Holiday Help: Gifting in the Workplace

December 03, 2018

Holiday Help: Gifting in the Workplace

Your questions about work Secret Santa, answered.

Between friends, family, significant others, and everyone else on your list, you’ve probably got a lot of gifts to buy this holiday season. You may also find yourself involved in the (sometimes dreaded) office Secret Santa, which can create a whole lot of awkwardness. Here are some basics about gifting in the workplace to help ensure you get through this holiday season at the office unscathed.

The Rule: Stick to the Rules

Office gifting can be complicated, and many companies have specific rules for exactly this reason. If your office has a policy about gift giving, stick to it. There are more than enough opportunities at work to be creative and think outside the box—this isn’t one of them.

The Rule: Stay Within the Decided-Upon Price Range

Secret Santa often comes with a price limit; $20-$25 or under is a pretty common one. Whatever the range, don’t go over it! It could make other people feel uncomfortable. Here are a few gift options we like:

The Rule: Don’t Give Anything Too Personal

It probably goes without saying, but gifts like lingerie or anything that’s super personal are a definite no-no. In the office, it’s always best to play it extra safe. One sure way: stuff that can be used in the office. A great pen or new notebook are always appreciated and totally appropriate. For the coffee addict, you can’t go wrong with a mug, French press, or gift card to the local coffee shop. No matter the type of person you’re buying for, there are plenty of ways to show you’re thoughtful without crossing the line.

The Rule: Remember the Recipient

Give coworkers something they’ll actually like. If the person doesn’t celebrate Christmas, an ornament probably isn’t going to make a great gift. A meat tenderizer might be the perfect pick for certain carnivorous cooks, but if your colleague is a vegetarian, a spiralizer is probably the better option.

The Rule: When in Doubt, Bake

If you’re on a tight budget or otherwise having difficulty finding the right item, baked goods are always a great idea. They’re thoughtful, show effort, and are delicious!

Just remember: keep it neutral, keep it within the price point, and keep it appropriate. That’s all there is to it!

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