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Festive Season - a guide to what to do

15 November 2016

Secret Santa or Kris Kringle in the office.

The process can be a fun way to bring the excitement of the Festive Season into the office. While there is always a temptation to give a prank gift, a sincere gift is a better choice unless you know the person loves flashing bow ties.

First up, ensure there is an organiser and that the guidelines are laid down:

  • how much to spend, up to $20 but set the budget and keep in mind people’s various salary levels;
  • how you choose recipients;
  • when and how you will exchange gifts.

Once everyone knows who they’re buying for, find out something about the person and, if in doubt, stick to the basics. If you don’t know your recipient, a generic but thoughtful gift is the way to go:

Stylish (or trashy) magazine

Good quality chocolates

Coffee mug with their name on it – super handy for the office

Silver pen by Parker, they have lovely options for $20

Personalised or decorative Christmas bauble

Bottle of wine

Should you give your boss a gift?     

The answer to this depends entirely on where you work. Some bosses do give gifts and so you may want to reciprocate. Some foot the Festive Season party. If you are wondering whether it’s a good move to give your boss something, think about this. It’s a lovely sentiment and this is the ideal time of year to show your appreciation for your job.

When thinking of gifts, bear in mind they will be taking it home to show their significant other, so steer clear of personal gifts like a massage and opt for items they can potentially share.

Here are my picks

Personalised stationery – correspondence cards with matching envelopes.  $39 from Papier D’Amour, they can be ordered online.

Two tickets to Gold Class/La Premier movies $82; maybe you want to club together with a couple of others to do this

French Champagne from $50

Monogrammed bag tag

Leather folio with initials gold embossed, see

Paper Card or e-Card?

Resist the e-card trend. As our lives are increasingly digital, particularly in the office, hand-written notes and cards have greater impact than ever before. Some studies say up to 100 times more. Cards purchased from a stationer with your own inscription will have a greater impact than an e-card or corporate card. Should your workplace be printing cards, try to take the time to write a message in each one.

I like to acknowledge Christmas when it makes sense to do so culturally, but you need to give it some thought.

Writing cards will take you longer, cost you more but it will reap greater rewards with your clients and friends.

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