food banks, children's hospitals and other worthy nonprofits -- Just as my way of saying, THANKS. By the way, if anyone is interested in sending me a gift, I am a board member of the MS Society of Michigan, Urban League of Southeastern Michigan and the Michigan Political Leadership Program. I also am a big fan of JARC, Yad Ezra and Childhelp -- I am just saying. Happy Holidays to each of you.