The force field created during "The Holidays" is there to be exploited. It's in our Machiavellian self-interest to leverage it in networking. The trick is that we have to be imaginative in how we tap in to connect.
Yes, there are those who made it their whatever to shut out this unique ethos. They are the politically correct who fear offending those who legally oppose Christmas. They might identify themselves as Buddhists who don't bother with that sort of thing. Or they embrace radical saving and associate giving with spending.
But, let them be. We are all-business. And business is about contacts.
Those contacts want to be wooed. There really is a payoff to figure out how to share good cheer in unique ways with those who could help or hurt our careers.
One creative thinker hunted around German shops in the New York Metro area to manually put together a care basket for the in-house lawyer at a German company. He did his homework, He kept the value of the content beneath the max allowed for gifts from vendors.
The high school student hoping for some strings to get pulled about getting into a certain college created a cute greeting card with a pocket for "vouchers" for X number of hours for baby sitting.
For the vice president of progams at a trade association, where the account was petering out, I sent gift cards to her two young children for a new elite fun donut shop in the area. It turned out this was the first time they got to select their own goodies. Or swing by that shop. They were thrilled. The account went on another 18 months. The extra powder on that donut, so to speak, was that I didn't live in that area. The VP recognized that I had dug around for that information.
Sometimes creativity has limits. A legal writer knows his client has a getaway farm. Should he offer to shovel the horse manure? The client keeps complaining that "kids" just won't do that kind of work any more.
My out-of-the-box gift list for The Holidasy 2014? Ha, I play those cards close to my vest.