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Holiday Gifts: What to Give?

With September 11 still fresh in our minds, this question is more important than ever.

This story appears in the December 2001 issue of

For many entrepreneurs, the holiday season is typically fraught with decisions about what gifts to give your clients and employees. But this season, coming just a few months after the worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history, the idea of gift-giving is taking on a whole new dimension.

Now more than ever, you need to be especially sensitive to clients' and employees' emotions, regardless of whether your recipients were personally affected by the tragedy. "I anticipate corporate gift-giving this Christmas to be very understated," says Joan Lindsey-Mullikin, assistant professor of marketing at Babson College. Gift-giving in general would have been curtailed, at least to some degree, due to the recession-but add to that the severity of the situation as a result of the terrorist attacks, and this no doubt will be a solemn holiday season."

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