The holidays are here, which means everyone’s trimming the tree, hanging their stockings, and planning their gifts for all the important people in their lives.
Does that list include your boss, coworkers, client, or co-founder this year? Should it?
The workplace presents many challenges when it comes to gift-giving. For one, no workplace is the same, so what could be casual in one setting could be off-limits or inappropriate in another. Here’s our shopping guide for the ones you see from 9-5:
Gifts Are Not Obligatory
Despite the popular narrative of harried employees rushing to find their boss the perfect gift, employees (or anyone for that matter) are not obligated to buy their bosses (or anyone for that matter) gifts. In fact, many industries, such as non-profits and government jobs, discourage gift-giving.
However, if your office allows gift-giving, try to keep the gift reasonable and small.
Cards from Sea Heart City Press , $5
For co-workers, the rules can be a little more lax. If it’s a large office, it’s perfectly fine to give your friends gifts, though if it’s a personal gift it’s better to give it outside the office.
For smaller offices, you want to be careful about not leaving people out. Bringing a communal cookie platter or candy canes is a safe bet—everyone is included and it’s a nice touch to celebrate the holiday spirit.
Here are some office-friendly options that are both unique to the city and reflect their personality:
For the Green Thumb
Add some green to any office with these hand-crafted terrariums shaped like dinosaurs.
For the Self-Professed Chocoholic
Located in Northern Dupont, The Chocolate House visitors learn the rich history of chocolate-making while putting their taste buds to the test with chocolates from around the world. Their collection includes 300 different chocolate bars to keep the chocoholic from ever getting tired again.
For the Office Listener
Hand-poured, made in the District, and lasts up to 70 hours. Grab this soothing candle made with a blend of peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree oils.
For the Executive
Compass Coffee is taking the DC coffee scene by storm. With quality beans and well-executed shops, this DC staple is growing is steadily growing in popularity. Give the gift of Compass Coffee this holiday season. right in their office. With beans ranging from light to dark, each has flavors inspired by Africa, the Americas and East-Asia.
For the Deal-Maker
Body Butter:Winter Healing, Leafyhead, 1oz, $20
Winters in Washington can be brutal, so a jar of Leafyhead’s Winter Healing Body Butter will be greatly appreciated. The cocoa butter formula keeps hands moisturized while castor oil helps keep skin healthy.
For the Party-Starter
Gift this Ivy City Gin made from locally sourced grains for the spirit connoisseur in your life. One Eight Distilling— the local company producing the gin– offers tours and tastings at their distillery on 1135 Okie Street NE.
For the Office Foodie
Customize a unique gift basket. Throw in some beans from Peregrine Espresso, a loaf of brioche from Lyon Bakery, or gin from Cotton & Reed. A hand-picked gift goes miles, especially if it’s packed with quality goodies they’ll enjoy. Remember that brie they couldn’t stop raving about? They’ll be flattered you included it.