Tis the season when we are wracked with indecision on who to buy for and what to buy. We don’t want to insult anyone, but neither do we want to bust our budgets. Here are some of my thoughts on this dilemma.
First of all, this is not a competition or at least it should not be one. The largest or most expensive gift is not always the one most appreciated.
Make a list – a short list. Your gift giving list should include your immediate boss and perhaps those co-workers you think of as friends. If this gets uncomfortable because of your co-workers are less than what you consider worthy of your hard earned cash, then you might want to take the gift giving for those who have earned your respect and trust out of the office environment. For example, share a lunch with the few you wish to give gifts to or send the gifts to their homes. Hopefully they will recognize and respect your desire for private giving and not tell all at the office. Of course you could take a stand on office gift giving and not give individual gifts but instead treat everyone with homemade cookies, candy, or some other goodie. This way no one’s feelings get hurt.
Of course, some companies have instituted a Secret Santa type of gift giving, where everyone draws a name and purchases a gift for that person staying within a declared dollar amount. This can be fun in a small group where people know each other well enough to personalize the gifts. In a large group, gifts tend to be very impersonal and the whole experience, in my humble opinion, just falls flat. One company I worked for many years ago put into place a unique gift giving opportunity at their holiday party. Every employee was asked to prepare a personal award presentation for an employee chosen by passing the hat. These presentations were funny, thoughtful and often brought employees closer as each of us strove to be positive with our “awards". It was fun for the giver, the receiver and the audience alike.
And don’t forget that gifts don’t always have to be bought. They can be gifts of service. Babysitting, gift wrapping, offering to supply a special dessert for a busy co-worker’s upcoming party, pet sitting, house sitting – the list goes on and on. Think of your talents and what may be needed by a co-worker. Just be sure to be clear as to what you are offering and when. And don’t over book yourself.
And now for your boss. Unless you are new to the company, you have been working with this person for awhile, so you must have some idea of his or her interests. Be thoughtful in your choice of gift. Just don’t run out at the last minute to pick up any bottle of wine or liquor or gift basket. Are they into reading – perhaps a book in a subject that interests them? Do they participate in athletic activities – then think about a tee shirt or sweat shirt that is imprinted with artwork that will inspire them. How about an art print to decorate their office? Or even that special coffee mug – not just any old one – but one that really makes their daily coffee a fun or inspiring event. I have found Raven Studio is just great for gift giving ideas. Whatever the interest, you will be able to find a great gift. Check it out.
Whatever you chose, make sure of two things – it’s a quality made gift (not always expensive) and it relates to their personal interest. You will make more of a splash with your thoughtfulness than by trying to impress them with the cost of the gift.
And most of all – have fun, don’t break your bank and make your gifts ones that will be remembered for years to come.
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Donna MacMillan, certified QuickBooks consultant and president/founder of MacMillan Associates provides a unique set of services covering all aspects of successful business growth and financial health for all business types and sizes. Offering comprehensive, confidential, and professional services, MacMillan Associates can analyze, design or redesign your current systems to maximize productivity, cash flow and solidify your bottom line.
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