Last year's gifts just won't cut it.
We get it. Giving gifts at work can be awkward, especially during the holidays. You’ve probably wondered… how much should I spend on gifts? Does giving my boss a gift make me a suck-up? What do I buy that co-worker who’s more like a weird distant relative than a friend? Fret not, we’ve got all the answers.
Let’s break it down: The holidays are a time to be grateful for those who have helped improve your work experience during the past year. This gratitude extends to your coworkers, managers, and employees, but picking the right gift for each person can be tricky! So here are 4 rock-solid ways to soar in the gift-giving department this holiday season, without blowing your whole holiday bonus.
- Back to Basics: Give a Card
- Go Virtual: Gift An Experience
- Shake it Up: Gift Swap
- Time is Money: Gift it!
Back to Basics: Give A Card
Remember when you were a kid and giving a card passed as a gift? This holiday season, return to your youth, break out your favorite ballpoint pen, and write a personalized card.
While at first glance, a card might seem like a cop-out, upon closer inspection it actually is the the complete opposite: a handwritten note about how a coworker’s friendliness has meant, is infinitely more meaningful than a box of donuts (although admittedly less tasty). As a bonus, those on the receiving end of your personalized card will feel better about themselves, and will appreciate the effort you put into showing your gratitude.
Holiday Hint: A card that simply reads “you’re great, happy holidays!” won’t cut it.
Here’s some ideas for what to write about:
- How a coworker made you feel welcome at the office
- Why someone inspires/impresses you
- What you’re looking forward too seeing them accomplish next year
Go Virtual: Gift An Experience
This year has made the challenge of gift-giving puzzle even more difficult. So, why not respond in kind by gifting a virtual experience.
While your coworkers are stuck at home, brighten up their holidays with a virtual painting class or wine-tasting night. Or if your mouth is still watering from when we mentioned donuts mentioned above, gift a virtual cooking class. Sitting on the couch all day doesn’t have to be a bad thing though — a streaming service subscription is also a great option for anyone susceptible to binging.
Holiday Hint: Go the extra holiday mile by gifting a seasonal appropriate experience, like snow globe making or ginger bread cookie class.
Here’s some easy ideas on what type of experiences to give:
- Educational (e.g. cooking class, guitar lessons)
- Pure Fun (e.g. wine tasting, virtual comedy show)
- Relaxation (e.g. streaming service, meditation app subscription)
Shake it Up: Gift Swap
If you’re new to a company or work for a startup, perhaps the subject of giving gifts hasn’t been breached. If that’s the case, take control of your destiny by suggesting an office gift swap.
Plenty of variations of gift swaps exist — some have fun themes, price limits, and beyond — but the benefits are constant and two-fold. First, a swap enables you to only buy one gift, and second, it removes the pressure of picking the perfect gift, since your present will ultimately get swapped around anyway. Oh — and you’re guaranteed a random gift as well, so it really is a holiday miracle. Okay, maybe not a miracle, but it’s a decent solution.
Holiday Hint: become an office favorite by gifting the whole office with something small, like a company photo or customized pens.
Here’s the benefits of the swap:
- Everyone is guaranteed a gift
- No pressure to pick the “right” present
- Only have to make one purchase
Time is Money: Gift it!
It’s been said that “time is your most precious gift”. That’s because unless you’ve bent the laws of relativity, time is a finite resource that can’t be rewrapped, thrown out, or re-gifted. So naturally, our final suggestion for mastering the art of gift-giving at the office is to give someone the pleasure of spending time with you.
Suggest meeting for a virtual dinner, sharing a few drinks over a Zoom call, or doing a fun activity together, like an online game. You’ll be building a better work relationship while simultaneously alleviating yourself of the pressure associated with buying gifts. In the right situation, it can be the perfect gift.
Holiday Hint: If chatting one-on-one seems intense for you, invite a group of people to join the hangout!
Here’s some ideas for “gifts of time”:
- Share dinner and drinks over video chat
- Play an online game together
- Watch a movie together with Netflix Party
Keep in mind that every work environment is different, and not all of these suggestions will fit your situation. If you still find yourself starved for office gift ideas, it just so happens to be the perfect time to gift someone a reusable Rocketbook Panda Planner for the new year (although, we’re biased).