Surviving the Holidays at the Office-Part 4

By Julianna Durie, PLS

“…. it’s the most wonderful time of year.”

The Do’s and Don’ts of Gifting

Do Ask if there is a Gift Exchange at the Office. Some offices may have a traditional gift exchange and limit. Otherwise, consider asking your coworkers if they would be interested in a gift exchange. Keep mind that not everyone can afford an extra $30 gift limit, so consider a $5.00 ornament exchange instead.

Do Consider Making Gift Baskets. Many times as a new employee you are unsure of what to give to your boss as a Christmas gift. A simple basket of snack type food, chocolate and dry mixes is always a crowd pleaser.

Do Consider Gifting Other Professionals in the Business. There are other people you work with every year. I send a small gift to the secretary at a different office that assists me when my boss shares office space in her building. She has been instrumental in helping me when he has an offsite meeting. Goodwill can go a long way in this profession.

Do Consider Having Spare Gifts on Hand. Not having a gift on hand after receiving a gift from a surprise person leads to an uncomfortable pause. In addition, it is possible to forget to get a gift and then realize your error after you have already handed out gifts in the office. I keep a few bags on hand with a coffee mug and chocolate, hot cocoa mix, and a holiday pen for such an occasion.

Don’t Give Gifts to a Select Few People at the Office. Think of it like school; unless you brought enough for everyone to have, gifting to a select few people can cause bad feelings and lead to conflicts with your coworkers. If you have a coworker that you wish to give a gift to, consider giving the gift after office hours and preferably off site.

Don’t Give Gifts that are Inappropriate. Consider that any gifts you give in the office are a reflection of you. An office White Elephant exchange is not the proper place to give edible underwear. In addition, keep in mind that certain gifts may not be appropriate for certain people, like wine for a recovering alcoholic or a jar of party nuts to someone who is allergic to nuts.

Don’t Insist on Forcing Holiday Goodies on Coworkers. During the holidays, cookies and cakes are a plenty. However, a fellow coworker may have his or her own reasons for avoiding the these treats. They may be on a diet, have food allergies, etc. Leaving treats in the breakroom is more appropriate than personally delivering cookies to everyone’s office.

Remember the whole idea of gifting is something that is supposed to be fun and enjoyable!

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