1. Who gets a gift at the office?
Traditionally, an employer may thank his or her employees for their dedication with a holiday "bonus." Today, budget cuts and a struggling economy have had an impact on the types of gifts many employers give out during the holidays. Some companies now offer alternatives such as a day off, a gift certificate to a restaurant or a holiday turkey or ham.
Employees shouldn't feel obligated to give their boss an elaborate gift. Ask around to see if there will be an office "pool" where everyone who is interested pitches in a small amount of money and a designated person buys an "office" gift for the boss. Or, as an alternative, bring a box of your famous fudge for the boss, and another box for the entire office to enjoy.
Colleagues can draw names, select and donate to a charity, or skip the gift giving process all together.
2. If there is an office gift exchange, what are some safe options for a boss, a colleague, and a client? The Boss:
- Cookies, muffins, home baked goods
- A joint gift from the entire staff, such as tickets to a local theatre performance, sports tickets, or golf towels
- A handwritten note thanking him or her for a great year
- A box of fruit from your backyard fruit tree
- Anything small and non-personal
- A gift card to a local coffee shop
- A travel coffee mug for their morning commute, with a small bag of gourmet coffee or tea
- An iTunes gift card
- A scarf or umbrella
- A colorful computer mouse or bright ear buds
- Creative desk supplies
- An insulated lunch carrier
- An eco-friendly grocery bag, purchased from their favorite store
- A jar of nuts, seeds or specialty candy in a pretty jar for their desk
- A box of seasonal fruit, delivered monthly for a year
- A donation to a charity in his or her name
- A bottle (or case) of wine
- A moderately priced writing pen (not too expensive but nice)
- Nothing with your business logo
- All of the above should be accompanied with a holiday card and handwritten note.
- Do not use a business card as a gift card to your client.