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Gift card or home made cookies/candy for coworker gifts

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Every year I experience the same stress. What should I give my four assistants and 5 colleagues. I was thinking of baking this year. Which would be best?

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  1. If you're baking cookies, I'd stick to classics like chocolate chip cookie, chocolate brownies (with no nuts) topped with crushed candy canes, or chocolate crackle. Some individual have allergies so it's hard to bake unless you're certain they (or family members) have no allergies to nuts, seeds, gluten, or milk.

    I think if you know the person is a lover of coffee or tea, getting a GC to a nice cafe nearby is always good.

    I would always be appreciative of a GC to a great coffee place with a small serving of home made Chocolate crackle cookie

    1. I'd like a gift card from my boss but a baked good would be lovely from a coworker. My supervisor makes more than me (obviously) and I would be annoyed to get food instead of something monetary. That's me, though. It depends on your industry, relationship with your minions, past gifts, etc.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Hobbert

        THIS. I don't know about you but IME there is just so much to eat over the holidays - gifts to the office, parties, dinners, food everywhere you turn - last thing I want from anyone really is a plate of cookies. Especially from a boss: I'd be annoyed too.

        Giving the same thing to your peers as to your assistants is bad form. Go with the GC to them at least.

        1. re: thegforceny

          Annoyed by a gift from a coworker? Really? Why not just thank the giver and then give it away?

          1. re: EWSflash

            Oh, I didn't mean to suggest I wouldn't do the thanking and giving/throwing away. I would certainly thank the giver for the gesture.

      2. Either one. I have had such angst about Christmas gifts because of family bizarreness that I hate the holidays any more. But I'm trying to change my tune, and I hope that the gifts you give your coworkers are gratefully accepted, rather than having them look at your gift like you just handed them a turd. Believe me, I know how that feels. If you catch any of that, don't give them anything next year. It will leave them wondering why, and if they ask you can tell them.
        After all, once a person receives a gift and genuinely thanks you, they can do whatever they like with it, but they at least should give genuine thanks for the gift, and especially the thought.
        Whether you add nuts or dairy or peanut butter or any other potential allergen, you can either put a note on it, or if you happen to know about an allergy, don't give them anything with any of that in it.

        1. Gift cards. I wouldn't want any baked goods given to me by co-workers for a variety of reasons.

          If you feel the need to bake, I think it would be nice to just bake up whatever it is that you want and bring it in for all to share. In my office, if you put out a platter of anything, people will eat it, and homemade baked goods are always especially popular.

          1 Reply
          1. re: valerie

            Echoing all of this.

            I prefer gift cards for practically all holidays. I know it feels less personal to many people, but as someone who is tight on money sometimes having a giftcard tucked away in my purse is almost a light at the end of the tunnel (very temporary, obviously, but still a godsend). Giftcards give the user the freedom to spend it on something they truly want (even if its as little as a latte or whatever).

            I hate getting things like nicknacks, candles, homemade foodstuffs. I will still profusely thank the person, because I absolutely am grateful for them gifting me anything at all, but I won't eat most of the food items people try to gift and I don't need more clutter items (or guilt from disposing of them). If you give a food item let it be to the group, not an individual.

          2. I agree with most of the posters, go with the gift cards.

            I hate getting baked gifts for a variety of reasons. Then I feel bad because I know the giver put forth the effort and I would like to appreciate the gift (not just the effort).

            A nice gift card with a genuine note of appreciation for being able to work with them is really nice and would be appreciated by everyone.

            1. Cookies, much more thoughtful and personal.

              1. You could present a few festive holiday cookies with each gift card! A small box or bag with 2-3 cookies, attach a gift card to the outside. Personable and festive, but keeps the money component that, lets be honest, every one needs/wants this time of year.

                1. I would much prefer the gift card. I appreciate the effort that goes into homemade baked goods and would love to eat them. Unfortunately, I am always trying to watch my weight and there are so many temptations around the holiday anyway.

                  Another thing to consider is that many people do a lot of baking around the holidays themselves and possibly the last thing they are interested in is more baked goods no matter how delicious.

                  With that being said, if I were presented with the baked goods as a gift, the giver would be thanked warmly but after I left work, the gift would be passed on before I could devour the whole thing.

                  1. I would hate to get a gift card from anyone, family, friends or coworkers.
                    Well, the gift certificate for the couples massage at the day spa was pretty cool, but still, that was for a specific gift.

                    Give me home baked goods, or a little craft thing, or even a set of tea towels. Something that shows you wanted to do a nice thing for me.
                    I'm having lunch tomorrow with three of my co-volunteers from Master Gardeners. I can't imagine any of us giving the others a gift certificate. I baked four kinds of cookies, and have cute little gift boxes to give them in. And I'm sure one of the other women will give us cookies, too. That just makes a bigger assortment for me to out out at home for guests, so a cookie swap is fine with me.

                    Maybe it's because I don't work in the corporate world, and I don't exchange gifts with people out of a sense of duty. Is that what the difference is?

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: kitchengardengal

                      Yes
                      The difference is the passion you share about volunteering that has created genuine personal relationships versus a person in the same office pool. I do prefer something more personal than a gift card, however office politics requires finesse. Plus I know MANY people who simply refuse to accept (eat) home prepared foods for a variety of reasons. If it were anyone I would regularly trust food from and I wasn't already overwhelmed with sweets this time of year my opinion would be different.

                      1. re: kitchengardengal

                        Followup to the lunch with fellow volunteers:

                        Besides the gift boxes of cookies, I gave the women different color and shaped bowls made by a local potter. They all liked them, and one wants to do her new kitchen decor based on the colors in the bowl. ;-)

                        What I got from them: a handmade copper bird cutout to hang out in the garden, a (homemade) quilted Christmas banner, and a (homemade) Christmas bottle full of fairy lights. And cookies.

                        1. re: kitchengardengal

                          We aren't all garden club volunteer retirees.

                          1. re: thegforceny

                            Me neither, thegforceny.
                            I work full time.
                            :-)
                            As a kitchen and bath designer and residential space planner, I spend time around a lot of creative people, whether in crafts, fine arts or music. Fortunately most of us have created the flexibility in our various careers to pursue outside interests whether artistic or skilled crafts.

                            I'm not in a garden club either. The Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Organizations' mandate is to disseminate research based horticultural education to home gardeners and children of behalf of each state's land grant University's Cooperative Extension offices, in our case, the University of Georgia and Carroll County. We put in a lot of hours teaching classes, demonstrating techniques and approved practices in planting, propagating and correct use of fertilizers and pesticides, answering horticultural questions and educating children. And we are very proud of the work we do.

                            As our county MG Association's incoming President, I anticipate taking on several new projects with our 170+ members, and bringing even more opportunities to the public.

                          2. re: kitchengardengal

                            It is important to know your audience with gifting. Cookies and quilted "crafty" things country kitchen quilts...yada yada.... would not be welcomed by me or anyone I know. That is not to say they are inferior, but it is really important to know the tastes of the person you are gifting.

                            I feel bad when I get those things (from the occasional in law or a business person I've met )because it is clear that the giver's intentions were good, but they clearly made errors in their assumptions about me or they didn't take any time or interest in getting to know me better. That is kind of insulting in itself, in a way.

                            If you don't really know the person or their tastes, a generic gift card to Starbucks is better than cookies or a quilted toilet roll holder, IMO.

                            1. re: sedimental

                              I never feel bad when someone spends the time to make something for me. In fact, I am very touched that they want to share their passion for their personal hobbies with me.
                              The Starbucks gift card will be gone in a week, but every time I look at the quilt or the Christmas ornament my friend made for me, I think of them. And that makes me feel good, whether I really needed a 'quilted toilet roll holder' or not, or whether it's to my taste or not. I'm always grateful for a kind deed.

                              As you said, if you don't know one another, a gift card is fine. I just don't have occasion to trade gifts with people I don't know.

                              1. re: kitchengardengal

                                Okay...now I know where I will send all those clothespin ornaments and crochet pot holders.....lol

                                1. re: sedimental

                                  My Junior Master Gardeners (9 to 12 yr olds) would enjoy incorporating them into some of their craft projects. It's amazing what these kids can do with bits of this and that.
                                  Today we had them decorate 18" tabletop Christmas trees, then we all went as a group to a local nursing home, and the children went room to room (with permission) giving the trees to the residents. Good craft project (decorating with odds and ends) and a good service project. Their parents really enjoyed the experience, too. I think the residents did, as well.

                                2. re: kitchengardengal

                                  i don't feel bad <<when someone spends the time to make something for me>>

                                  i feel bad because of the waste when i throw the thing out.

                                  what saves me is that my housekeeper can usually regift some of the stuff that isn't edible to her friends and family.

                              2. re: kitchengardengal

                                What a neat bunch of gifts! You all are a creative bunch.

                                1. re: Hobbert

                                  Thanks, Hobbert. There's a lot of talent in this county, including potters, quilters, weavers, musicians and painters. And gardeners and home cooks.

                                  1. re: kitchengardengal

                                    Those gifts sound wonderful and definitely appropriate for the relationship your group has. I think that's what a lot of this thread is- matching a gift to a relationship. Sounds like you've struck a perfect balance in your group.

                            2. Well...I kinda hesitate to say this, but;;;I think giving the same gift to your employees and your colleagues is a poor idea, mannerswise. I'm guessing here, but I assume your relationship to your colleagues is different from your exchanges with your employees.
                              I get that you haven't got a whole lotta time; you sound like a busy person, HeadRN. If your handle is an indication, you are CRAZY busy. That's what my sister does.
                              Okay: from what I hear from her, there's a total surfeit of cookies and candy and foodie gifts, from the staff, nurses, patients and their families. I mean, WAY more than usual. I know a lot of places have holiday parties and suchlike, and people bring in goodies, but in the hospital, it's every single day, it's large in quantity, it's a tidal wave of sugary goodness.
                              And believe you me, they are all sick of it.
                              *End Rant*
                              On to your question. I'd be inclined to say that if you stick with those two choices, I'd give the baked goods to your colleagues. It's more personal, which is appropriate to your (I assume) closer relationship with them. Your employees, of course, make less money than you do, and I think a gift certificate or card, with a personal thank-you card, would be very nice, and allow them to enjoy somethng that they might not be able to afford. I'd make it a GC to a nice restaurant, or a steak purveyor, or a nice clothing company -enough on the GC that they don't have to spend any $$ of their own. NOT a place like Target; not a grocery store. I don't say that to be insulting, but when I was low on bucks, I HAD to shop at those places anyway, but a GC to somewhere else would have been deeply appreciated.
                              Happy Holidays!!

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: mamachef

                                I concur, mamachef. A gift card from the boss would be just fine, as would a monetary bonus.
                                For colleagues, no. They don't need your money.

                                1. re: mamachef

                                  I know what you mean about a gift card to somewhere other than Target or the local grocery store. However there have been times in my life when a Target or grocery gift card would have been a lifesaver.

                                  1. re: baseballfan

                                    Very true, I've been there myself, basebalfan. Perhaps if she knows the particuar circumstances of each of her assistants, she could direct the gift cards that way: I mean, if someone likes the boozy, she could send them to a beverage company or winery; a food lover would surely appreciate a Penzey's certificate, etc. All can surely be done online in no time tlat, online. And if she's aware that someone in the group would benefit from a grocery card, she could certainly do that.

                                    1. re: mamachef

                                      So true and internet shopping makes it so much easier than back in the old days when you had to run from place to place. I did almost all my shopping online this year and almost all of it in one day.

                                      1. re: mamachef

                                        When I worked in a home health care agency, the very wise exec director gave gift cards to local gas stations to the lowest paid workers. A couple of the nurse assistants actually cried with relief, given the cost of gas.

                                        I agree with gift cards for your staff, and something different--even the baked goods--for co-directors. (Although, when I was in a hospital setting, there was sooooo much sugary stuff around that I got sick of it.)

                                  2. I guess it's fair to assume you don't work in a hospital setting like an ER or a recovery ward where you frequently receive thank-you cookies and candy from newly discharged patients, or you wouldn't be asking about baking. I also suspect you all work the same shift? If all of this is the case, what about treating everyone to lunch, either at work or away? It could be fun, and you get to share in your gifting, but it could be impractical considering holiday schedules. You've got a tough one on your hands! GOOD LUCK.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                      What a nice idea!! My sister, who's a Charge Nurse in FL, would probably agree about scheduling issues - her hours are crazymaking and she rarely has time to socialize. But taking everybody to lunch at the same time is a lovely idea., if such a thing could be arranged. Which...wait.....wait...an idea was just born -
                                      You could have a catered lunch delivered to them!!

                                      1. re: mamachef

                                        I thought the pharmaceutical reps take care of that on a daily basis!

                                    2. As someone who has been a life long assistant to various people, if my boss gave me cookies or any kind of baked good as a holiday gift, I'd be pretty put off. I could make those myself. Also like others have mentioned, there could be food allergies, or someone may not like cookies, or may be trying to watch their weight, etc. A gift card would be much more appreciated, for the employees. The coworkers are up to you...

                                      Back to the assistants, if you wanted to make it more personal, give them a gift card to a store or a restaurant that you know they like.... not something generic like Starbucks or a Visa gift card. One year my boss found out where I got my hair done at, and gave me a gift certificate to that salon. I appreciated that.

                                      Remember, gifts are about what will make the other person happy, not what will fulfill you the most.

                                      1. Definitely gift cards for the "underlings" and then what ever you want for colleagues who make as much as you.

                                        1. Different for assistants vs co-workers.
                                          Assistants- gift cards: starbucks, movie money, a local restaurant.

                                          What do your coworkers give as gifts? Use that as a guideline.
                                          If you bake i would go with something savory, a great loaf of bread or rolls, cheese straws, etc.
                                          on the attached card note directions for freezing in case they are traveling or want to save it

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                                            Nice final point. Thanks for putting that in there, because it reminded me that I have to letter some tags for food gifts - contents, ingredients, etc. w/. instructions on "how to serve," just in case it's something weird like my chutney.:)

                                          2. My assistant wants a gas card :) She travels a great deal. A gifted tank of gas seemed so practical and kinda boring but if that's what she wants, so be it.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              :) That's pretty awesome, Sunshine. I totally appreciate you giving her what she asked for. Yep, gas is practical and boring and totally necessary - what you are giving her is relief from the stress she feels when she's low on funds and needs gas - and that's a helluva gift, IMO. There's no spa in the world and no amount of money that can compensate that horrible stressed feeling, so you are giving her more than you think you are. Bless you.
                                              Marci

                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                Last year she brought in four new clients. This year six.
                                                Cookies wouldn't cut it. But I'm so grateful she just lets me know how to show my appreciation.

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  Or think it just relieves her gas funds so she can splurge and not tell you about what? That is what I would do.

                                                  1. re: holypeaches

                                                    I'm not sure I followed you on the "not tell you about what?"
                                                    what do you mean to say?

                                                    Once gifted, my assistant can use the card anyway she wishes, it's a gift. She is traveling/on the road for far more than working for me.

                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                      My apologizes I was trying to edit on my phone and it well...wasn't the thought I was trying to complete like you will see above. :(

                                                      1. re: holypeaches

                                                        That's okay, holyp. I was only trying to understand you.

                                                2. re: mamachef

                                                  my daughter would LOVE LOVE LOVE a gas card!
                                                  the financial pressure she is under is immense; her employment is 45 minutes of stop-and-go driving away.
                                                  keeping her tank full enough to get to work is a paycheck-to-paycheck challenge.

                                                  the gas card is relief from worry. You did good HillJ

                                                3. re: HillJ

                                                  Oops--didn't see this when I replied about gas cards, above. It's not what would make me thrilled, but for some lower paid workers, a godsend.

                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                    What i'm taking away from this thread is that work situations vary a good deal. One on one vs a group. You are the boss vs you're working for a company. In the OP's scenario I would pull financial resources together with my level colleagues and buy gifts for all of the assistants in our group. But that's said without knowing many details or habits that exist.

                                                    When I worked in an office, all year baked goods were brought in. We went out to lunch together. We attended many of the same parties (work related) so buying or making cookies for Christmas would be odd because that happens at the big company party already. If I'm reading the OP correctly, this is about gifting in a smaller more personal way.

                                                    But I also don't believe that what you spend is 100% contingent on what you earn or earn in comparison to a fellow coworker. I don't like knowing or being influenced by what folks earn (or are spending in the case of a wedding) when I'm gifting. I let my relationship and the persons tastes guide me. And if I'm really at a loss, I ask for suggestions. Like in the case of the gas card.

                                                4. Gift card is so much easier on you, but cookies are more thoughtful. It is really up to you.

                                                  10 Replies
                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                    I don't know if cookies actually are more thoughtful. For me, a gift card would be great so that I could get something I need. Especially this time of year when money is tight. Cookies are fun but they're more about the giver than the receiver.

                                                    1. re: Hobbert

                                                      True, true. I think someone above did bring up a good point. Cookies are great if you want to give them to people who work for you (you are the boss) or people who you work for (they are the bosses).

                                                      However, gift cards can only be given to people who work for you, not people you work for. It can be odd to go up tor you bosses and give them a $25 gift card.

                                                      :)

                                                      It is nice to get a gift card. :) I would love to get an Amazon giftcard. I bet it will be very useful.

                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                        That's true. I would never give my boss a gift card and, when I think about it, probably not my colleagues either. This sounds stressful! I'm kinda glad I work in an industry where there are no gifts :)

                                                        1. re: Hobbert

                                                          Me neither. :) However, I have seen a few people do it here and there. Most of us don't. If our bosses really want to show appreciation or if I want to show appreciation toward my colleagues, then we usually express this by eating out in a nice restaurant or drinking a few beer in a bar.

                                                      2. re: Hobbert

                                                        I've been giving cookies since the 1970s, back when it was a unique kind of idea. Always in a collectible kind of container. I'm glad I retired from my job a couple of years ago, guess everyone was happy I was gone with my crumby (haha) holiday gifts.

                                                        I had been noticing more and more people sharing cookies in recent years, and subsequently some people saying oh no, more cookies! Didn't use to be that way, way back when. Glad I only have to impress the postman and the in home aides now. I'm sad to know it was all about me, if everyone only knew how much work and money went into it, maybe it would have been appreciated a little more.

                                                        1. re: coll

                                                          Well, to be clear, I didn't say it was all about you, just more about the giver than the receiver. If you're giving everyone the same gift, that seems to support my statement. Personally, I don't want cookies. I won't eat more than a couple. It's fine as a token gift but if you want to show your appreciation to me, get me something I need/want. I don't doubt your cookies are lovely but even if you spent 3 hours hand applying each sprinkle I'm still not gonna eat more than 2 or 3, so it's kind of a waste.

                                                          1. re: Hobbert

                                                            No sprinkles on mine, they were sort of gourmet and intricate. But it doesn't matter, now I can take the easy way out and become modern, and buy gift cards for all! Yay, I feel so free, and I'm not being facetious , wish someone had the guts to tell me this sooner ;-)

                                                            1. re: coll

                                                              Haha you can even get them at the grocery store now. So freeing!

                                                              I will add one more thing... (And I say this as someone who works in an industry where the concept of giving gifts and/or getting bonuses doesn't exist.) If you really want to show your appreciation, write me a personal note! I still have a note from an old supervisor from 2006 or so and it's the best thing.

                                                              1. re: Hobbert

                                                                Reeally! It's the thought that counts, I think. Although that might just be me and a few others it seems.

                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                  .

                                                    2. Cashola.
                                                      Yeah, give a gift card, bring the cookies in for everyone to enjoy gratis.

                                                      1. Oh, didn't read all the way.
                                                        Coworkers- bring a nice cookie tray for everyone. Definitely no gift.

                                                        1. the last thing i'd want as a gift during the holiday season would be a perishable foodstuff.

                                                          most of the fattening perishable foods that i receive as gifts are dumped in the trash or re-gifted before i arrive home.

                                                          the one exception to this is dried fruits. one of my friends sends fantastic packages of exceptional quality dried fruits as christmas gifts every year. for these fruits, i make an exception.

                                                          1. I wouldn't stress about it . For your coworkers I would give to them what you have done for years.What kinda gift's do you receive from them ?

                                                            1. I found this thread very interesting, but I'm a bit flummoxed now. I have a relative in a nursing home, and since there are sooo many people taking care of that relative, despite my best efforts, I can't even begin to keep track of them, particularly since I know that when I visit, I'm only seeing a fraction of the people...different shifts, and all, you know?

                                                              So, I had planned to (as time and money are also limited resources, naturally) bake some (a large batch) of a popular cookie I make. Even though I don't celebrate the holiday and even though I sometimes feel things can be, umm, lacking, I thought it might be a good idea. But after reading this thread, I'm fairly confused as to what to do. Don't bake at all? Bake something non-sweet (what? and how much in that case)? Substitute...what? for baked goods...or do nothing at all...which doesn't seem to be a great option either, frankly.

                                                              As I said, time and financial resources for this are limited. While in an ideal world, I'd do gift-cards, even small ones, if you're talking even small cards, there are so many people, I don't think I could manage it... and I wouldn't want to exclude anybody either, even in error, which I'm sure I would, just again, by the virtue of the shift-work.

                                                              13 Replies
                                                              1. re: Kosherbyforce

                                                                I'm not sure if this would work for you but when I visit nursing homes I notice a community area where residents and employees gather for activities. There are always communal nibbles in there. Donated snacks that everyone enjoys together. So one visit I asked what the staff enjoys. The response was HARD CANDIES. Suckers. They keep them in their jacket pockets. A few bags of nicely wrapped hard candies (sold in markets) given in a decorated holiday basket (dollar stores sell plenty of nice containers) might be the best of both worlds for you: quantity gifting and budget.

                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                  That is such a good idea.

                                                                2. re: Kosherbyforce

                                                                  I think Hill J's hard candy suggestion is especially good for this kind of situation. They can work and talk while using their hands. Or maybe take a small frame with a note and small bites (3-4) of something individually wrapped arranged on a platter. Then offer the platter wherever appropriate with the framed card next to it. That way if now isn't convienient now they can enjoy a fresh one later. Plus the note can include details about the item. I just get overwhelmed with sweets this time of year as so many do.

                                                                  1. re: Kosherbyforce

                                                                    Depending on your budget, a great option could be a deli meat/cheese tray along with a fruit or crudités tray. You can't take all the workers out to lunch but they would definitely appreciate having a savoury snack after so many cookies.

                                                                    Plus, sometimes cookies or other homemade gifts aren't that cost effective depending on the recipe. I used to make a killer cookie but realized its ingredients were expensive. The same thing for some of the granola mixes I created too. If your budget is in the $40 - $50 for them, I would say go with a meat and cheese tray.

                                                                    1. re: cornedhash

                                                                      respectfully disagree with the meat and cheese tray
                                                                      1) who is going to monitor how long the tray has been sitting out at room temperature?
                                                                      2) meat and cheese are not, in any way, finger food until they are made into a sandwich/wrap. so now, instead of being able to do their job, the caretakers will have to be preparing plates of food in order to partake? (will you be bringing napkins? paper plates? cutlery? as well). if they make a sandwich for themselves, are they supposed to sit in front of their patients eating? what if the patients want some too?

                                                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                                                        Wow, this seems kind of...pedantic and overly specific.

                                                                        1.) Food can sit out for a good amount of time and still be safe.

                                                                        2.) I'm not sure if you're being facetious or what here. You don't have to eat meat and cheese in between bread or in a wrap. That's essentially what charcuterie is. So you mean to tell me that even if the meat and cheese are cut into cubes like in a lot of party trays they're not finger food? Again, I'm not sure if you're concern trolling or are very narrowly focused.

                                                                        To answer some of your other concerns: if this goes in the break room or work kitchen then all of the plates, cutlery and napkins are addressed.

                                                                        To answer your last question: At any hospital or nursing home, there's a big desk where the staffers sit and they tend to eat lunch and snack there anyway because they're usually running around.

                                                                    2. re: Kosherbyforce

                                                                      What about some books or board games for the community room?

                                                                      1. re: Hobbert

                                                                        That's a nice idea. The communal room has games, books, card decks, board games, poker chips and even bins of yarn with needles. But communal rooms, get a good deal of use, so new items I'm sure would be welcome.

                                                                        1. re: Hobbert

                                                                          But books or board games for the community room are not for the staff.

                                                                          I think it would be nice of you to bake your cookies and bring them to the staff at the nursing home. I work in an office and we get a lot of platters of cookies, large tins of popcorn, etc and when it's for the group, people can take what they want and move on.

                                                                          1. re: valerie

                                                                            At the nursing home I visit, the community room is used by both staff and residents. They interact together all the time; especially activities like cards and board games. In the dining room staff joins residents during meals.

                                                                            But I certainly understand that situations vary. I still like the idea Hobbert.

                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                              Thanks!

                                                                            2. re: valerie

                                                                              In the better care facilities I've been to (and I've been to a lot in 15 years of public safety), the staff interacts with the residents so the games might be helpful. If you want something solely for the staff, what about a new coffee maker or some pretty mugs or even a Keurig? The staff break rooms aren't given as much attention as resident areas so that might be helpful.

                                                                          2. re: Kosherbyforce

                                                                            For the nurses who care for my dad, I made a giant fruit basket (container from the dollar store -- perfect place to look for these things). Lots of fresh fruits that could sit out for a while, some individually wrapped candies and packs of gum, and lots of granola bars. I took it to the nurses' station, and got several hugs and many thanks.

                                                                            My thoughts were that we all want to eat healthy, a little hard candy never hurt anyone, and the staff could snack on the basket for several days, grab a piece of fruit with their lunch, or have a sweet treat when they needed one.