Right now is the ideal time to dash out to your nearest drug store or stationers and buy discount holiday cards to mail to clients in jail. Only don’t mail them out today. Put the cards with cheery snowpeople and reindeer in your bottom desk drawer, behind the unused (honestly, never-used) work out clothes, which are behind the secret stash of chocolate. Now, write yourself a little note in your calendar on December 15, 2015, “Holiday cards to jailed clients.”

Following the example of Jane and Simone, two attorneys in my office, this year I sent holiday cards to clients stuck in jail. I wasted much time deliberating about the perfect way to express, “I cordially and professionally wish you as much joy, peace and prosperity in the new year as you can possibly have given your straits. I hope through my legal acumen to add to or at least not detract from said joy, peace and prosperity, but I cannot make any promises or guarantees.” Ultimately, I simply signed my name to the generic greeting in the card.

Today, just before being sentenced Robert thanked me for his card. This six-time– after today seven– convicted burglar confessed receiving the card brought a tear to his eye. I usually try to avoid making my clients cry, but in this context I felt OK about it. My colleague Jane informs me that her holiday card tradition has improved relations with even her most hardened and stubborn clients. By now a couple boxes of cards marked 80|PERCENT| off should remain on store shelves next to some lonely tinsel, dreidels and Santa hats. Do yourself and your clients a favor and buy a box. The Santa hat will make a great gag gift for the office holiday party.