The holidays are coming, and that means you’ll likely be attending a year-end party at your office! As exciting as attending a holiday party is, you don’t know what kind of a gift to bring, how much to spend or what, really, to expect out of a gift exchange.
Don’t fret – our office holiday party gift guide is here to help!
- Be prepared for a ‘Secret Santa,’ or blind, gift exchange. Blind gift exchanges are popular at office parties. Generally, these exchanges are perfect for a large gathering of people who may or may not know each other very well. Having a Secret Santa exchange is a great way to take the pressure off finding that perfect gift for your office-mate or your boss.
- Make sure your gift is SFW – safe for work. Depending on the invite list, your gift could very well end up in the communal break room or your division head’s office. Stay away from anything that violates any workplace codes in your employee handbook.
- Expect games.“White Elephant” parties often feature a game in which participants can swap or take gifts from others. In some games, all guests open presents at the same time and then can draw numbers to determine an order to swap gifts. In another, each guest can choose to open one new gift or take a previously opened gift from someone else.
- Know what a “White Elephant”gift is. If your party invite says to bring a “while elephant”gift, you are not expected to actually bring a white elephant, although don’t be surprised if someone brings a white toy elephant or an elephant photo. Generally, a “white elephant” gift is something that has very little usefulness and that is hard to get rid of.
- Adhere to the spending limit attached to the gift exchange. Find out whether there is a suggested cost for party gifts. You don’t want to show up ready to give away two tickets to Tahiti and go home with a set of holiday-themed paper plates, or vice versa.
- Re-gifting unopened gifts is okay. Consider it fine to offer something at an office party that you have previously received if it is unopened, particularly if its a “White Elephant” party. Re-gifting a particularly entertaining “White Elephant” present could wind up being a fun running gag over time.
- Bring an age- and audience-appropriate gift. Shy away from something that could have a very limited audience.
- Wrapping is important. Even though it’s what’s on the inside that counts, be prepared for the best-wrapped gifts to be picked first because fancy wrapping is eye-catching. But, be warned when choosing a gift yourself, a pretty box or bag be a ploy to get a real useless gift to be picked early!
- Enjoy the gift exchange! Gift exchanges are supposed to be fun and light-hearted. Don’t get upset if you don’t love what you’re taking home, and don’t feel badly if the gift you brought wasn’t the best present of the night.