Category Archives: Christmas Tips

2016 Christmas Prize Draw

christmas prize drawIt’s December and time for our Annual Christmas Draw! And for this year, we have something really special – and fun: Our grand prize is a family ticket for 4 for Chessington World of Adventures! It’ll be an unforgettable experience for the whole family!

Everyone who enters will also receive a share tin of Quality Street chocolates to pass around the office or to take home to the family, while stocks last (one per customer please).

How do you enter into the Christmas Prize Draw?

All orders over £150 will be entered into the draw automatically! Anything you order will count, from Christmas gifts to special order items to routine supplies!

Closing date is 20th December, and the prize will be delivered on the 21st (Wednesday).

Which items qualify for the Christmas Prize Draw?

If you’re wondering which items count towards your qualification for our chocolates and grand prize, the easy answer is “everything” – anything you order from us here at Crane, whether or not it is Christmas related.

But if you’d like some more specific ideas, check out the following…

Christmas gifts for your team

Think about what are you planning to give your team members in the office? There are so many options, from edibles to collectibles, or even special useful items.

From chocolates to gourmet coffee with a collectible mug to a nice set of pens… they all make nice gifts. What’s best will depend on the person – and you know your colleagues better than we do.

Some might prefer tea, others a side of smoked salmon or a bottle of fine wine. But most people love chocolate and sweets!

Still wondering? We’ll be happy to make suggestions. Just call us on 0800 007 5566.

Our Christmas Concierge Service

And that’s not all. As we mentioned last time, we’re bringing back our popular Christmas concierge service! So if you need help with finding the perfect gifts for your team, you can also leave the details to us.

Yes, even if your perfect gift is a gift basket! Those are very popular right now – and they’ll be available as long as supplies last!

Stock Up On Office Supplies

Of course, you can also top off your order with normal supplies (ink, pens, paper, staplers, desk organisers), and/or business cards and letterhead to qualify for our Christmas Prize Draw!

Last Call for Personalised Christmas Cards And Gifts

If you still haven’t gotten your personalised Christmas cards (and gifts), now’s your last chance to order them, or your items won’t arrive before Christmas! We’ll do our best to get them to you in time, but this is crunch time, so don’t wait.

In fact, not everything will be available at this time, especially not for personalisation. So as always, just call us on (0800 007 5566) to find out. Or use our Live Chat.

Looking forward to making your Christmas merry and your shopping easy!

Christmas Gifts Can Be Great Investments

christmas giftsIt’s October and Christmas is less than 2 months away. So it’s no longer particularly “early” when it comes to preparing for Christmas, which includes ordering Christmas gifts.

The first item on your agenda should be ordering your personalised corporate Christmas cards! You may also decide to get charity Christmas cards, where a portion of the proceeds is donated to your favourite charity.

We carry a wide range of Christmas cards in a variety of styles, some of which can even be personalised on the front. This will make yours stand out, especially when they’re on display in the offices of their recipients.

I’d like to invite you to check out our selection of personalised Christmas cards, which we have just newly updated:

We have a broad selection, from traditional to glamorous to funny and more. Take a look!

And remember that it’s important to include a hand-written note in those cards, yes, even though they do include the personalisation! At the very least, sign them – or have someone in your office sign them for you.

For an even bigger impact, consider adding a personalised gift! We have a wide selection, from very affordable to impressive corporate gifts. While some gifts cost more per item, the minimum order requirement is much smaller, so the total amount remains pretty manageable.

Christmas gifts are a bit different from the branded gifts that you might send out during the rest of the year. They have to be a bit more impressive and festive, and signal a higher value.

Unlike the pens and notepads you give away year-round, the Christmas gifts need to be a bit “bigger” – not necessarily in size but in perceived value. In fact, you can get “premium” products even in a category that would normally be considered too “small” – for example a premium pen in a gift box!

Here are a few ideas…

1) Calendars and Diaries

As I mentioned before, calendars and diaries are ideal Christmas gifts. Everyone needs a new calendar, and generally several, so a calendar really comes in handy as the old one expires. Just make sure you pick a really nice one!

2) Premium Versions of “Everyday” Items

Regular branded pens are not suitable as Christmas gifts, but really nice premium ball pens and/or a fountain pens could be very well received, especially if they come in a gift box, possibly as a set. They also have the advantage of reminding the receiver of you whenever they use them.

3) Nice branded versions of “regular” office utensils

Staplers and hole punches often wear out, so a high quality version, properly branded, can be a nice option.

4) Leather bound purses, diaries, binders, or folders

Whether it’s real leather or a high quality eco-friendly imitation, these items look very nice and are likely to be used as well. That’s important as these items are supposed to serve as reminders of you and your brand.

5) Other classy gifts

There are many more options, from wall or desk clocks to crystal decanters and tumblers. We also offer a wide range of silver plated items, from sticky note holders and business card holders to photo frames.

Why not visit our selection of executive promotional items and take a look around. We’re sure you’ll be inspired. You can find our executive gifts here:

And when you have any questions whatsoever or can’t quite find what you have in mind, just call us on 0800 007 5566 or use our Live Chat… and ask! We’re happy to help.

Just remember – if you want the best selection, it pays to start shopping early.

Let us help you thrive!

Organising The Office Christmas Party

Happy group people in santa hat at Xmas business  party.Organising the office Christmas party can be quite a challenge. Especially if your to-do list looks like the one I shared last week, which came straight out of OUR own office.

Yes, the office party will have to be organised, but there are plenty of things to do as well…

1. Sending greetings and gifts to prospects and customers or clients
2. Organising the Christmas party
3. Getting Christmas gifts for your family and friends
4. And of course doing your regular job as well…

Yet item number 2, Organising the office Christmas party, is definitely one that is top of mind right now as Christmas inches ever closer…

Before you lose your sanity as you’re organising the Christmas party, make sure you have stocked up on the essentials…

Stocking up for the Christmas Party

What will you serve at your party? Do you have sweets, baked goods, and refreshments? What type of refreshments will you serve? Wine? Beer? Champagne? Anything more potent?

What about Christmas themed plates, cups, and napkins? Then there’s the question of decorations if your venue of choice isn’t already all decked out for Christmas.

You also want to make sure you have plenty of coffee to ease any potential hangovers. Rounding up all of the above items is the part that we can make easy for you… with our one-stop shopping service: Just call us on 0800 007 5566 or use our handy Live Chat, and all you have to do is arrange all the goodies in your party room or venue!

Of course that’s only part of the planning process…

When and Where Will You Party?

You also need to figure out exactly WHEN to have that party, and where. Will you coordinate with everyone in the office, or pick the time you can get the venue where you’re hosting it. The closer it gets to Christmas, the harder it will be to find both the ideal time and a venue. So if you haven’t nailed that down yet, you may want to say a little prayer and/or cross your fingers…

And resolve to start working on those two things well in advance come next year.

Who should be invited?

Here’s another question: whom should you invite? Will family members and dates be included? What about company alumni? There might even be certain VIPs you could invite, depending on the structure and type of your particular business.

Speaking of invitations… Will you mail out invitations, drop invitations into everyone’s inbox, or rely entirely on emails?

What Kind of Fun Will You Have?

And then there’s the part about what kind of fun to have. Depending on your company culture, you may have certain activities planned that you do every year. Do you include party games or similar activities? Will there be dancing, or a Santa Claus visit? What about a gift exchange? Are you going to have live music? If so, what kind?

And will everyone wear a Santa hat?

Don’t Overthink It!

As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts. But as long as you have the essentials, food and refreshments, and enough of them for everyone, your party should be well on its way to success!

Don’t Forget About The Rest Of Your To-Do List

As you’re preoccupied with planning the party, don’t forget that the party is not EVERYTHING you need to take care of right now… You may also have to stock up on office supplies and other items. After all, you don’t want to run out of essentials during the office break…

Just run a quick check… paper, ink, envelopes, letterhead, and so on. Not to forget, do you have enough business cards for all the (other) parties you and your colleagues are going to attend? You never know whom you run into…

As always, we’re happy to help. Just call us on 0800 007 5566 or use our Live Chat!

Christmas Shopping Made Easy With Concierge Service

Christmas Hamper BasketChristmas is coming up in a big hurry, isn’t it? And with all the preparations, and closing out the year in good shape at work, things can get mighty busy.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a personal Santa’s Helper or Christmas Shopper concierge service so you won’t have to brave the crowded shops in this busy time? You’ll be glad to know that there is such a thing…

You’re probably torn between all the things you have to do right now, both at work and at home:

  1. Sending greetings and gifts to prospects and customers or clients
  2. Preparing Christmas parties and gift exchanges
  3. Getting Christmas gifts for your family and friends
  4. And of course doing your regular job as well…

Not that this is a complete list, but I think you get the idea… So how can we help make your life easier by saving you time and aggravation?  And even money?

Let Us Be Your Christmas concierge

How about letting US get your Christmas presents FOR you? Just tell us what you want and how much you want to send, and we’ll send it to you and place the gift on your invoice along with your normal everyday items.

We’d love to be your special concierge company!

What can we get for you? Just about anything you want…

Then again, there are always those favorites…

One wildly popular item right now is our Christmas Hamper, a wicker basket full of cheese biscuits, a bottle of sherry, and a variety of other goodies, sweets, chocolates, and more. They’ve been flying out the door like crazy during the last week.

Of course we have them in different sizes and can create customized versions. As I said, simply tell us what you want and we’ll send it to you.

Just think of all the people in your life who might enjoy such a gift basket… Whether it’s your clients or key prospects, your husband or wife, or even your favorite aunt. There are so many possibilities. And we can take care of it for you. Just say the word.

Or rather call us on 0800 007 5566. You can also use our Live Chat!

Concerned about “comingling” business and private orders by adding gifts for your family and friends to your business order? Don’t be. Just make sure to let us know what’s what, and we’ll get it all sorted when we create your invoice. Your accountant will be happy.

Imagine how much time and aggravation you and (your staff members) can save when there’s no need to brave the crowds in the shops. The best thing… you’ll save money too.

More Easy Gift Options

Wondering what to get for people on your list where a gift hamper wouldn’t be quite right? We have all kinds of cool gifts that your family and kids will love, from many different electronic gadgets, phones, tablets, diaries, and even funky versions of staplers, hole punches, assortments of pens, and more.

Finally, you need to wrap it all up (unless you want us to do it for you), and one of the key items you’ll need is… Easy Tear Tape!

We have stocked up in a huge way so we won’t run out, no matter how much tape you need. So how about….

5 Star Clear Tape Easy Tear – Any Size, Any Number Of Rolls You Want – Call us on 0800 007 5566 or use our Live Chat!

Of course we also have other wrapping and packaging materials, including shipping supplies so you can mail your presents to arrive with time to spare.

And remember, every time you place a qualifying order of £99 or more (by December 18), you’ll be entered into our Crane Christmas Draw to win a 50″ TV! You can also win t-shirts and delicious chocolates. More details are on our official site:

So why not make your Christmas Shopping easy this year with our special Christmas Concierge Service!

When To Order Christmas Cards And Gifts – Reverse Engineered!

Girl with clockAre you thinking about sending your Christmas cards and presents yet? Especially to your customers and prospects? You know how people often say it’s important to send Christmas cards and gifts early. But how early is early enough?

Don’t you ever wonder exactly when to order Christmas cards and gifts, and when to send them to arrive at the perfect time? In fact, what IS the perfect time.

I’ve decided to reverse engineer the process, to find the best timeline for choosing and ordering your cards and promotional items, so you can send them out, complete with handwritten notes, to get them to their destination with time to spare.

Let’s start with the final deadline…

Christmas Eve is always on the 24th of December, which in 2015 falls on a Thursday. Many businesses take the whole week off, which means they start their break on Friday, the 18th of December.

Of course you don’t want your gifts to arrive on the day they’re getting ready to leave. Instead, make sure it arrives at least a week earlier, preferably two. This makes the 11th or even the 4th your deadline. An extra week earlier won’t hurt either.

Why so early?

Two reasons:

1) You want to stand out from the “crowd” during the Christmas rush.

When your gift arrives at the same time everybody else’s arrives, it will get lost in the shuffle, and will, at best, receive minimal attention. And since most others send theirs at the last minute, you’re likely to stand out when you send yours early.

2) You want your card and/or gift displayed in a highly visible spot.

You definitely want your recipient to have a chance to display your cards (and gifts) in their card display area. If you have a well-chosen attractive card, your chances are good that they’ll give it a place of honour in their display, reminding them of you often. Oh, and their visitors too.

And that’s the point!

When should you mail your cards and gifts?

You know that the time leading up to Christmas is the busy season for the postal service. So allow some extra time.

If you want your items to arrive at their destination by the 4th of December, make sure to drop them in the mail by the 28th of November.

How much time will you need to address your cards and gifts, and maybe write a little note, a personal touch that will be much appreciated? That depends on just how many you’ll send. Allow at least a week. Two might be better, especially considering that you never know when things get really busy in the office… which brings us to mid-November. That’s the time you should have your cards and gifts in hand…

The best time to order your gifts and cards

So when should you order them? That depends on your supplier. For personalised corporate Christmas cards, we suggest to order at least a week in advance. But then we’re fast! When everybody orders at once, it could take a few extra days.

Some other suppliers may require at least two weeks! So let’s go with that to be safe. And that means you have to order your cards by the end of October. The same is true for promotional gift items.

Why NOW is the time to get started

You’ll also want a few days to decide on the specific cards and gifts you want, which means, the time to get started is NOW.

Christmas may still seem a couple of months away, but if you don’t get the timing right when it comes to ordering and sending your cards and gifts, you may be left empty-handed, or worse.

Just imagine what impact your cards and gifts would have if they arrived after everyone has left for their Christmas break! Next to none! They’d just pile up in the mailroom and get swept straight into the bin when everyone returns in January.

For more information about choosing the right Christmas cards and gifts, visit our blog at

And to find out about our Crane Christmas Prize Draw as well as the Halloween Booster Prize and how to enter, visit us here: