Christmas Gift Exchange at Work

By 2009/12/22Gift Cards

It is that time of year again already! Assuming you were with your firm this time last year and perhaps for years prior, you have likely developed a comfortable working relationship with your boss and co-workers.

However, the proper office ‘etiquette’ varies with each firm and industry. Each having their own practices and preferences when it comes to Christmas gift exchange policies.

I know some firms prefer to have a nice Christmas Luncheon or Dinner, with no gift exchange, while others enjoy ‘gag’ gift giving. Still others prefer only Christmas cards, or put a cap on the amount to be spent on gifts, if at all. Still others grant personal preference, so it is left up to the individual.

Where gifts are concerned, it can be difficult to know exactly what to get for a co-worker, and most especially, for your boss. In my own experience, I have always felt it was appropriate to give my boss, or bosses, and each of my team members a Christmas card. I think it is also appropriate and important to remember those in other areas of internal firm services, which serve all staff on a daily basis such as, Reception, Mailroom, Printing, Graphics, Accounting, and Office Services Coordinators.

In my humble attempt to be of assistance to those that may be in a quandary as to what would be an appropriate gift for the boss and their team members, I offer the suggestions listed below. I believe that these suggestions are appropriate and within budget, particularly if a ‘group’ gift, and would not be perceived as ‘overly personal’.


Book – if you know the individual’s tastes well enough;

Box Store Gift Certificate – Canadian Tire, FutureShop, Home Depot, Home Sense, IKEA;

Ceramic Christmas ‘Table’ Decorations – perhaps with lighting, such as a centrepiece, candle holders;

Christmas ‘Tree’ Ornaments;

Coffee Carafe including favourite coffee beans – Starbucks, Blenz, Tim’s;

Coffee Gift Card – Starbucks, Blenz, Tim’s;

Costco Membership;

Dinner ‘for 2’ Gift Certificate – Morton’s, Keg Caesar’s, Joe Fortes, Bridges, Boathouse;

‘High Quality’ Personal Wall Calendars – art, architecture, scenic;

Movie or Theatre Tickets;

Music CD – possibly Christmas CD, if you know the individual’s tastes well enough; and

Parking or Transit Pass.

I hope the ideas above have helped you with your gift selections. Perhaps you can pass along this post to someone you know who needs a little help coming up with some ideas for their own workplace.