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Gift card or home made cookies/candy for coworker gifts

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.