Leadership optimize

How do you feel about holiday gift-giving in the office?

Is Toni Bowers alone in disliking the practice of gift exchanges in the office?

My colleagues, ever eager to rattle a stick in my cage, often forward me links to controversial stories that they think will make good conversation points in my blog. They know I can't resist. So the last link I got was to a story about the Nine worst holiday gifts from bosses. The gifts outlined in the piece (e.g., a gift certificate for a banana) were worse than not receiving any gift at all. Sort of like putting a dime on the table as a tip for a waiter.

I remember one place I worked years ago that gave away free turkeys at Christmas. First, they'd give you a ticket and then you had to stand in line to shake the two VPs' hands and then they'd hand you the turkey. And believe me, it was more about "Look how altruistic we are!" than "We appreciate all you do."

Call me a curmudgeon (I've been called worse and by members of this audience), but I'm just not an office gift-receiving/giving type of person. It's not that I'm cheap. The practice just makes me uncomfortable -- even on the receiving end. I'm much more in favor of doing a holiday team lunch for which I pick up the tab. Don't get me wrong -- you want to give me a monetary bonus with many digits? Some form of chocolate? Bring it on. I'll take it and not look back.

But the whole thing where team members all buy each other something and the boss buys them something and they buy the boss something...ah, it's just too much. And I hear from a lot of guys in the TR audience who are so confounded by what they can and can't say to a female coworker that sometimes they don't even say hello. Can you imagine the paralysis that would result from having to buy a gift that was meaningful but not too personal? And, frankly, I don't blame them. It's just such a fine line.

So, what's the verdict? Am I just a scrooge?

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

114 comments
Mike.Sandy
Mike.Sandy

I've never liked gift-givng, especially around the office. My office celebrates the holiday season with Festivus. The aluminum pole takes up little space and there are no distracting decorations. The entire office loves the feats of strength and while the airing of grievances may contain disturbing and emotional moments, there's a catharsis to it. I'll never go back.

mfrazer
mfrazer

I play an IT support role in my office and I support all 100+ employees. 95% are women. I'm not trying to stereotype here, but let's just say I have to be pretty careful about what I say and do. There have been rumors of "favoritism" among my customers and I certainly don't want to perpetuate it by selectively giving gifts. I'm with you on office gifts...ixna on the iftsga. Just as I don't want to gift at the office, I feel uncomfortable about receiving as well. I feel bad if someone gifts me and I don't reciprocate. I don't have a problem with other employees gifting each other though.

johnsm2010
johnsm2010

I'm not into the gift thing at work either. I like the lunch idea because you get extra time away from work and it's everyone for them selves to pay for it. The gift thing just adds another bill to life's expenses and when you're not getting raises and are at risk of loosing your job due to downsizing, it makes it harder to afford. It seems people complain about not having enough money through out the year but at christmas time everyone wants gift exchanges. Where did they all of the sudden come with all this money? As for paying for your own lunch if you can't afford for yourself you don't feel bad, but not being able to afford these gift exchanges can make some folks feel a little guilty. Stick with the lunch thing and ditch the gifts.

gloveles
gloveles

Every year we go through this at work. To have a gift exchange or not. This year we are trying something new. We call it the Virtual Secret Elf Exchange. Everyone who wanted to participate, put their name in a hat. We each drew a name. Now comes the fun! Each Secret Elf is tasked with not buying a gift, but finding a gift that they would like to give their person. They can either take a picture or grab an image off the internet and craft a letter to the person explaining why they chose this gift for them. Technically, we could all be "virtual millionaires". I've heard more positive comments and excitement about our Exchange than any year prior. At our Holiday Luncheon, everyone will reveal who's name they drew by exchanging envelopes. After all, it's not how much you spend, but the thought behind the gift. Our Virtual Exchange brings the spirit totally ALIVE!

josephhart
josephhart

A lot of people have a problem with receiving gifts...some with accepting praise. I am a giver. I enjoy giving. I enjoy showing my appreciation by over tipping, or sending a Thank You note, or small gift. Some seem to think the work place should void of these. We train or hire people that treat customers as if we cared about them; but are all "business" in the office. I say this is two-faced... hypercritical. Good business is caring. People want raises...i.e. gifts. I believe the problem is not with the person giving the gift...it is the insecurity of the one receiving the gift. KEEP THE GIFTS COMING!

cykes
cykes

I personally don't like gift exchanges either. My department has been doing it since I joined for the last 2 years, fortunately it won't be happening this year and I'm relieved. It's not that I don't like giving but the hassle is not worth it for people I do not know that well. This year we've toned it down to a simple lunch. Not being a socialite a simple lunch is more than enough to make me happy then go my merry way.

Tony_Scarpelli
Tony_Scarpelli

I think we sometimes put unnecessary pressure on ourselves tying our prestige to gifts we give. That makes it nerve racking and expensive. We should not try to make prestige statements with gift giving in most cases. Try not to tie gifts we give with our egos or self esteem. I have definitely had years that no money could be spared. One year I went to a food bank as I was unemployed and feeling sorry for myself and what I found there were people so much more deserving of a free turkey than myself. I had a home to live in, car to drive, my health and love of my family and friends. These simple things were absent most of the other patrons on line at the food-bank. This taught me a lesson. Even with family we do not need to make the holidays overly financially burdensome. That year everyone knew my situation and I warned them that I had no money for gifts but I was re-gifting and giving used gifts as tokens rather than a traditional gift. I had attended many conventions and had hundreds of fun items (advertisement promotions). I made it a bit of a gag to give Microsoft T-Shirts, Cisco Coffee mugs, Intel desk-set, I put together sets of three nice pens with the nice rubber grips that I personally love to use and gave those away. In all it was a very fun time and everyone enjoyed the laughs. I decommercialized Christmas that year. Everyone except my ex-mother-in-law enjoyed it. She took offense to the Las Vegas Comdex T-shirt (she is 89) ok so much for gags with some people. What I am in the habit of doing now is going to Aldi's, Dollar store or other grocery selecting some chocolate, nuts, coffees, mints or candies and assembling them into my own gift baskets which could cost from $5-7. I use popped corn as a base sort of like grass in Easter baskets. Then I give those out. Another member of my family took this idea and she makes a Special Christmas ornament for each member of the family every year and they are keep sakes within the family. both my They look like something you might pay $20 for so the go over big with friends at church, work, even extended family. I keep a few around the house for unexpected guests.

l_e_cox
l_e_cox

You guys know about this? Wikipedia calls it "secret Santa." This was a tradition where I used to work. I've gone both ways with this one, but mostly not liking it. I found getting the "gifts," worrying if the person would like them, if they would find out who you were, etc., was mostly just a distraction. In a small close-knit office or working group where everyone knows everyone well, it might be okay. But I'd rather limit worries like this to children and relatives. In any office that's having a hard time for some reason, it can be hard to get into the "holiday spirit." But even for a close-knit group, I think a staff party or pot luck is a better idea for the holidays than gift exchanges.

herlizness
herlizness

I'm with you, Toni ... hate it ... I'm ok with a little celebration over lunch or a happy hour, though That said, a holiday office gift exchange is nowhere near as bad being on the receiving end of a bridal or baby shower ... which totally and completely creeps me out

LWingIT
LWingIT

We are also doing the Secret Santa gift giving but ours is a little different. We do it for 4 weeks before Christmas. All the names are placed in a paper sack and each person draws one name. Each person is to buy something for $1 to $2 for each of 3 weeks. Sometime during each week you provide one of the gifts to the person whos name you drew without them knowing where or who it came from. The fourth week you provide a gift that you have perchased for $10 to $15 also without their knowledge of the giver. It is a challenge and it is fun. Our 4th week is coming up. Merry CHRISTmas!

Timespike
Timespike

At my current job, where I've been for a decade, we swap gifts among the management team only, but we all work closely together and frankly? I love those people. So it's great. But at any other job I've ever had, gift exchanges would have been awkward in the extreme.

mstaples
mstaples

My employer provides a free turkey for each employee on the Monday of Thanksgiving week. Anyone who doesn't want one doesn't have to take it, and the extras are donated to a local "soup kitchen" (bet that term dates me!), which greatly appreciates the support. We have a get-together on a Friday afternoon about a week before Christmas, with a nice catered lunch, a Yankee gift swap (participation totally optional, $15 limit, no alcohol) and names randomly drawn periodically during the event for a few large prizes. This year there are 5 big HD TV sets to be awarded amongst 40 people. Nobody has to attend, and even the ones who don't (or can't afford to) join in the Yankee swap enjoy the hilarity that generally ensues from it. No, not everyone is totally happy with every aspect of it all the time; people who want to be upset, dissatisfied or offended can generally find a rationale to support doing so. But the majority do enjoy it, and appreciate the break from routine for a bit of fun and holiday cheer. In earlier years, a previous owner gave each employee a card with $50 in cash. Sure enough, a few people complained that it was a cheap Christmas bonus instead of considering it a nice Christmas gift (although none of them refused to accept the money). When a subsequent management ended the practice, pretty much the same people complained about not receiving it. Bottom line: it's a rare thing for anyone to be happier than they decide to be.

sfurbacher
sfurbacher

Since work is at least 33% of my life or more, I like it to be as enjoyable as the rest of my life. If I don't like my co-workers, I won't be in that job for long. So, this means that I treat my co-workers like family and get to know them for who they are each and every day. Gift giving whether it be a white elephant with pot-luck or group lunch or secret Santa is something we all discuss and decide upon. I personally like sharing throughout the year and most especially at Christmas. As for everyone else, I say, do what's in your heart because that is part of what the spirit of Christmas is all about. It shouldn't be a stressful time. (But, I'd better just step down from my soap box before I get carried away.) To all of you, I wish a most blessed and magical Christmas and New Year!

EarlK
EarlK

It has gotten to be expected and you are looked down upon - even if you have your salary decreased in lieu of "downsizing". Trying to support a family, these terrible financial times, layoff fears, etc. Now, idiots denigrate you for not gifting nearly everyone - Office Politics are pure BULL$HIT!!!

joshuaburke
joshuaburke

The worst office gift ever was from a party for recognition of years of service. It turned into a way for my boss to publicly smear me in front of my co-workers in the form of a "friendly roast" and then I got a lapel pin for the privilege: Worst gift ever. Several people came up to me afterwards and were obviously appalled at the supervisor's comments and strongly recommended that I take the issue to HR. Unfortunately, HR was at the party already and thought it was fine. Nice.

JWhite04
JWhite04

Unfortunately I feel that co-worker "gifts" have become expected and like others have pointed out not everyone has the extra cash. Also what if you have a really large team? Things can get out of hand. I don't see a problem for getting someone you work with a little something if you're friends with them and want to do something. Like the guy from the office that I play golf with on weekends. We probably play a dozen rounds a year so I'm sure I'll get him a gift. The co-worker who makes me want to bang my head off my desk? Not so much.

Barmace
Barmace

I always give christmas gift to my co workers. I don't ever get anything back but I just love to share the love of the holidays with my co workers. besides it is only 6 of us in the office :)

Tony_Scarpelli
Tony_Scarpelli

We sort of slid into should we do Holiday parties as well as should we have a gift exchange. In my 55 years, what I have loved to experience or at least appreciated have been: Jobs where we got our annual cash bonus based on both profitability of the company and dolled out based on years of service and position. Who can't use money at the holidays with gift buying and hosting family get to gathers or traveling to other family get to gathers? This cash was all the gifts I needed. They were also accompanied by a small token pen from my direct supervisor out of his own pocket to show his appreciation. This company had a large family invited banquets at Christmas and a big picknick during the summer and I had the best feeling about this company because of their attention to respecting me as an employee and our families. They espoused appreciation for their success directly related to their employees and saw us almost as family. This most felt like a big happy family even with the normal inter office politics. Other companies have given me Turkeys and hams at Thanksgiving and Christmas and sometimes a $50-150 cash check to help out with holidays. This too was greatly appreciated as it was above what was required. Even smaller companies with small bonuses often allowed individual supervisors to coordinate after work parties with their reports at a local watering hole that was optional for anyone to meet at. The supervisors might buy the first round of drink limiting the liability exposure to the company-for over drinkers. You have time to socialize with coworkers or just say hi on your way home. Some employees even invited their spouses. If the company can afford it and is so inclined I love to see work sponsor family invited Christmas parties at a nice restaurant, hotel or hall. These can be the event of the year for the right culture in the right business but they are expensive so not for the very small company. I would be careful in environments that accept gifts for the boss as this is wide open for problems. boss giving gifts is a different matter and should be encouraged. If you are a supervisor then giving a token gift of $25 or less to each of your supports is part of the job. Even in the most testy of environments I have seen Secret santa parties work, where each person brings a $25 or less gift. Everyone might know which gift you brought by the wrapping paper but no one knows who your gift is going too. You number all the gifts and each person pulls a number from a hat passed around the office. So it decreases the chances of an inappropriate gift into the pool or using the gift to hurt a coworkers feelings. The gift size should be agreed on by everyone generally $25 or less. Personal gift exchanges should be done some what unofficially, out of site and out of the office so as not to create feelings of leaving others out-if at all. You should seldom foster giving gifts to the boss(es) Although there are times a gift might be warranted even to your boss. I have had jobs where the employees actually loved each other like family and were family, I have had jobs where we didn't know the coworkers spouses name. If you work somewhere that no one would show up at a holiday party than why should the boss expend the energy and cost? When I had a company with 12 employees we had dinner out at a restaurant for our holiday parties, gave them a ham/turkey at T-day and Xmas. Gave a weeks pay for cash bonus. I think this is about the minimum a company should do.

Red In Blue
Red In Blue

I like the idea of contributing to a charity--but make it voluntary. A lot of people are hurting in this economy, even those with jobs.

josmyth
josmyth

I despise going out to shop this time of year, so anything I can do to avoid it makes sense to me. Gift exchange in the office forces me to join the hoards, so I always decline. For the most part the gifts I see exchanged end up regifted or tossed in the trash anyway, so what is the point?

rastr
rastr

We get end-of-year bonuses, at our 11-person company, plus a gift, and no raises. To me, it's wrong. Lack of raise means I need to go elsewhere to earn more. The bonus is great. The gift is just strange. Usually the gift is a surprise. Last year we went to Vegas (24 hours smelling smoke), saw Cirque de Soleil, had dinner and got an iPod (I don't listen to music much). The execs and a few others were up all night and spent a few thousand dollars. One guy got a heart attack. This year we stayed in town for the xmas party (really, dinner) at the CEO's new house and got the choice of a Galaxy Tablet or an iPad. I'd prefer a laptop. I chose a Galaxy, but it's weird to use. I'm selling it. I think the whole thing is silly. If I ran the company, I think I'd give something negotiable, like Amazon or Target or Trader Joes gift certificates, or just add it into the bonus. My family doesn't celebrate xmas, or give gifts. It's a quaint holiday...

MagnificentOne
MagnificentOne

My employer gives each employee a $20 gift certificate to a major super-mart store, there one can get a turkey or a ham, baby food, shoes or diapers, or just knock twenty bucks off your grocery bill. I feel that this is a fair shake to each employee, and it is appreciated by all. I do not allow office gift giving between employees within my department, it is always awkward, and is not really necessary.

microface
microface

I too am a scrooge and a hypocrite. I join because i want to "FIT IN, and be part of the in clique", a hangover from high school. I often do not want to learn enough about a person to give anything meaningful anyway. If I am experiencing financial difficulties I am at a loss. i read stories like the dear Santa logs in various newspaper where kids talk about having no presents from desperate parents and I weep, so in the end I just give a card that states a donation in the persons name has been given to such and such charity. But even that can be fraught with social land mines, what if the person is Jewish, or Muslim, or an Aethist. So sometimes I do nothing out of fear

earthling789
earthling789

I've worked for several large companies... only one of which had a "mandatory" gift exchange... We all hated it... random, impersonal gifts, drawn by lots... such a waste of $25, time, and effort... after a couple of years, people wised-up and everyone started giving gift certificates to local restaurants. The boss, however, did try hard to please her engineers and support staff by providing nice, personalized gifts to everyone (out of her own pocket, I might add)... monogrammed leather briefcases, pen/pencil sets, etc., and took everyone out to a big lunch at a local high-end restaurant on special occasions, not just for Christmas. Bottom line, is that she tried hard to please her employees (but no-one liked the mandatory gift exchange). The next place I worked had a "no-gift" policy... If you wanted to give a gift to a co-worker, it had to be off company property. Corporate provided everyone a bonus equal to 3-weeks pay on the first check in December, and sometimes threw in company logo merchandise, usually a light-weight jacket or fleece pull-over... nothing cheap like mugs or ball-caps. The place I work now (for the past 15-yrs) is much more like family... we don't do gift exchanges because of expenses placed on the individual, and other issues that make people uncomfortable, but we do raise money all year long with silent auctions, car-washes (where the boss washes your car!), parking-lot yard sales, parking-lot carnival games, blood drives, etc. for the local Angel Tree and other charities. Our 700+ employees are very close because of these events, we know each others names and families, and we generate thousands of dollars each year for others by working together for the benefit of others. It makes all of us feel great by contributing a little $$ and a little time for those in need. Our bosses are just as involved as the employees (which helps in the "family" atmosphere), but they also provide a small token of appreciation in the way of small gift cards, gas cards, etc. not just at Christmas, but all year long. The company also provides an "incentive" allotment, which management uses to purchase laptops, tablets, 42" TVs, digital cameras, etc. which are either raffled off or given as door-prizes for those who participate in community service projects (donate blood and get a T-shirt and cookie from the blood bank, but also get a chance at winning a new laptop!)... its a fantastic way to get people to participate! Our clients also get involved from time-to-time and provide incentive merchandise for raffle/drawing/auction, or matching cash for car-washes or charity events... one recently provided $1 per pin at our charity bowling tournament... big bucks raised that night! Christmas is about family and giving to those in need... not about forced participation... yes, I'm a Scrooge when it comes to corporate Christmas, but I do embrace the methods of my current employer... give unto others....

cjreynolds
cjreynolds

It can be done right - I worked for Apple Computers, way back at the beginning (1980-85) - when Steve Jobs was at the helm. Apple was a very employee oriented company then, and throughout the year there were always new benefits, GREAT company parties, and lavish acts of praise and appreciation from top management. We didn't have a gift exchange between employees, but the company always gave us Christmas gifts - one year a bottle of (very expensive) champagne, one year a Sony Walkman (remember those?) - one year it was a set of hand-blown wine glasses, custom made by a company in Germany with a small Apple logo frosted on them (very nice and quite expensive). When your company shows their appreciation year-round, a nice Christmas gift is icing on the cake.

ginny
ginny

I say pass on the presents and lunches. Most people would rather get a bonus than have to go to a lunch or dinner with coworkers anyway (especially if they don't get along). Give the employees a day off and call it a year end thank you. That takes Christmas out of the picture completely for those who don't celebrate it and works for everyone. Let's face it, who wouldn't want a free day off from work with pay? It truly is the gift that won't offend and you don't have to worry about whether it's appropriate.

jbmv
jbmv

We have a team lunch every year which I like. We also a pick names and do a gift exchange. I would rather give to charity, than end up with something I don't need or want.

dstreifling
dstreifling

Toni, I agree with you 110% on gifts. I typicall opt out if possible. At a very busy time of year why add another item to the to-do list? My pet peeve is the night-time office Christmas party. I spend the majority of my waking hours with these folks. Why would I want to spend my free time with them as well? Don't get me wrong - I work with some terrific people. I just don't want to give my preciouse free time to spend more time with them.

flotsam70
flotsam70

Yeah right. Maybe just me, but my employer/department has few (if any) "feel good" events that I don't end up leaving feeling sick to my stomach and disgusted.

bwallan
bwallan

Long ago (about a decade) our companies had a similar problem. We had an employee poll. The decision was to have a simple catered lunch (no alcohol, no smoking, no gifts, no propaganda) on the last day of work before the holiday. It has worked very well! Subsequent polls and feedback have been very positive. We do have employee bonuses and awards; however, they are not tied into Christmas or year-end. They are paid on employee anniversary date so this doesn't complicate matters.

jth4944
jth4944

It is best if we keep our work environment business minded rather than personal. We all have too much to do at work as it is, without considering the extra time demands required for gift giving at the office, and whether the give will be appreciated, etc., as well as the extra time demands this season brings to our personal lives.

steve.hammill
steve.hammill

...but when you have close relationships with a great team...it can be a real pleasure.

susangainen
susangainen

One of the most striking themes in these comments is tied up in your perspective and coping skills for the oxymoron "office party." SOCIALIZING AT WORK "I'm not here to party," "I want to get on with my work," and "these people aren't my friends" are themes heard often from Millenials and some Xers. It is a very good thing to be work-focused, and reasonable to assume that co-workers will not all become BFFs. It is also true that work-based "social" events are often awkward, insincere, cheesy, and terrific opportunities for alcohol-based bad behavior with long-term repercussions. That said, these social events are part of the landscape of work, and developing a set of coping skills (smile, talk about the weather, local sports teams, and the weather, again), eat and drink lightly, smile when shaking the host's hand to say "thank you for a lovely event," and go home) can help to minimize the intrusion of work into your real life.

dhays
dhays

Ours is an exchange, we volunteer to bring a gift and those who bring one are elegible to participate in the exchange it is played as a "Dirty Santa" where you can steal an item from someone before you. Just like Shaun PC above.This way you aren't buying for someone specific, it all has to be less than $10 as well--ethics laws (we work for the Federal Government). As far as office lunches are concerned, this year we went to a restaurant for Thanksgiving and today, we are having a potluck with the managers bringing in the meat and the rest of us are bringing something else. The ethics rules prevent managers and employees from giving gifts, and receiving them from contractors is especially taboo. The only time you could give a bottle of wine is, if you are invited to a private party or dinner at a home and you could bring something like that to go with dinner. Gifts from vendors are regulated and specific dollar amonts for the year are given. Too bad Congress doesn't have to abide by the same rules as the rest of us. We do often collect for retirement gifts, birthdays are covered in a "flower fund" It buys your lunch at retirement or move to another organization or flowers for someone in your family or yourself when hospitalized. Here at the center we have a revolving fund that will give your beneficiary in the neighborhood of $10000, if you die while employed (Mutual Aid Pledge System) We donate $5 for the fund upon a member's death. The fund is now prepaid, so the families get the money faster.If we have multiple deaths close together then the other families do have to wait until the collections are finished.

dano2004
dano2004

I work for a very small company making less than half of what I use to make, because I was lucky enough to be "downsized and out of work for 2 years", and they want me to pitch in for the boss. He makes almost $300K a year...I think he can afford to buy his own stuff. I'm losing my house, lost all my savings etc and am fighting to just get by...I'm not complaining about my situation. I am a fighter and will climb back up, but really don't ask me to give you $20.I'll keep that $20 and spend it on my little girl who didn't have a Christmas last year.

mwclarke1
mwclarke1

I have a few friends at work, and we socialized separately after work most of the times. However, for many of the lying managers and back stabbing co-workers I have worked with with before, a lump of coal seems like a nice gift :-) I will go out to lunch with those I like to socialize with, not necessarily with direct co-workers unless a company event I decide to participate in. My current manager gives out git cards sometimes, My gift is the relentless overtime, after hours and weekend last minute things keep coming up, Kinda seems my gift costs more :-(

Tony_Scarpelli
Tony_Scarpelli

This is exactly the sort of things that I'd expect working for someone.

Tony_Scarpelli
Tony_Scarpelli

I agree. These things are what we make out of them.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I plan on skipping it. I've had nine supervisors in 4.5 years, and haven't met the current one yet. I see no reason why he should get a trip here and a night in a hotel to pretend to know me while all I get is a $20 meal with a choice of only two entrees.

JamesRL
JamesRL

It runs all year round, but it can be used at Christmas time as well.

Tony_Scarpelli
Tony_Scarpelli

About one in 7 people are sociopaths. Not to be confused with phsycopaths of the killing type. A sociopath has no real empathy or understanding of emotions and the civility surrounding civil society. You should try to fake it anyway. Just what the most well liked people at your company and attempt to copy their behavior.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

Oh, well; better luck next time!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I wonder how much of that champagne was regifted and how many of those wine glasses wound up on eBay. We receive gifts from the company every fifth anniversary of employment. The honoree is handed a catalog and asked to pick something. The catalog invariably contains a bunch of stuff with no practical value. I realize there are those who would enjoy a crystal decanter or an upscale desk clock. Me, I usually picked something I could pawn or resell. Fortunately, the company changed catalogs a few years ago, and on my last anniversary I scored a new circular saw.

Tony_Scarpelli
Tony_Scarpelli

I would not work at a place that people didn't like and respect each other and observe at least the minimal norms of our society. It is a burden to buy extra gifts when budgets are tight so I always recommend Secret santa where each person brings 1 gift and receive 1 gift.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I feel the way you describe Millennials as feeling , and I'm over fifty. My coping skills include doing my job well enough to be recognized for having capabilities required. Socializing isn't one of them, but that's why I'm in IT and not in sales or marketing.

Tony_Scarpelli
Tony_Scarpelli

If you don't feel it, don't do it. Of course if you are surrounded with happy generous people it could be embarrassing to be the one lone ranger.

Tony_Scarpelli
Tony_Scarpelli

gifts for a boss is a very bad idea open to abuse

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I like and respect most of my co-workers. What I hate is shopping and trying to make small talk.