The Office Gift Guide – For your boss

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This person might be the trickiest one on your holiday gifting list. You can’t buy a gift card, jewelry is too personal, and something generic is worse than nothing at all. Pro tip, avoid buy anything that involves choosing a size, or something that would be difficult to hide if they don’t like it. The idea here is to show appreciation and thought. Your gift should be personal or not at all. So here’s a list ways to be thoughtful and affordable (because honestly… they know how much you make).

1. A kind and sincere holiday card is the most meaningful thing on this list. Adding a message of your support, gratitude, or a fun memory will go a long way for holiday cheer. Simple.

2. Another affordable but heart-warming gesture is baking up some homemade treats. You and your boss spend long meetings together, order take-out some days, and snack on the same things — so you know the kind of treats that they run to during that 4 o-clock wall (and you probably know if their allergies). Classic chocolate chip cookies or some really good banana bread are safe bets. If they aren’t fond of sweets, try a bag of fancy coffee beans instead.

3. If we learned anything from Master of None, it’s that a fancy candle can go a long way in a small space like an office. Plus it’s fun to smell all the candles while you’re shopping.

4. Most people, no matter the pay-grade, appreciate indulging in fancy versions of everyday items. Switch up their kitchen routine with a small splurge on a shelf stable item like seasonal jam or olive oil. For bonus points attach a simple recipe that showcases the ingredient.

5. Use some of that personal knowledge you have from years of working together and get them a classic record for their underused record player, or pull from an inside joke and get them something weird to make them smile.

If none of these ideas fit the bill, look for something local and support a small business in your neighborhood. If you’re in Toronto, check out some of my favourites; Lost & Found, Easy Tiger, and Good Egg.

See all Gift Guides here.

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The Office Gift Guide – For your work bestie

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This year I am celebrating the art of office gifting! If you are shopping for your boss, your intern, or a job-searching new grad, stay tuned for my 2015 Office Gift Guide. And to start us off… Your work bestie is there for your big wins, and your toughest days in the office. You can count on them for impromptu sushi lunches, and use them as a sounding board for your ideas in and out of the office. Your friendship is loyal, and your gift game is on point this year… say thank you to your friendship with this easy list of present wins.

1. Get a plant to cheer up his desk. Or send her some beautiful flowers, sign the note with an inside joke and let everyone else in the office wonder who the secret admirer is.

2. Stock her drawer with simple pleasures. My personal favourites are the subtle rosebud salve; the tin feels very vintage and separates it from your common lip balm tube that gets lost in all your coat pockets and the bottom of your bag. And Burt’s Bees Cuticle Cream which is the perfect thing to massage into your hands during a conference call or during your commute.

3. You’re always sharing snacks anyway so indulge in something extra special like well-packaged chocolate, or a set of french macarons to share at their desk.

4. You know their work style better than anyone, so buy some fun affordable accessories they would never choose on their own but are always complimenting on other people. Ring here, and earrings here.

5. Change up your lunch routine and splash out for a long lunch at a Japanese Izakaya restaurant. It’s loud, it’s dark, and it’s perfect for bonding over Tinder Dates gone wrong and the inevitable office gossip. If you’re in Toronto, check out Ryoji. I used to live in that building, and the interior like a luxurious Japanese cabin.

And if all else fails, a bottle of wine is rarely turned down.

See all Gift Guides here.