Giving Gifts in the Office

The holidays are an ideal time to show your appreciation to your boss and co-workers for their support and to wish them good cheer in the New Year. So don't be afraid to give gifts. The goal with giving in workplace is to look smart, clever and genuine -- without breaking the bank.

Tory Johnson, "Good Morning America's" Workplace Contributor, did the homework to help make it easier for you to deliver a meaningful message.

All of these suggestions retail for less than $40 (plus shipping/handling) and will make you look like a gifted giver.

1) Wish colleagues and bosses good cheer creatively

We all want to stand out as exceptional employees, so it makes sense that we'd want our gifts to stand out as memorable as well. The most expensive gift isn't always the most creative, as evidenced by these clever options.

      Say "thanks for a memorable year" with a CVS video camcorder. This one-time use video camcorder allows the user to capture 20 minutes of video. Bring it into any CVS to develop, and the recipient will get back a ready-to-watch DVD with their holiday memories. Take advantage of the technology craze for only $29.99 at any CVS.

      Wish "a year of good fortune and growth" with Red Envelope's Money Tree. The potted plant will look great on any desk whether in a large office or a crowded cubicle. $38 at www.redenvelope.com.

      Offer "sweet success in the new year" with an assortment of four pints of delicious Ciao Bella gelato. Choose from more than 20 gourmet flavors, which are sure to be a welcome treat. $32.95 at www.ciaobellagelato.com.

      Encourage a colleague to "aim high and achieve your goals" with Knock Knock's clever Pro/Con pad, which prevents indecisiveness, and the Resolution Tracking System journal, which keeps dreamers and goal-oriented recipients on the mark. $6.75 and $14.95 at www.knockknock.biz.

2) Show off your thoughtfulness and preparation

Personalized items show that your gift wasn't a last-second decision. Such gifts show that you're detail-oriented and that you really took the time and effort to plan your purchase. You can easily and economically turn something ordinary into something extraordinary by adding the recipient's name or initials as a personal touch.

      Golf balls: www.golfballs.com From $13.95. Print the phrase, "You're at the top of your game, NAME." Or select a catchy phrase of your own.

      Soap: www.virginiabornandbred.com From $22. Personalize your purchase of the magnificent scented soaps, which are packaged in satin-lined boxes, with a single initial or a full monogram.

      Candles: www.monogrammit.com From $34. Personalize a beautiful soy candle with a single initial or a full monogram.

      Note cards: www.chelseapaper.com From $12. A wide range of note cards can be printed with a single initial, first name, or first and last name.

3) Show your appreciation to the often-overlooked

There are unsung heroes in all of our workplaces who make things operate smoothly every day. Acknowledge the mailroom clerks, interns, receptionists, cleaning crews and others who make your job easier and more enjoyable with $10 gift cards from places like Starbucks, Jamba Juice, and Blockbuster where $10 goes far.

You can purchase such cards in-store or online at www.starbucks.com or www.jambajuice.com.

4) Demonstrate your sensitivity and awareness

By making a donation to the charity of your choice in the recipient's name -- be it your boss or a co-worker -- you don't have to worry about the dollar amount and you both get to feel great about doing good. Be sure to request that the charity sends an acknowledgement to the recipient or you may describe your kind gesture in your own note.

Whatever you decide to give, be sure to include a hand-written note that expresses your genuine gratitude for the achievements and support throughout the year and be clear that you look forward to the challenges and excitement of the year ahead.

To contact Tory Johnson or for more career advice, visit www.womenforhire.com.

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