Wrapping Up Holiday Office Giftingby J. Robbin Yelverton on December 2, 2013 at 8:56 am
Oh the season of GIVING. This annual celebration of yuletide spirit usually begins with the question, “What the heck am I gonna give that guy in the cubicle next to me?” Office gifting — a sometimes treacherous and always nerve- and wallet-wracking activity, forces one to evaluate relationships, personal feelings and office politics. So how does one spread cheer without crossing boundaries or alienating co-workers?
First a few rules for office-gifting:
- Consider the recipient’s likes, interests and outside activities. These will give clues to potential gift ideas. Details make the difference.
- Be aware of the recipient’s personal religious and or holiday traditions. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays. Know these differences and acknowledge them accordingly if possible. Not sure what’s appropriate? Just Google (or the search engine of your choice) it. You may learn something interesting and have a greater appreciation for the differences among your associates. Keep the “sentiment” universal in wording and understand that it is the thought and the “spirit of giving” that is the reason behind the action.
- Keep the spending to a minimum so as not to cause any awkward moments when comparing the value of gifts exchanged. Gift giving should never be intended to make someone feel bad.
Still not sure what to do? Here are a few solutions readily available through your local florist, sure to delight the recipient and keep “Scrooge” at bay. (By the way, these are also easy, affordable solutions for showing appreciation to valued clients!)
Holiday Green: Offices can be sterile, inorganic and harsh. The presence of plants in the workplace has shown to lift spirits and raise morale. Battle those flickering fluorescent lights and humidity sucking HVACs with a green plant. For the holiday season, consider a small potted Norfolk Island pine or a desk-sized evergreen. Decorate with a few ornaments or a simple bow and a couple of candy canes tied into it.
Bulbs and Boughs: Pots or containers with bulbs for forcing, usually paperwhites, hyacinth, amaryllis, daffodils, tulips or crocus are wonderful gifts for those who enjoy watching the process. Since the bulbs, soil and pots are not necessarily attractive at first, pots can be enhanced with mosses, cones and a few pieces of evergreens giving a winter garden look. If heavily fragrant flowers such as hyacinth are a concern, remember amaryllis, tulips and crocus are generally fragrance free.
Festive Fruits: Think about it. Kosher, gluten-free, vegetarian, low fat, PC … a basket of assorted fresh fruit goes a long way on the gift-giving list. It doesn’t have to be a huge basket either, just a few select pieces of fruit in a holiday theme container finished off with a colorful bow. Or if your shopping list is a bit large, consider a single large basket of fruit, juices, healthy snacks and teas for sharing from which co-workers can chose their favorite. Finish it off with a big hand-written note for all to read.
Mug O’ Merriment: A cute coffee or latte mug filled with long-lasting holiday flowers and greenery is a great way to say “Happy Holidays”. Throw in a couple of packs of hot cocoa mix and your chocolate lovers will be pleased.
Snow Globe: A bubble bowl of all white flowers, snowflake ornaments and silver accents. Great for the non-Christian recipients in celebration of the winter season. Select longer-lasting flowers like the white Fuji, snowflake pompons, and white alstroemeria which can often last two weeks or more.
Carol of the Cards: Not really sure what they like? A gift card from the local florist will allow the recipient to select something that fits their needs for the holiday season. And with gift cards, should the person not be a real “flower” person, they can turn around and use the card to buy flowers for someone they love. No re-gifting drama! One size fits all, easy to handle and your florist may have other specials — just ask.
However you chose to gift your co-workers or clients, do so with the right mindset. A gesture of goodwill during a season of thankfulness can yield good tidings through the year. Your local florist is the perfect “elf” to enlist for happy holiday gifting.
What are your favorite floral gifts for co-workers and clients?