A holiday gift giving guide for the office

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Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends! It is usually around this time of year that we begin gearing up, booking our calendars and thinking about the holiday season.

Many workplaces generally highlight this time of year with gift exchanges or perhaps you would like to thank your boss, employees, colleagues, clients or suppliers.

Here is a guide to navigate gift giving during the holiday season.

As a general rule of thumb, appropriate gifts for the workplace are smaller tokens of appreciation and should be no more than $20-$25, with the exception of assistants. If you have an assistant who is your right hand, such as an executive assistant for instance, then it is perfectly acceptable to give a larger gift.

Just because office gifts are small does not have to mean that they have to look cheap. There are many practical and useful gifts out there. In fact, sometimes a thoughtfully written card means way more than a holiday-themed trinket that has no purpose come January.

For practicality’s sake, I will link many of my gift ideas below. This post has not been sponsored by any company.

Gifts for individuals

Gift cards for Starbucks, Tim Horton’s or David’s Tea These tie in nicely in an office setting because they are very practical and are widely appreciated. These stores also have nice, unique travel mugs so the recipient can treat themselves to something more tangible.

Gift card for iTunes or Audible If you are looking for something a little different, the gift of music or books is a great one to give. Many people have iTunes, and the person can gift themselves some music, a book or a game. Audible is affiliated with Amazon and has basically any book you can imagine in audio format, which is great for someone who doesn’t have the time to sit and read.

Portable phone charger For anyone who is constantly on their phone, we have all experienced the tragedy of losing juice while on the go. Portable chargers are a great gift and even if the person is not attached to their phone, it can serve as an extra insurance in case of emergency.

Refined gift ideas If you want to give something a bit more personal, there are a couple of items that are always a hit. Cross makes elegant and affordable pens to suit all personalities. They are presented in a nice box that does not require wrapping. In Montréal, it is not uncommon to gift a bottle of wine in a professional setting, but I can understand that this nature of gift may not feel appropriate for everyone. A good way around this is Pommery Pop which is a small bottle of champagne that makes a tasteful display piece alongside books or awards.

Donation to charity Many companies have a no gifting policy, but if you want to still show your appreciation to someone, a donation in their name is a really nice gesture that benefits the greater good.

Gifts for teams

Sweets If you want to show some love to your team, sweets are always a winner. If you have talents in the kitchen, bringing baked goods is a classic. Chocolatiers such as Lindor and Ferrero make holiday-themed boxes that are hard to say no to. If you are a little more health conscious, Edible Arrangements makes the most gorgeous fruit bouquets that are perfect for sharing.

Team lunches I adore team lunches during the holidays because it is a chance for the team to get together, bond, and reflect on the hard work and achievements accomplished in the past year. If you are on a limited budget or want to do something different, a potluck with board games is always a hit. It’s a chance for the team to decompress and have a little fun because “who made what” is always a conversation starter and the friendly competition of board games such as Pictionary, Taboo or Scattegories is a guarantee for laughs.

Individual cards Gifts are nice but nothing beats the impact of a beautiful card with a sincere sentiment. Ecards are really popular, and if your team is remote this may be the only option, but if you can give a hand written card, it adds a personal touch. Google is a great friend to get the inspiration going if you have writer’s block.

There is an endless list of possibilities for gifts to give at the office during the holidays. I hope that this guide has been a helpful way to ensure that no one would even think of regifting what you have given them!