There are those people on your holiday shopping list who are really difficult to shop for—and then there’s the one who’s likely the most difficult: your boss.
In most cases, you spend more time with your manager than you do with your spouse, family members, or friends. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean you know tons about him or her outside of the office. So, picking out something that’s both thoughtful and personal can definitely be a bit of a challenge.
Well, you’re in luck! I’ve pulled together 15 holiday gifts that are sure to impress your boss—no matter how tricky he or she is to shop for. Oh, and bonus, they’re all affordable.
1. Final Answer Decision Maker, $8
Your boss’ day is undoubtedly filled with tons of decisions. Help take some of the pressure off with this handy and creative desktop decision maker.
2. Personalized Business Card Case, $10
It’s the perfect personal gift, without being too personal. And, it’s professional, without coming across as too stiff or formal. Basically, it checks all of the boxes on the “Perfect Office Gift” checklist.
3. Leather Journal, $24
Who couldn’t use another journal to jot down all sorts of bright ideas? For bonus points, write a nice message on the first page. That’s sure to put you at the top of your boss’ “Employees Who Deserve a Promotion” list—which he’s sure to write directly in this handy journal.
4. World’s Best Boss Mug, $15
If your boss is a fan of both coffee and The Office, this mug is a total no-brainer. Plus, unlike Michael Scott, your manager doesn’t need to buy it for himself.
5. Carry-On Cocktail Kit, $24
Anyone who spends a good chunk of time traveling is sure to appreciate this kit that includes everything needed (minus the alcohol) to create two delicious cocktails at 30,000 feet. It’ll help to ease some of that travel anxiety.
6. The New Yorker Desk Calendar, $29
Page-a-day calendars are always a suitable (and safe) office gift. And, this one featuring cartoons from The New Yorker is not only functional—it’s also entertaining!
7. Custom Map Coasters, $28
Everybody could use a good set of coasters. But, the fact that these are completely customizable? Well, that makes them even better! Pick your city—or even your supervisors’ favorite place to vacation—and you’ll have a unique set that your boss is sure to love!
8. Hot Cocoa Gift Set, $25
There’s nothing better than a steaming mug of hot cocoa during the holidays. Filled with 12 packets, this Godiva set is both festive and delicious. Outdo yourself by throwing in a mug!
9. Bubble Calendar, $26
It doesn’t matter how old you are—everyone still loves popping bubble wrap. There’s something that’s entertaining and even therapeutic about it. With this innovative calendar, your boss can pop his or her way through an entire year. Just prepare to hear a snapping sound coming from your manager’s office every day!
10. Monogrammed Notepad Set, $26
Here’s another one of those perfect gifts that shows you put some thought in—without being way too personal. These monogrammed notepads are equal parts thoughtful and functional!
11. Portable Charger, $30
If you’re searching for a totally practical gift, this handy portable phone charger is sure to fit the bill. Plus, your boss will think of you as that employee who saves the day every time his or her phone is about to die. It’s a win-win, really.
12. Coffee Sampler, $15
Your boss can’t get through the day without his or her morning cup of coffee. So, this sampler set is nothing short of appropriate. Packed with six different flavors of coffee, this gift will help your manager kiss that morning grogginess goodbye!
13. Wine Charms, $10
Perhaps you know that your boss doesn’t look forward to a morning cup of coffee nearly as much as he or she looks forward to an evening glass of wine. Or, maybe your manager loves to entertain. Either way, these festive wine charms will definitely be appreciated!
Connect your manager with all of the world’s greatest thinkers with this book containing over 1,000 quotes from the likes of Confucius and Maya Angelou.
15. Salsa Grow Kit, $12
Just because the gift is for your boss doesn’t mean you can’t get a little creative. If your supervisor is someone who likes to experiment in the kitchen, this fun salsa kit will be right up his or her alley. And, if you’re lucky, maybe some will wind up in your office break room!
There’s no doubt that selecting the perfect holiday gift for your boss can feel like an overwhelming undertaking. But, it’s really nothing to stress over! Pick one of the ideas off this list, and you’re sure to have a gift that demonstrates what an impressive and thoughtful employee you truly are.
Photo of gift box courtesy of Shutterstock.
Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, self-development, and the freelance life. In addition to writing for The Muse, she's also the Career Editor for The Everygirl, a columnist for Inc., and a contributor all over the web. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her rescued terrier mutt or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Say hi on Twitter @kat_boogaard or check out her website.More from this Author