Staff gift ideas

For the first time this year, I have people reporting to me at work (4 to be exact), and need to think of something for a holiday gift. Anybody have any good ideas? I’d like to just get each of them the same thing to avoid any illusions of favortism, etc. Problem may be the domegraphic breakdown here - 45y woman, 63y woman, 31 man, & 25 man.

I give my staff Barnes and Noble gift cards. Last year I also gave each of them a copy of Macrocosmos (super closeups of bugs in action, very cool); this year I’ll also be giving each of them a set of the magnets I had made from photos of my trip to Holland last spring.

Thank you, I was thinking about starting this thread too.

I have one employee, and I know money’s pretty tight with him, thanks to a new, premature baby. I don’t know if I want to give him straight money, a gift card to somewhere like Lowe’s (which he’d like) or a gift certificate to a nice restaurant here in town, so he can take his wife out.

This particular member of the staff likes scotch whisky.


Think Geek. One of the best places for office gifts or fun gifts when you just don’t know what to get.

I’m giving my staff re-usable hand-warmers like this:

Are you going to get him a babysitter too?

I used to get some great gifts from my boss, at my old job.

One year he got all of us a nice name plate for our desk, with the company logo.

One year it was just a simple pull over Fleece but with the company logo, small, on the left breast with our department name on it as well.

If your staff lacks disposable income, something practical will be most welcome. For example, a Target gift card, or a gift card for a local gas station.

If they are a little bit higher on the pay scale, a “fun” gift card would be better. This could be a gift card for a restaurant that you think they’d all like, or a bookstore, or an electronics store. Alternately, something that they could take home to their families over the holidays - bottles of wine, boxes of cookies or fudge, or other tasty treats.

Personally, a bonus is always appreciated. If that’s not an option or has already been covered, I’d probably get them a gift card to a generic store (bookstore is a good idea, or just a Visa gift card), or maybe bring in some holiday food. If you know them and their preferences well, you could put together a cookie/baked good tin for each of them–either make them if you’re a good cook, or buy them from a nice bakery if you’re not or don’t have the time. You could also take them out to lunch on a day that’s good for everyone.

It depends on how close knit the office is. If people are friendly, I’d bring in food, take them to lunch, or give gift baskets/tins. If people are less friendly, I’d give them gift cards in nice cards. Make sure you know who celebrates what, obviously. Giving the Jewish guy a Christmas card always shows lack of interest.

Nice, good quality pens could be a good choice. I very seldom have a good pen, and, when I get one, I treasure one.

A former employer of mine gave the staff clothing with the company logo at Christmas. I still like and wear the fleece jacket they gave us one year, even though it’s been a few years since I left. I think they ordered them from Lands End.

Last year I gave my staff of 12 each a big picture calendar reflecting their interests. I made it clear they could take them home, they didn’t have to use them at work unless they wanted to. A couple I had to guess at b/c they were newer people but they were tickled with what they got. (One young lady’d been there less than a month and based on her having several tattoos, I got her a calendar about Egyptology. She loved it.)

I just got a $500 gift gasoline gift card at work. A great gift, IMHO. Our office is a long drive for most employees.

Obviously, if your employees don’t all drive to work, a gas card might not be the best choice. I’d suggest a supermarket gift card as an alternative.

I usually give Christmas ornaments. Even the one year I had a Muslim woman working for me, I gave one to her. She was thrilled to be included (and the next year when she wasn’t working for me she wondered where her ornament was.)

Usually something like this

My guy got a corporate gift a few years back, and every year since, that I really look forward to, I thought it was brilliant the first year, and still do.

They give it out early, a couple of weeks before Christmas and it has a tag that says, “Open me Now!”

It all comes in a box the size of those double size pizza boxes, but you could improvise. Inside is 2-3 rolls of very pretty Christmas paper, a couple of wine gifting bags, some really charming gift tags, a roll of tape, a spool of ribbon, a couple of small ready to fold gift boxes, and a half dozen bows!

It’s just what everyone needs this time of the year. It’s perfect for offices as everything you need is right there in the box. When everything is used up, (and it will be, I promise) what’s left is recyclable.

Some years it contains a gift certificate for Tim’s coffee or a 6 pack of beer. I like this gift very much as it is consumable instead of just more ‘stuff’ no one really wants or needs. It’s greatly appreciated by everyone who receives it, it’s not over the top or going to make any one feel competitive, etc.

I am certain that this particular company is having them put together professionally, but it seems like something anyone could easily build themselves.