Choosing the right gift and Christmas card for your colleagues

choosing christmas gifts

15th December 2015

4 Minutes

While Christmas time at work can mean the pressure lifts and everyone relaxes for festive fun, at this time of year there’s one important task that demands your attention: buying gifts and cards for the people you work with. This leaves many confounded but by approaching the task logically, you’ll soon find you have seasonal generosity under control. Here’s our quick guide to getting it right.

Christmas gift ideas for your boss

  • Personalised stationery
  • A tie
  • Decanter for drinks
  • High-end stationery
  • Restaurant vouchers

Your boss is perhaps the most daunting person to select the right card and present for. The key here is to think quality, but not excess. A small box of exquisite chocolates is better than a large bottle of mediocre whiskey. The card you send should be classic and conservative. Go for a more traditional image – robins, snowman, a scenic backdrop – and a heart-warming, but not too over-the-top message inside. For bonus points, add a personal touch by name dropping family members, both yours and theirs (if you know them).

Christmas gift ideas for work colleagues

  • Stand-up comedy DVD
  • Personalised mug
  • Tickets to a gig/show
  • Picture frame
  • Fashion vouchers

Some work colleagues are more than just the people we share office space with – they’re more like friends. Personal items like grooming products or decorative items for the home are good choices, and you may want to stretch your budget to the £10-£20 mark for those you socialise with outside working hours. Likewise, you can be a bit more laidback about choosing a card for these characters. Going for something with a Christmas-related comical pun will always go down a treat, or if you’re really close, create a personal festive card.

Christmas gift ideas for clients

  • High-end restaurant vouchers
  • Hamper
  • Beers, wines and spirits
  • Flowers and botanical items
  • Tickets to an event

The card and gift you send to a client will convey an important message about the relationship between your two organisations. Consider the gift in practical terms – a hamper full of delicious Christmas food is a good choice when your client is a whole team of people. Or, how about an ‘experience’ gift, like theatre tickets or a day at the races? The way a client gift is packaged is also of prime importance. Consider using watermarked, branded tissue paper to protect more fragile items. This will give your gift a really upmarket feel. Also, use custom packaging to put your brand before that client at every opportunity.

Christmas gift ideas for the team you manage

  • A day’s holiday
  • Personalised stationery
  • Tickets for a team night out
  • A new mug for the office
  • Bottle of wine

If you’d like to come across as an approachable manager to your employees, getting the personal/professional mix spot on is key. You need something that will both thank your workers for their efforts over the year and wish them Merry Christmas. You’ll also want something which will motivate them to keep up their hard work for the following year. If you want to buy for each team member individually, choose a budget and stick to it. Spending extravagantly on one person, while his desk mate receives only a modest gift will create tensions.

Likewise, the Christmas cards you buy for those you manage should be equal in price, tone and general aesthetic. Choosing cards that are quite light-hearted is the best option, and you’ll need to ensure that you pen a similarly friendly, motivational message for each.

Christmas gift ideas for Secret Santa 

Secret Santa gifts for a male colleague

  • Pack of humorous socks
  • Leather-bound notepad
  • Vouchers for sports-related hobby shop
  • Funny item of clothing
  • Hip flask and craft ales
  • Toiletries pack

Secret Santa gifts for a female colleague

  • Bottle of wine
  • Herbal tea
  • Nail polish set
  • Diary
  • Bath bombs
  • Spa products
  • Afternoon tea set

Office Secret Santa gifts, depending on who you’re allocated to buy for, can be the most difficult ones to buy. Your main goal should be to adhere closely to the budget you’ve been set and to keep the present as light-hearted as possible. A small personalised item like a keyring or mug is good, or, if you can, do a little digging on the person you’re buying for. The personal touch can work well for Secret Santa gift buyers, even if the gift itself is quite modest.

Do-It-Yuleself: homemade Christmas card tips

If you’re hoping to make a real impact with your Christmas cards this year, why not make your own? The internet is full of clever instructions on Christmas cards to make so grab your craft kit and get searching. Here are a few tips on making great homemade Christmas cards.

  • Choose a simple, bold design.
  • If you’re not great at drawing, use graphic cut-out shapes or images from magazines instead.
  • Send home-designed Christmas cards to colour – great for those with kids.
  • Invest in a high quality card for the Christmas card itself and opt for squares over rectangles; they’re more modern and elegant.
  • If you’re really not inclined towards craftiness, you can always opt for a digitally designed card. That way, you can present a personalised message and image without getting covered in glitter and glue.

Although Christmas gift buying may seem fraught with confusion, by using the guide above, you’ll be able to distribute cards and presents that please with the minimum of festive fuss.

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