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December 23rd, 2004

Intra-office Gifts

Yesterday Paul discussed corporate giving, when companies and their clients give each other gifts (usually food-related) over the holidays. Today, I want to discuss intra-office giving, exchanging between co-workers.

Fortunately, over the last seven holiday seasons, there’s been very little intra-office gift giving that I’ve been involved in. I think my boss and I may have exchanged gifts once or twice a few years ago and there are a couple of people I exchange cards with, but in general, work is work and I’m happy to not have another set of people to buy for.

But I know some offices that go nuts with Secret Santa, polyanna, etc. gift exchanges. They can be kind of fun, I think, but at the same time, it seems to me that the holidays are already stressful for most people. Trying to shop for one’s family is tough enough, let alone one’s co-workers.

What’s your take?

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Thursday December 23, 2004 -- 10:31:58 am
We do Secret Santa here, but participation is optional. I optioned out.

I came into my office today and there were two gifts from co-workers: One was a home-baked banana bread and the other was a small box of chocolates.

I'm the boss, and I toyed with the idea of a fruit basket for the office, and I still might do it. If I do it, it will be immediately after the holidays, just because one employee or another has been on vacation and so would miss out.

As far as home made items go, I'm leary. We had a holiday party yesterday featuring food items that people made at home. Many employees (including myself) were hit with the Taco Bell effect about one hour later. We have been speculating ever since which of the dishes was tainted. The speculation has focused on Mary's (name changed to protect identity) kielbasa and kraut. You take your chances eating from another's kitchen.

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday December 23, 2004 -- 10:44:23 am
Since we have only 4 employees its not really an issue. I don't really like it though. I'd rather see everybody bring in a toy for Toys for Tots instead of me getting a fruitcake or some useless "executive toy."

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday December 23, 2004 -- 11:52:18 am
Amen on that, Chris! It would be nice if it was "polite" to tell people, "If you don't know what to get me, it'd be cool to donate to xyz charity."

DATE: Thursday December 23, 2004 -- 8:16:13 pm
Yea, it is just like that at school, i dont have enough money to buy my family gifts let alone friends, i bought cards and those even run up my bill, they were like 3 bucks for one, but i found this nice pack of 16 for 3, which was nice but i feel weird not letting people have a personal feel with the letter.

FROM: Kate
DATE: Thursday December 23, 2004 -- 11:43:36 pm
I don't see the point. They're a pain to shop for and never end up being personal anyway. It's the thought that counts... so really one might just put that they are donating any office gifts this year to such'n'such charity. That might be rude, though. Hmm.

FROM: jk
DATE: Friday December 24, 2004 -- 1:34:48 am
I made earrings and ornaments for select co-workers this year. They were really overwhelmed by the personal touch, and they cost me very little. I need to start my own beading company in 2005....

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