‘Tis the season for twinkling lights, beloved traditions and gifts wrapped neatly with oversized bows. As you make shopping plans and search for the perfect presents for family and friends, should you also remember your intern, co-worker and accountability partner? And what about the age-old question: do you really need to give something to your boss? Here’s an office-friendly list to help take the holiday pressure off of your professional gift exchange.
Although it’s not mandatory to buy your boss a gift, it would be a thoughtful gesture to give them something to celebrate the season and show your admiration. Instead of stressing over what to buy, start an office pool and get others involved. Ask for suggestions and take note of your boss’s interests.
For the traveler, a Mophie charger or practical tech gadget may be appreciated for a supervisor who is always on the road. While this would be too expensive coming from one person, it would be perfect gifted by a group. Personalized luggage tags always come in handy as well. If you plan to go it alone, homemade goodies or a small token of your appreciation is usually the best option.
Your Accountability Partner
For someone that has been with you through the highs and lows of the past year (or decade), a gift commensurate of your indebtedness is in order. If you meet regularly, you no doubt have gotten familiar with their particular taste. A business-themed present is both practical and appropriate. A new business card holder to replace their current well-worn model, a nice pen to keep in their desk or portfolio, or a bottle (or case) of their favorite wine to celebrate a year of successful collaboration are all great ideas. A “Work Hard, Play Hard” duffel at Owen and Fred could bring a huge smile to their face. The site has a number of amazing choices in a variety of price points.
Your Virtual Assistant
Out of sight should not be out of mind. An exceptional virtual assistant is worth their weight in holiday gold. For someone you have just started working with, a gift in the form of a bonus or a gift card to a store where they can purchase a variety of items is a good choice. For someone you have relied on for years, paying attention to their changing lifestyle is a helpful start when deciding what to give them during the season. My go-to assistant just moved into a new home, and I happen to know she is wild for unique kitchen knobs. A gift card to Anthropologie would be a perfect choice for her taste. To get extra insight, take a look at their Instagram or Pinterest page.
Interns are generally hungry college students with little expendable income. A gift card to Central Market, Whole Foods, or a local grocer is a considerate option. If you know they are interviewing for a job next semester, a little cash towards a new suit would make their holiday happy and bright. Think about the load they have taken off your plate this past semester and thank them accordingly.
No one knows more about your daily schedule, weekly ups and downs, and your hourly highs and lows than your office right hand. Showing your holiday spirit to someone who has your back throughout the year is always a smart move. Do they bring their lunch to work in a worn out container, drink from an outdated office mug, or complain that they never have enough time to pack a lunch? Make it easy by supplying an eye appealing array of bento boxes and a lunch bag. Enclose a gift card to a great deli and wrap it with a bow. The right gift is eco-friendly, pretty and functional.
In the spirit of the holidays, the office gift exchange is a festive way of expressing appreciation. Do your best to pick something fun, practical and seasonally appropriate.
For more gift-giving tips, read How to Re-Gift a Holiday Gift With Dignity and Respect via the Huffington Post.