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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Break Room

What to Get Your Boss for Christmas

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At some offices, holiday gift-giving is pretty standardized: The whole department draws names, or you have a Secret Santa exchange, or everyone decides to go in together to get the boss a lovely gift basket or some concert tickets.

And then at other companies, you’re pretty much shooting in the dark. What can you get your manager that will impress her, without going overboard and making her (or anyone else) think you’re a brown-noser? (And, if we’re really being honest, that won’t blow your entire holiday bonus check.)

No matter what type of boss you’re shopping for, we’ve got you covered with these perfect gift picks, all under $50.

For the Office Dweller

Let’s start here: You know at least one thing about your boss, and it’s that she comes to the office every day. Pop your head in her door and take a quick scan of what she might need. Does she have stuff all over the place? Try this “Cordies” organizer ($15), which will keep her phones, camera, wallet, and other desk essentials perfectly in place.

Does she love paper products? Treat her to a Kate Spade notepad set ($14) or monogrammed notecards ($25).

For the Foodie

Now on to the next most obvious holiday gift genre: food. If your boss always comes to work in the morning chattering about the meals she whipped up the night before, pick up this five-piece olive oil gift set from Williams Sonoma ($50).

Or, for something extra special, see if you can snag the recipe for her favorite scone from the bakery down the street, and gift it with a lovely baking tin ($15).

For the Design Buff

It’s pretty hard to buy art for someone else, but a great gift for design-minded folks is a graphic calendar. Choose one that suits her office or style, or check out this modern print from Etsy ($6).

For the One Who “Doesn’t Do Gifts”

So your boss has proclaimed that she doesn’t want any fancy gifts this year, but you’re not quite sure she’s telling the truth.

The best course of action in this case is to go for something small and, assuming she has a sense of humor, funny. Like corporate buzzword flashcards ($10), a decision making paperweight ($18), or the classic: a Michael Scott-style “World’s Best Boss” coffee mug ($13).

For the Do-Gooder

If your boss is the type who can (and does) buy herself anything she wants at any time, give her the gift that keeps on giving: a GlobalGiving gift card. She’ll get to pick the projects she wants to support (like helping kids stay in school or training service dogs to help war veterans heal) and see how her money has been put to work through regular updates from the field.

For the Boss Who Has Everything (But Time)

Give her what she really wants most: Another set of hands. (And don’t worry, they don’t have to be yours.) A TaskRabbit gift card will let her hire a temporary assistant for anything she needs, from wrapping presents to hanging photos to running errands.

For Anyone

If you’re at a total loss, remember that you can rarely go wrong with a bottle of bubbly. Pick up a bottle of Chandon Carneros Vintage Brut ($45) and a card reading, “Cheers to another great year!”

More Gifting Ideas