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Co-worker Holiday gift dilemma

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Okay, so tis the season for gift giving, and in my office, everyone gives each other little gifts. Last year I got like 8 Yankee Candles. I want to think of something inexpensive, yet tasteful (I have about 10 people to buy for), and I really don't want to give out candles this year, it seems so generic.

So my question is, is a bottle of wine an appropriate gift for a co-worker??? We are all close, and we all drink.......
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Of course it is.  Just make sure it's a BOTTLE and not a BOX.  Boxed wine is offensive to anyone over the age of 18.

Another thing you could do is bake everyone cookies or muffins of some sort.  You know, if the booze thing doesn't work out.
LOL! I got a mental picture of handing over a 5 liter box of wine to my Admin!!!

I would def get bottles, and put them in those pretty boxes...

I though about baking but I am a DISASTER in the kitchen.
Well, if you're going to give booze to everyone what about getting those cute little bottle sets.  They're like little wine coolers, except they're actually wine, just in smaller bottles and come in packs of six.  You can put bows and little wine bottle charms on each one and hand 'em out.

When I volunteered at a clinic I used to write little poems, often based off of Trans-Siberian Orchestra songs, and would give them ornaments that pertain to the poem.  One song was about hearing the bells as they rang through the night, so everyone got little bells and was instructed to ring them on Christmas Eve before going to bed to carry their wishes through the night.  Or another about candles burning, so they all got candles and were told to light them Christmas morning and not open gifts until the candles extinquished themselves, and to use that time as family time.

Little cute things like that.  Old people love that sort of stuff.  And if they don't they know it's something that had thought to it and pretend to love it anyway.
One year I wanted to get something so I went to Bath and Body Works and got those pump soaps for everyone.  You can sometimes get them when they have their deal going and it ends up being like $5 for each.  They last a long time too.  I put a ribbon around them and a little homemade card.  Wine works too.

Well, we don't do that at my office, but if we did I wouldn't feel comfortable with liquor, as there are a lot of people here who don't drink.  But if you feel comfortable with it being appropriate, it shouldn't be a problem.

Things I've given and received at previous jobs that I thought were nice:  hot cocoa/coffee/tea samplers; home made cookies/muffins; chocolate covered almonds in a really nice christmas tin; a set of fruit butter spreads (pumpkin, apple, and cherry); breakfast basket (pancake mix, jar of spiced apples, sampler of coffee); snack basket (caramel popcorn, mixed nuts, dried fruit mix, and a small box of chocolates).

Good luck!

I made homeade potpouri scented soap with my kids last  yr. We printed out little jingles for it and packaged it in a nice box. Really doesnt work for manly type gifts tho but it went over really well with the women.
Personally, I hated getting soaps and potpouri.  The smells trigger my migraines.  Candles and soaps seem to be the good ol' standby when you don't know your co-workers well enough to know what they'd really like to have.  Unfortunately, I guess mine didn't know me well enough to know that stuff made me sick, literally.  I like the wine idea much better, especially if you know everyone drinks. 
I think wine is great, if they're all drinkers. I like giving out Beujaleois (sp?) because it's typically low-alcohol (the idea is that you can drink it all day long T-day or Xmas while cooking... ). It's only available this time of year too, I think. And inexpensive.

One of the most memorable office gifts I ever got was a glass xmas tree ornament that my boss made himself. Glass-blowing was his hobby! Ornaments work if everyone in the office celebrates xmas. You can never have enough!

Another favorite to give is picture frames. Nobody can have enough, and it's nice for the office to use on your desk.

I've also been known to give out stuff from Lush (you can order online) for the people in my office who are stressed out and need a bubble bath and some pampering!

Candy is good for the person who always has a candy jar on their desk.

Also if you have a Trader Joe's nearby you can find all kinds of goodie gourmet treats for very little $. We always keep a supply on hand for last-minute gifts.

Another trick is to shop the asian supermarket for unusual treats and goodies. Again, low-cost.

The best idea is to cater the gift to the recipient: the person who has a candy jar gets candy; the stressed out person who's juggling career and is a new mom too gets a Lush bath-bomb; the one who's always instigating happy hours gets a bottle of wine; the one with a zillion pics of kids on her desk gets a photo frame; the one who travels might get some portable treats from Trader Joe's she can eat on the plane; the one who's dieting gets low-cal treats; the one who's always exercising over lunch gets some shoelaces or one of those things that you attach to your shoe to hold your keys; the one with toys all over their desk gets a plastic bhudda to sit on their computer... you get the idea! 
Two more thoughts:

Make sure you don't have a corporate policy about bringing alcohol on premises. I've worked at a few companies with just such a policy (it didn't stop my boss from bringing in 6 packs for happy hours and hiding them in the file cabinets!), and also many that had no such policy and kept the fridge well-stocked to entice programmers to work long hours.

Also: gift certificates make a great gift. Such as for itunes, amazon, etc.

This wasnt run of the mill soaps and poptpouri. I gave this much thought and Know the person(s) well enough that I could trust in giving them this gift and not getting them sick.

In fact the one coworker is the one that gave me the idea and a lot of personal touches were put into this gift......

Im not saying its for all ppl but I dont think you can generalize that everyone is going to hate these types of gifts.

I love the idea of gift certs maybe even to the place u are buying the wine perhaps?
I think wine is a great gift.  I also think it's best to give either a gift certificate or something consumable to coworkers (or anyone you don't know really well).  Even if they don't consume it, it's bound to get consumed by someone in their home or circle of friends.

Staple gifts like frames, candles, decorations all have the same problem, your taste may differ vastly from theirs.  I almost always regift frames and decorations because they are never a style that I like.
Hahaha, my fiance had the best one ever.


For all of the hangovers after the Christmas party.

Booze always works for me!

13 Replies