Do You Exchange Gifts at Work?

Updated on December 22, 2011
M.E. asks from Deerfield, IL
8 answers

I just started back to work in July after 10 years not working. At my previous jobs you usually gave a token gift of some kind. At my new job no one gave anyone gifts. Is this the new norm? I work at a private school in administration (not a teacher). There was a holiday party and the option for a secret santa gift exchange but those are geared for the teachers. I'm curious what others do for the holidays at their job.

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answers from Austin on

I have always worked in retail and so usually the Store Provides a meal one day for he entire store. On Christmas eve since we usually do not get a lunch, we used to have an all day pot luck going on.

Even in a small store we did not exchange gifts with the whole staf.. None of us could afford it. The last few years we instead have picked a charity and each of us has donated a toy or some food or a donation to that charity..None of us needed another "thing".

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answers from San Francisco on

In our office, we draw names for Secret Santa. It's voluntary and there's a limit of $15, gag gifts encouraged. Everyone participated this year. Whoever drew my name gave me a Starbucks gift card (which made me very happy, since I'm only rarely seen without a cup of coffee in hand!). My assistant, who loves all things pink and glittery, was given a hot pink tape dispenser shaped like a high-heeled shoe. She was thrilled. The person whose name I drew loves music, so I got him an iTunes gift card. It was a lot of fun, and took the pressure off of having to buy gifts for coworkers (where do you draw the line?).

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answers from Miami on

Our office does a great job for the the holiddays. We have a luncheon where the boss gives out the best holiday dressed cubical. We have a chinese auctionm where we all fight over the gift cards from macy's etc. I always take my assitant out to lunch to say thank you for all her hard work. The main office also has a party that we are invited to and we get to dance and dance some more.

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answers from New York on

Every company is different. The best thing to do is be pro-active and ask your co-workers what the protocal is for Christmas. It is so difficult to know if you should give a gift to the boss, to your co-workers, ect. I worked in a toxic office environment once and no one told me that the boss's 3 year old son comes to work one day before Christmas with presents for everyone and everyone is supposed to get him something too. I didn't have a present because no one told me (and I didn't ask) and well, he had no present for me either. Awkward!

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answers from Dallas on

We exchanged names for the holiday party. But at the office some people have given every body little tokens, like coffee mugs. Others, like myself, have made goodies and baked for the office. No actual wrapped presents.

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answers from New York on

I work in a school, we dont give to everyone (way too many) but often give to the ones we work closest with, if we share a classroom or eat lunch together regularly, etc small tokens, like a candle, home made bread or cookies, small plant, or candy. Since its your first year and you dont know what to expect You could bring some Very small items in and give to anyone who gives to you. I dont think people care about the value, it could be a two dollar item with a nice bow.

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answers from Cleveland on

Thankfully we don't exchange gifts at work... We do contribute to a big gift card for our administrative assistants though. I work at a large corporation.

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answers from Sacramento on

I definitely agree that you should ask someone about the protocol in your school. I'm not sure I understand the idea that the Secret Santa is just geared for the teachers. Most private schools are fairly small, and it seems to me that all employees, whether teaching staff or administration would be included in whatever the holiday plan happens to be. You might want to ask if there is a possibility that could be changed so that everyone would feel included. Hope you can work this out so the next time you won't feel so lost in the shuffle.

1 mom found this helpful
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