If you think you can roll up to the office with a case of wine or a dozen wreaths to hand out to your employees as a thank you for working through the pandemic, prepare yourself for wine poured over your head and a wreath shoved up the other end. Nobody wants that stuff, if you can't give cash, it has to be a grocery store gift card, or something equally as useful.

"But that's impersonal" you say. If you want to make it heartfelt, save that for words in the card. Free groceries during the worst year of most people's lives is never, ever a bad move. For most blue collar workers in town, that's the way to go. Buying a turkey for each employee used to be nice back in the day, but honestly, most people have already planned out their menus and purchased what they need before you hand out cards. And what if you have a bunch of vegans on payroll?

If you want to hand out fancy, personalized pens, or make a donation in the name of your staff, save it for next year, or even the year after. And I hope it goes without saying that a holiday party is out of the question. In fact, what you typically budget for the holiday party should cover the grocery store gift cards.

Whether or not you had to lay employees off this year, you may not realize that your people have struggled. They've had to cash out their IRAs, deplete savings, take the coin jar to the bank, and budget tighter than ever. Take mercy on them and spring for a week of groceries, they deserve it. And showing up at work with a case of Clorox wipes rather than a case of wine will score you a TON of points.