Salute to Spouses Blog

We're excited to be blogging about the latest topics in military life. We want to keep you informed on topics such as current events, education, career advice, etc. Feel free to post comments or questions to any of our entries.
Tips for shopping for co-workers

Last year Americans reported spending an average of $983 for holiday gifts, an increase of $54 from the previous year, according to American Research Group, Inc.

The recipient receiving the smallest percentage of that amount, other surveys suggest, is the gift givers’ co-workers or employer. Last year the Deseret News reported that 73 percent of respondents in a recent survey said they spent less than $20 on a gift for a co-worker or boss.

Compare that to 30.1 percent surveyed who planned to spend up to $100 on a loved one.

Not all gifts are created equal. Neither are all companies. If you plan on gift giving at your workplace this season follow these unwritten rules of office holiday giving, culled from industry experts.

First, if you are the boss, remember, gift giving should be voluntary. Families are often stretched thin at the holidays and purchasing a sleigh full of gifts for the office may leave their own stockings bare.

Second, be personal, not creepy. Does your cubicle mate like a specific sports team? Great, buy a cap or a mug. Gifts that are too personal may cause discomfort or carry a serious “ewwww” factor.

Third, ditch the gag gift. Sure, you thought the candy pooping reindeer was hilarious. So did your 3-year-old. The office may not react the same way. No gift is better than being reprimanded or even fired for a poor choice.

Fourth, if you are new to the company, do some reconnaissance on gift giving norms in the office. Is there a “dirty Santa” gift giving game? Are names drawn out of a hat? Are gifts given at all? Find out the rules and follow them.

Fifth, are you genuinely friends with a co-worker, outside the office? Give their gift to them away from the office crowd on your personal time.

Finally, let the gift card save you. Too often we spent too much time trying to pick out the perfect gift for people we barely know. A $10 gift card to a local coffee shop or a sandwich place near the office is a handy pick me up most people will happily accept and enjoy. And, it makes your shopping, easy, inexpensive and finished quickly.

For Military Spouses
Apply for the Salute to Spouses scholarship today and begin your education! You’ll be on the way to your dream career.

Salute to Spouses Scholarship Recipients