Thanksgiving is ten days away. As turkey day nears, we with our clients will journey through a host of uniquely November events that include things like football, family reunions, meal preparations, and for people of faith, spiritual experiences, that usher in the December holidays.
This week is an opportune time to take a few minutes and make a list of clients for whom Thanksgiving may be difficult. Some have buried a loved one this year. Others have held a pink slip or been told their job will soon be changing. Some families saw their first child leave home for college. Some welcomed a new baby to the family. There may be married couples in your book of business who divorced in 2022 or are in the process of ending their marriage. Others saw their last child leave home and the nest is now empty. Some have a son or daughter serving our country who will not be at this year’s Thanksgiving table.
I think you get the picture. Our culture tells us Thanksgiving is family and feasting. And yet, for those whose 2022 has been punctuated with loss, grief, change, sorrow, disappointment, and a host of other emotions, the fourth Thursday in November can be a very difficult day.
You can give a gift to your clients that they will never forget. Here’s how.
First, make a list of clients who you know had a tough year. Then look at the list noting common themes. You might note clients who have had employment issues, separating them from those who have had health challenges or lost a loved one. These themes will inform the next step.
Now think through how you will reach out to each segment on your list. If a client has lost a loved one, you might call them and simply say, “I cannot imagine how difficult Thanksgiving will be for you this year, but I had to call and say I care about you and your family.” My experience has been that this gift to a client who is working through grief is especially welcomed. You may consider inviting them for lunch or coffee. The call, however, is a personal, warmly caring gift.
For those who are in a career change, a call might be the needed touch. When an adult’s need to provide for family hits a wall, a call simply asking, “How is your transition going?” connects. What about a call to clients whose child is job hunting? Let those clients know you are willing to help in any way they deem appropriate. And yes, in all these challenging situations, a handwritten note of support is a communication your clients will read and re-read, grateful for your care.
Clients—and us—face a passel of feelings around holidays. Be more intentional now about caring for those you serve who may be hurting and need that extra touch. Do so, and you will give them—and yourself! —a holiday gift unlike any other.