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Gift giving at the office can be a pain.

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Not only does it cut into your holiday planning for your family, but it can cross all kinds of boundaries you’re just not wanting to deal with. Not to mention, the holiday budget this year may be significantly slimmer than in times past. The following suggestions are affordable and unique. Enjoy the season – even at work!

You know that when the holiday season rolls around, the holiday gift giving list begins to grow a life of its own. In addition to your family, close friends, the paper boy, the sitter and the mailman, the list seems endless and daunting. Do you really have to think about gift giving in the office, too? If so, what is appropriate? Whether you enjoy gift exchanges at work or not, there are some ways to make it more enjoyable and less of a chore!Many employers have company guidelines for gift giving at work, but every company, business or professional environment is different. Some may have a dollar limit per gift, some may not. Some may set up the gift exchange, and others may leave it up to the individual No matter how it is addressed, there are some ways you can keep the office holiday manageable:

  • Be creative: Forego the traditional coffee mug or picture frame for something a little more unique. Consider your co-worker carefully: are they left-handed? They might like a pair of left-handed scissors, a pencil sharpener, or some left-handed notebooks. Do they have a pet they talk about all the time? Gourmet dog treats or some four-legged ‘bling-bling’ will be sure to bring a smile. You may not present a co-worker with a spa treatment, but how about a single lovely spa product?
  • Give the gift of giving: Present your colleague with a certificate that shows you have volunteered to do some holiday community service in their name, or have donated to a charitable cause you know they support.
  • Be Thoughtful: If you have racked your brain and still don’t feel comfortable with your gift ideas, your time is the most valuable of all. Create a hand-made gift certificate offering to cover their coffee-pot duty, kitchen duty, or to cover some general task for which everyone has shared responsibility.

Whether you work in a setting with two or twenty, the subject of gift giving at the office is likely to arise throughout the year – not just during the holiday season. Events like gift exchanges can be fun, a lighthearted way to get to know your co-workers and make inroads with individuals you may have not had the opportunity to get to know. Don’t let it stress you out!

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