Choosing the Best Holiday Gift Idea for Your Boss

Coming up with a holiday gift idea for the boss is a decision that often leaves people fraught with worry. Spend too little, and you risk looking cheap. Buy a lavish gift, and you may cause embarrassment. As with many things at the office, the holiday gift-giving season is a potential minefield for workers. Hereís how to select a gift that will make the right impression.

Learn the company gift-giving rules.

First of all, if you are new to a company or are unaware of the companyís gift-giving policies, make sure you research them. You may find that your company frowns on any gifts outside of ďSecret SantaĒ events or group gifts. In addition to researching your companyís culture, donít forget to do the same within your own department. Your boss may prefer not to receive gifts from direct reports. Talk to other co-workers if possible, to learn about your bossís preferences.

Food is a safe choice.

Baskets of baked goods, cheeses, coffee, or chocolates are safe holiday gift ideas for your boss. You can order many of these gifts online and have them delivered to your bossí office. If you are an avid baker, you can bake your own cookies or brownies and put them in a decorative basket. Try to avoid giving wine, beer, and hard liquor however, as this may appear unprofessional.

Consider your bossí interests.

If you know that your boss is an avid reader, consider giving books, a book light for night reading, a gift certificate to a bookstore, or a magazine subscription. If you truly arenít familiar with your bossí interests, gift certificates to shopping malls, bookstores, or specialty grocery stores are always safe choices.

Try a group gift.

If you are still unsure about finding an appropriate gift for your boss, why not enlist your co-workers and give a group gift? This will prevent any jealousy or embarrassment from occurring and is probably the safest option. One person can collect a small amount of money, such as $10, from each co-worker, and purchase a gift basket or gift certificate from all of you.

Steer clear of gifts that are too personal.

Donít get too personal when buying a gift for your boss. Gifts like clothing, toiletries, perfume, or framed photos may make your boss uncomfortable, and may be inappropriate for the work place. You should also avoid gifts that have religious or political undertones.

Pay attention to office gift-giving etiquette.

Be careful about when and where you give your boss the gift. Unless you are at a holiday party or office gift-exchange event, use discretion.

By following these tips, youíll be able to select the perfect gift for your boss, and make the holiday season at work less stressful.