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Do I Gift At Work? If So, What?

There are many reasons to give and many ways in which to do so.

“this is not the best time of the year to add stress”

Those who you know well aren’t usually an issue. Years ago our family, on my side, decided not to exchange gifts. Not only did it seem that we were passing or shuffling gift cards around the country, usually in the same dollar amount or close to it, but at different times in our relationships, some would be less able to give than others and it was causing undue stress. Now we simply send greeting cards and it has made everyone’s life a little less stressful, keenly aware that this is not the best time of the year to add stress.



Gifting At Work:


As far as the work environment goes, there are definitely considerations to take into account. Business etiquette does not require you or any worker to give a gift to your boss. Sometimes, actually, giving a gift when it is not necessary can appear as though you are trying to ‘buy’ your way into his or her good graces. If you know your boss well, you probably know whether he or she will feel comfortable being on the receiving end of a gift. Likewise, your colleagues may or may not be comfortable either.

“a general rule of thumb is to spend between $10 and $25 on a gift”

If you feel it a necessity to purchase a gift for a boss or colleagues, a general rule of thumb is to spend between $10 and $25 on a gift, unless, for instance, human resources or someone else in your workplace, has identified a specific dollar amount for a ‘secret Santa’ or ‘white elephant’ exchange.


What are some gift ideas? Gift cards are always appreciated. In particular, coffee shops (Starbucks), restaurants (they need all the support they can get during the Covid pandemic), or stores that sell a number of items (Target) so the recipient can choose among several options (food, clothing, etc.).


If you want something more personal, options include a coffee/tea mug with a small package of coffee or tea, a coaster and/or filled with M&M’s or other (chocolate) candy. Luggage tags for the traveler; oven mitt for the chef, a soft throw or pillow work well for a home or apartment as well.


The important takeaway is it’s about the giving, as a token of appreciation for a person’s work, support, contribution, or friendship.


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