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Contrary to the carols of generations past, the December holiday season can be anything but peaceful these days.

On the personal side, we hustle to buy gifts, catch up with friends, and prepare for visiting family members. Meanwhile, we wrestle with year-end deadlines at work in a scramble for last-minute business that rivals the melee at most malls at that time of the year. As a result, client entertaining in December can sometimes feel like a chore for both parties.     

But the New Year offers an alternative to the stresses of the holiday season. Connecting with clients in January means a more relaxed and more productive time for everyone involved. Here's why:

Dodge The Competition
It's no secret that your client receives scores of invitations and meeting requests during the holidays. As a result, there's a chance that your request could get lost in the shuffle. Instead of struggling to find to a free half-hour for face time, target a month when calendars won't be so jam-packed. In January the 'noise' dies down dramatically, which means you won't have to shout to secure a meeting.

Capture Their Attention

Business meals in December are conducted under a cloud of competing deadlines, priorities, and obligations. Come January however, you have a much better shot at winning your client's interest and attention. A meal shared in the New Year needn't be rushed, allowing an opportunity to share ideas and catch up at length--without worrying whether the stores will be closed by the time you finish dessert.

Offer a Cure for Winter Blues
There's a post-holiday hangover that affects both drinkers and non-drinkers alike, caused by the sudden drop-off of social activity on the heels of New Year's Eve. We descend from the high of having event after event to anticipate, to the low of a predictable workweek without cause for celebration. Host a dinner or cocktail party in January, and both you and your client will have a date on the calendar to look forward to.