Office holidays — to gift or not to gift

November 23, 2010
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Black Friday is three days, and that means it’s time to start thinking about your holiday giving list.

Businessweek.com ran a story today putting together some gift ideas for your assistant, cubemate, client or boss, in a variety of price ranges. New shoes, a tote bag, a pen, computer cases — there are lots of practical gifts to get your giving wheels turning. (Although I don’t quite understand the walking stick.)

I’ve worked in a few offices in my day, with a variety of holiday gift-giving procedures. While working the odd part-time job through high school or college, it was a thrill to get an extra $50 as a Christmas bonus. In my first real office, I exchanged small gifts with a few of my closest co-workers, but we didn’t give to or get anything from our managers. In my second office, we did a Yankee Swap (aka White Elephant) party, and all contributed (grudgingly) toward a gift for our big boss. However, we received either a bonus or a free personal day, depending on how well the business was doing that year.

Should there be some kind of regulations for office gift giving? I can see how some people would feel left out if their coworkers were getting gifts but they weren’t, and it would be nice not to feel pressured to buy gifts for more people than you family and close friends.

But, I think it’s a nice gesture if your supervisor recognizes your efforts with a little something. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but a small, personal gift can go a long way toward morale. The afternoon off doesn’t hurt, either.

Whatever your office does, here’s to not getting overtime for the holidays.

Image courtesy of Steel Wool via Flickr.
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