When it comes to holiday gifting, you could say we’re kind of picky.

I mean, everyone says that it’s the thought that counts, but I’m not sure I’m totally on board when it comes to showing our gratitude and love for our amazing clients. They don’t deserve some generic box of chocolates (basic!), a cheese basket (bland!), or a random tchotchke (boring!).

I don’t know about you all, but I don’t do my 4:00 planks for nothing—so I’ll pass on the treats, please. And now that I have a child, I have more clutter in my life than ever—so the last thing I want is something else to clean or dust. Based on an informal poll around the office, everyone here feels pretty much the same way.

That’s why we decided to shake up our holiday gifting. But what do you give people to show your appreciation?

A charitable donation, made on their behalf. Here’s how it works.

  • First, we ask the team at Contrast to pick three different charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Think planting trees, saving dogs from the Korean meat trade, and sending girls to school in impoverished nations, for example.
  • We send our clients a nice, well-designed holiday email thanking them for being amazing, inviting them to select whichever one of our hand-picked causes matters most to them.
  • Once they pick, we thank them, and make a donation to that charity on our client’s behalf.

For the 2019 holiday season, we donated nearly $3,000 to charities for our clients, including Project Night Night, The California Fire Foundation, and The Clean Air Task Force. To us, this was a win-win-win: good for the environment (no trees were harmed in the making of our online cards and donations), good for our clients’ wellness goals (since we saved everyone from more high-caloric treats or items to purge), and good for the worthy causes served by these organizations. So everyone really gets what they want for the holidays.