There’s just something about “Office Presents” that makes most people’s eyes roll. It’s an involuntary reaction, obvi, because everyone loves receiving gifts – so why do people seem to groan at the thought of presents at work?
Really, we don’t get it because we think there’s nothing nicer than a gift to recognize someone as an individual and their special contributions. Of course, we just might have “gifts” as one of our top Love Languages, so that could help.
Between the $20 limit for your Secret Santa circle and tiptoeing along the tightrope of “big hearted” and “buttering up” gifting at work can be kinda tricky.
Of course, we’re here with a list of fun and different gifts that are sure to put a smile on your recipient’s face, whether it’s your incredible assistant, your tough-but-fair boss, or your Gift Exchange recipient Aretha in receivables.
Picture it: you’re researching great gifts and your friend tells you that a good quality mini umbrella is the perfect gift. *silence*
The debate went on for a good 15 minutes. Yes, sure, you could go the route of purchasing something that is “useful and solves a problem they didn’t know they had.” Valid. Totally. OOOORRRRRR you could let them get their own practical stuff and get a little more specific on the pleasure side.
We’ll never forget when a friend told us how blown away she was to receive a half-day spa package from her boss. She felt so totally seen and that her effort was truly appreciated. If we could give every assistant that feeling, we absolutely would.
Dinner for Two on the Boss – Without the Boss
That restaurant they’ve booked you at because they’d heard amazing things about it? Or, that new spot no-one’s gotten into yet? Why not turn the tables and give your assistant the gift of dinner for two (without you) somewhere special that you know they’d love? Pair it with an extra day off and you’re the Best Boss Ever.
Whether they’re “tough-but-fair,” a great mentor, or even if they’re neutral, your manager is there to provide you with support, guidance, and opportunities to grow your career. The holidays are a perfect time to truly thank them for all that they do, whether the gestures have been large or small.
Who doesn’t like cashmere? That was rhetorical. Whether you choose to give a luxe winter scarf or hat and mitts, cashmere always feels luxurious and reminds people of high quality…. just the kind of association we like to have with bosses!
If you’re pretty friendly with your boss and know they have a great sense of humor and style, why not treat them to something a little “Personality Plus?”
You could go with a classic Magic 8-Ball, but this paperweight has the kind of heft that will take the weight of your boss’ shoulders with a bit more sophistication.
If you lead a team, you’ve got a lot of thanks to give! Your team are the people who get the nitty-gritty done and make you look good. They care about the WENUS because YOU care about the WENUS! Right?
It’s time to show them how much they mean to you but letting just a little bit loose – at least for an afternoon.
One of the most memorable experiences we’ve had during the holidays was a surprise excursion to the fabulous Windsor Arms Hotel Tea Room. A quiet and relaxed afternoon where each person is treated to a royal experience is a lovely memory we’ve carried for years.
A different take on teamwork, for sure! Nothing gets more laughs than the bunch of you trying to solve ridiculous riddles together in a pseudo-stressful environment. Follow up with a sushi or pub dinner for a casual team party.
Your Favourite Clients & Best Referral Sources
You know, the kind of clients that become friends. You know them so well you’ve had meals together, you know quite a bit about them – heck you might even be invited to their big celebrations or vice versa.
It’s ok to be a bit more personal with these special people and to purchase something that speaks directly to their greatest interest, just keep your budget in alignment with the commitment of your work together to prevent over or under-doing it.
A Coffee Table Book
A book that references your client’s dream travel destination, their hometown, or a favourite icon will as much a book as it will be an artwork they’ll proudly enjoy and display.
The Gift of Giving
Sometimes physical gifts aren’t quite the right thing. In these cases, a donation to an organization that’s meaningful to your client, and given in their name, shows your values and honours those of your client.
Need some more ideas for this ever-so-tricky group of giftees? Check out our previous blog on 5 Gift Ideas That Are 500% Better Than A Pack Of Movie Tickets.
Your Secret Santa
A real wild card, there’s much at stake with the office gift exchange! There’s the monetary limit, of course, and then how well do you know the person you’re buying for? Will there be a swap?? So many unknowns! Here’s how to beat the odds…
Best Gift Ever… 3 Pints of Gourmet Ice Cream
A series of treasure hunt style notes that lead your recipient to their gift, wrapped and hidden in the office freezer is definitely going to be tough to beat! We love theming out flavours from Bang Bang Ice Cream, whose menu changes seasonally. Or, you can theme your own with premium grocery store brands.
Silliest Gift Ever…An Office Desk Wacky Waver…
Sometimes you just need your own hype man to keep you going at work. This guy’ll do the job – or at least keep you mesmerized for a little while.