Holiday Gifts for Colleagues: When and What to Give this Year

My love-language is gifts. During the holidays, I especially love to give candles, baked goods, books, apparel – you name it – to important friends and family in my life. That is why it doesn’t feel right for me to ignore a group of people I spend, hands down, the most time with during the year. Yes, my co-workers and the leaders I support.

Or that is how I used to feel.

Overtime, my protocol for gift-giving during the holidays has become analyzing situations on a case-by-case basis. Much like Marie Kondo outlines in her book Spark Joy, I ask myself if giving a gift to certain person in my office sparks joy or not.

While this might sound selfish, hear me out. Gift giving can sometimes cause a feeling of guilt or pressure on the person receiving it. Or at least that is how I perceive it. It takes innate people skills to know when you are giving a gift to someone who might not enjoy it as much as you. Often times, I find these people are my leaders and hence, while many people don’t recommend “gifting up”. And I admit, we could all be totally wrong on this, but that is not what matters. It is how we feel about it that matters, because, at the end of the day, gift-giving should make you happy. If it does not, perhaps it is not your love-language in the given situation or relationship.

On the other hand, I have had leaders that are extremely warm and welcoming to gifts. A thoughtful book or set of nice stationary has wrapped up our year in a sweet, cheerful way.


If you are thinking of gift-giving to a few people in your office, here are a few example of successful gifts. I wish I could claim them as my own ideas, but sadly I am not that creative. Many of these ideas came from discussions on Cabinet and other forums for EA’s.

Whether you’re “gifting up”, “gifting down” or “gifting all around”, this list is full of thoughtful and suitable ideas for almost everyone.

Happy holidays from your friends at Cabinet!

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