Gift-giving occasions are endless – and endlessly challenging. We don’t want them to be too lavish – or too inexpensive. We don’t want to buy something too personal, and definitely not something impersonal. Should you give all your co-workers a present? What do you do when the boss gives you a present? What is an appropriate gift for a colleague and for the boss? Do you need to reciprocate when a co-worker or boss gives you a present? When and how should you present your gifts to co-workers and bosses?

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Many companies and large corporations have rules and restrictions on whether their employees can accept gifts. Some have guidelines on the type or value of gifts that can be accepted. Check with the person you want to give the gift to or the HR department where the person works to make sure they can accept gifts. Check out > 14 top tips for corporate gift giving this christmas


Here are some basic rules of etiquette for office gift-giving to colleagues and bosses>


 Homemade Gifts

A lot of people like to give presents they make by hand, and these can be a good way to help build a new office friendship. Who doesn’t appreciate something that another person took the time to create from scratch? Homemade Christmas biscuits or any baked goods.


 Make Your Gift As Personal As Possible

Before you go shopping for a present, be sure to get a few details about your office colleague in order to make the gift as personal as possible. Find out about their hobbies, what types of things they like to do on a weekend, and what they would consider their favourite way to spend a day.


 Engraved Items 

Consider purchasing articles engraved with sentiments for the recipient, or an honorary mention of the day or occasion.


31 Inexpensive gifts ideas

  1. Flowers or a potted plant.
  2. Gourmet Coffee.
  3. If they have kids. Offer babysitting for an afternoon.
  4. If they have pets/ dog walking.
  5. Group gifts.
  6. Coffee Mug.
  7. Pencil Holders.
  8. Pictures Frames.
  9. Scented candles.
  10. A favourite cd or DVD.
  11. A book.
  12. Fine chocolates.
  13. A bottle of wine or champagne.
  14. Gift basket.
  15. Gift certificate to a favourite store.
  16. A notebook.
  17. Sweet Jar with favourite sweets.
  18. A scarf.
  19. Ear muffs.
  20. Winter gloves.
  21. Note cards set.
  22. Accessories.
  23. Business card case.
  24. Small fruit basket.
  25. Grooming set.
  26. Cuff links.
  27. Calendars.
  28. Pen sets.
  29. Stationary.
  30. Tea.
  31. Relaxation squeeze balls.


 Giving Gifts to your boss

If you are not sure if gifts are given to the boss, ask around about what has been done in the past.

Sometimes, the gift for the boss is a group effort where everyone contributes a pound amount and a gift is purchased. The gift can then be presented by the group. Don’t feel pressure to run out and buy a gift for the boss if he or she gives you one. But do send a thank-you note acknowledging the gift and expressing your gratitude.

Finally, if you decide to give your boss a gift, don’t try to impress with an expensive gift. The gift should reflect your appreciation and that you have enjoyed working with them the past year.


 Extra Tips

  • In any case don’t forget to include a gift receipt so the recipient can easily exchange the item if necessary.
  • Don’t give gifts to co-workers in front of others. Instead, do consider having a holiday lunch or high tea and exchanging gifts outside the office. If you can’t get out of the office, do exchange presents discretely (and perhaps after hours).
  • Wrap the gift. A nicely wrapped gift will add value to your gift plus demonstrate your ability to be organized and neat.
  • Stay within your (and the office) budget for the gifts, and don’t go overboard . especially for the boss.
  • Do not be late with your gift. Have it ready for the day the gift-giving will take place.


Do you buy Christmas gifts for your colleagues and boss? Do you have more gifts suggestions?

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Myriam Balerio is the founder and writer of PA Privé. After kick starting her career as a PA and finding success as an assistant, Myriam later trained in digital and online marketing and has since combined the two disciplines in creating PA Privé, the platform through which she provides sage advice for those in the assistant profession and a network for like-mined PAs and EAs to connect. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Myriam has lived in London for over 10 years and currently lives in London with her husband and French bulldog.


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