Posted by Andie Missert on November 14, 2018.
We get it. Giving gifts at work can be awkward, especially during the holidays. Most of you have probably wondered… Should I give something to my boss? Will a gift to my boss make me a suck up? Is my intern expecting something? How much should I spend on gifts?
Let us break it down for you. Basically, the holidays are a great time for reflecting on the year and ultimately thanking your coworkers for sticking by you. Unless your work environment suggests otherwise, don’t feel like you need to spend your whole holiday bonus on gifts for your boss, interns, managers, etc. To make things easier, we’ve outlined 4 ideas for conquering the gift giving season at work that will combat any pressure you’re feeling during this time of year.
Start with A Card
If you’re not sure whether you should give something to a colleague or what to give, a holiday card is a great place to start. Gifts don’t need to be large and expensive to make an impact, sometimes a card will simply do the trick. However, what’s key here is adding a few personal lines from the heart. Add some sentences about your experience at the company so far, what you’re thankful for, what you’re looking forward to in the new year, etc. This is a great opportunity to let your teammates know you’re excited to be a part of the team at work. Plus, cards are an easy and nonchalant gift to give someone in a meeting. Be sure to keep extra cards on hand, in case you forget someone.
Make Something Homemade (aka Delicious Food)
Homemade gifts can sometimes be considered overrated. But they can also be awesome! If you are a fantastic baker, definitely bring that homemade fudge into the office. If you have a knack for creating delicious snacks, bring on the 7 layer dip at happy hour! Homemade gifts, especially food-oriented ones, can be a total winner during the holiday season. Either package up a few small treats for coworkers, or make things super easy for yourself and bring in a plate of homemade baked goods for everyone to share. Either way it shows that you put time and effort into treating your coworkers for the holidays. Don’t know how to cook? A tasty treat from the supermarket will still do the trick - just stick a nice bow on it or put it on party plate.
Propose a Gift Swap
If you’re new to a company or you work for a startup, perhaps giving gifts hasn’t even come up yet. If that’s the case, or you just like proposing new ideas at work, try suggesting a gift swap. There are multiple different variations of gift swaps that would work - centered around funny themes, certain price limits, and beyond. With a swap, there’s less pressure to purchase gifts for each coworker. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your coworker liking the gift because they’ll never know what you brought in the first place! Oh - and you’re guaranteed a random gift, as well. Sounds like a win all around, right?
Suggest a Gift of Time
It's been said that “gifts of time” are the best gifts to give. So what does that mean exactly? Rather than giving gifts to other colleagues and team members, suggest picking a night to meet up for drinks or dinner. Use the money you would’ve spent toward gifts, instead on a meal/activity with your colleagues in a more relaxed setting. This removes any pressure of buying gifts and also allows for some time to really get to know your coworkers.
Considering that all work environments are different, not all of these suggestions will work for you. However, hopefully they will give some guidance and make gift giving a little less awkward. And hey - worst case scenario you can give them a Rocketbook, the best notebook ever.
Andie Missert is on the Marketing Team here at Rocketbook. She carries two Rocketbooks with her at all times and likes to decorate hers with stickers from places she's traveled to. Her favorite out-of-this-world fact is that space actually smells like seared steak.