You’ve checked off everyone on your holiday gift list—except for your boss. You look at your list again thinking, “What on earth do I get for you? Should I even get anything for you? And come to think of it, what about all my colleagues?”
Gift giving is a personal gesture, which is why holiday gift giving at the office—where our relationships are professional—can feel so complicated. People don’t want to seem unappreciative, nor do they want to appear presumptuous, either—especially with the boss. And then there’s the conundrum of what to buy. How do you hit the right mark? Rest easy that this is less complicated than it may seem.
Bosses are easier to choose for than you may think, thanks to teamwork. Even though your boss might give you an individual gift, give a group gift from your team, floor, or department in return. This allows everyone to participate without the gift coming across as too personal. It also avoids any one employee from looking as though they are currying favor with the boss. Opt for something professional from Staples, such as an ARC organizer, or a tech related gift, such as a smartphone case.
For colleagues, check around to see what the office norm is on gift giving. Many offices hold a white elephant party to take the pressure off individual gifts between lots of employees—plus they’re fun. If you do give individual gifts, stick to giving to colleagues you work with regularly, and include the entire group, such as your team or your immediate office mates, to avoid hurt feelings. Also, if you make a spending limit with colleagues, abide by the limit. Staples has lots of fun gifts that hit the right mark and can keep you right on budget, such as a light up memo board (great for cubicles!) or the Fred & Friends tea infuser. If you want to go for more classic options, you can also find La Source lotion kits, a quilted Arc organizer notebook, or colorful desk accessories by Poppin that would brighten any office. Visit the Staples Holiday Center for more ideas on how to get the Perfect Gift for Everyone on your list—including your colleagues.
Anna Post is a nationally known etiquette expert, co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th edition, and a member of the Staples Holiday Council.
*This post is sponsored by Staples.