Holidays Gifts in the Office

It’s nearly the end of the year again! Even though not everyone celebrates the same holidays, and though not everyone enjoys the same holiday food treats, I’ve brought one of my favorite traditions with me to this job.

Some of my previous managers always made it a point to give a nice or thoughtful (sometimes both!) Christmas gift to the staff and I always appreciated that extra little bit of effort. Normally the gifts were officially from the office which allowed for a greater budget and nicer treats, so I especially enjoyed it, of course, when the gift was extravagant beyond my personal means to treat myself! :)

Even though my present organization doesn’t fund this endeavor, I felt it was a good one to continue, even if it’s out of my own pocket. Now, execution gets interesting. The staff is diverse and is composed of nearly twenty people on the immediate team.

What budget-friendly gifts say “thank you for a good year”, don’t foist a Christmas theme on the non-Christians, and can be delicious treats for everyone including the diet-restricted (vegans or the lactose-intolerant)?

Some things I’ve considered (or given) depending on the overall budget and size of the team:

$20 or less
A nice bottle of wine or even moderately priced champagne
An Amazon gift certificate
A local coffee shop or chocolate shop gift certificate (I have coffee connoisseurs)

$15 or less
Pair of movie tickets (purchase from Costco)
A decent bottle of wine/six-pack of microbrewery beer

$10 or less
Free pair of gelato/sorbet at a local Gelateria
GC to Coldstone from Costco (though, I don’t think they have vegan-friendly or lactose-intolerant options)

If I had the time and freedom to personalize the gifts, I would have gotten much more creative and ventured over to ThinkGeek, GeekSoap, REI, bookstores and a few other specialty places, but since that increases the pressure a hundred fold to get the perfect gift, I have to stick to things that are more generic and aim for practical but enjoyable.

What would you suggest giving? What would you want to receive if you were receiving a $10 gift?

About Revanche

Revanche writes the personal finance blog A Gai Shan Life.