Your Guide to Buying Gifts for Coworkers During the Holidays

December 8, 2016 Anthony Balderrama

Shopping for loved ones leading up to the holidays can be difficult: It needs to be meaningful to show you listen, priced just right and handled with the perfect amount of care.

Buying gifts for your coworkers goes a little differently. If you are able to find anything at all, it’s either the first thing that strikes you as funny at a gift shop or a re-wrapped gag gift from many years prior.

A new CareerBuilder survey of workers and employers from across the country found that 69 percent of employers plan to throw a holiday party this year. Twenty–two percent of employees plan to buy a gift for coworkers, and 73 percent expect to spend no more than $25 on a gift. The survey also identifies a few points to remember as we near the holidays.

People Don’t Spend Much on Coworkers

So, you shouldn’t either! Don’t be the guy who gets a special someone a new camera-phone if there is a suggested spending limit. A third of all workers (33 percent) will cap their spending at $10 on holiday gifts for the office, and 11 percent will spend $5 or less. If everyone follows these guidelines, no one will feel neglected.

It’s OK to be Funny, Just Don’t Be Weird

The CareerBuilder survey compiled a list of the most unusual gifts employees had received during the holidays from coworkers. These highlights are memorable for all the wrong reasons:

  • Two left-handed gloves
  • Coconut bra
  • Jar of gravy
  • A fake lottery ticket
  • A real stuffed duck
  • Toilet paper that looked like money
  • Post-it Notes
  • Dish detergent
  • A pen holder that looks like a crime scene victim
  • A comic book of an obscure movie
  • A handmade ornament for a sports team the recipient had never heard of
  • A singing chicken
  • A whip

Remember, There’s Always Charity

Nearly half of all employers (48 percent), plan to make charitable donations this holiday season. So, if you’re worried about participating in the sure-to-be-awkward white elephant grab bag, but you’re in the giving mood, start a charitable collection on behalf of the company.

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