Why HR Departments Have Loved Holiday Gift Check for 30 Years

Holiday Gift Check is celebrating 31 years of helping HR professionals say thanks to their employees at the holidays.

As seen in the October issue of HR Magazine


Thirty years ago, the internet was in its infancy, we listened to music on Walkman’s, and most companies did business locally, with onsite employees who worked 9-5. Now, thanks to technology, we do business around the world and are as productive from home or at Starbucks as we are in the office. However, one thing that hasn’t changed in thirty years, is the tradition of employers giving a meaningful gift to their employees at the end of the year. That’s why Holiday Gift Check has grown to become even more popular today as it did when it printed its first gift check back in 1989. Based just outside of Chicago, the Holiday Gift Check Program pioneered the turkey gift check idea. They now celebrate 31 years of helping companies say thank you to their employees and customers with the gift of a turkey, without the hassle and expense of storing and delivering frozen turkeys.

Originally, Holiday Gift Check Program was named after a well-known turkey brand and the checks were only redeemable for their product. As customers asked for more flexibility, the company became Holiday Gift Check and the flexible gift check is redeemable for any brand turkey, ham or festive side dish for a holiday meal. Orders multiplied, and today virtually any supermarket in the U.S. and Canada accept the Holiday Gift Checks. Their newest redemption partner, Honey Baked Ham, accepts Holiday Gift Checks nationwide at more than 400 of their Honey Baked Ham Café stores for turkeys, delicious honey hams and side dishes.

How to Say Thanks

“All employers want to express gratitude to all employees with a meaningful gift,” explains Richard D. Wirth, president and chief executive of Holiday Gift Check Program. “But with people working remotely and traveling more, it’s more difficult. Holiday Gift Checks are designed to provide an affordable, unique and easy way to deliver the gift of a turkey to anyone, anywhere!”

Holiday Gift Checks are more practical than a token of appreciation that ends up in a desk drawer and more convenient than store gift cards from outlets who may go out of business or have inconvenient locations. Holiday parties are a wonderful gesture but may be difficult for remote employees to attend. Meanwhile, the old standby of cold, hard cash continues to convey little warmth or consideration for the person receiving it.

“Holiday Gift Checks offer a unique alternative and we have distributed more than six million gift checks on behalf of more than 300,000 companies, both large and small, to continue this important tradition,” said Wirth.

Three Reasons HR Loves Holiday Gift Checks

Holiday Gift Checks have retained their popularity over 31 years because they meet the trifecta of qualities HR departments seek in a holiday gift: meaningful relevance, convenience and affordability.

Meaningful Relevance

Holiday Gift Checks are designed to contribute to a holiday meal, bringing the family together when it’s convenient for them. That’s why Holiday Gift Checks remain steadfastly popular in industries where shift work separates employees from their families such as:

  • Manufacturing
  • Hospitality
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Trucking and Logistics
  • Retail
  • Hospitals


Thirty years ago, customers relied on postcard reminders in August to signal it was time to mail order their Holiday Gift Checks. Today, Holiday Gift Checks are ordered online, making it fast and easy to customize the gift check with a holiday greeting, the company’s name and even each recipient’s name by easily uploading an Excel or Microsoft document.

The program’s friendly and responsive customer service is based at their Illinois headquarters.


HR Departments appreciate that Holiday Gift Checks suit any budget and can be ordered in any denomination up to $50 with only a .90/check fee. Best of all, “leftover” checks can be refunded at full face value for no additional fee. During the holiday, they offer special seasonal and quantity discounts to their customers.

The Holiday Gift Check is also affordable for the recipient. “Individuals redeeming Holiday Gift Checks will not incur an activation fee, like they do for using major credit card gift cards,” said Wirth.

After 31 years, Holiday Gift Check is still going strong and offers exceptional customers service just like it did in the beginning.

To order Holiday Gift Checks for your employees this year, visit www.giftcheckprogram.com or call 630.986.5081.