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5 Gifts Your Co-Workers Want More Than That Junk


If you’re stuck in a holiday shopping frenzy, it’s time to reel it back like so many tiny reindeer. This time of year, mere moments before Christmas, lots of us get in the “OMG, I need to buy … something for ______.” And then you start impulse-buying glitter photo frames in the grocery store checkout line and things start to get weird. Before you go all nuts at the Pepperidge Farm kiosk in the mall, read about some things that your co-workers really want this year.


(Photo Credit: waferboard/Flickr)

Gift Idea #1: Help With a Project

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The best gift you can give a co-worker is more time home with their family at the holidays. When you have some extra time, why not reach out and see how you can help them get everything done so they can go home already! Even just offering to make copies, double-check spreadsheet data, or get them a coffee when times get tough can be a real bonus.

Gift Idea #2: Peace and Quiet

Geez, your cube farm is loud. It could be the bonus sugar in the office, the approaching “vacation-itis,” or just the general loopyness that comes with the prospect of parties and holiday jubilation. But the work still has to get done. Whether you’re loaning your fancy noise-cancelling headphones to your boss so they can bang out that quarterly report before 5 p.m., or you’re actually spending the dollars on some fancy ones to gift that designer who’s always got your back, the joys of some quiet time are without compare.

Gift Idea #3: Human Kindness

Be the change you want to see in the world. Go forth and clean that disgusting coffee pot that hasn’t seen soap since the Carter administration. Take that load of Amazon boxes down to the loading dock recycling bin. Mop up all that disgusting melted slush that everyone tracks in by the front door. Or, if you’re feeling really brave, take a shot at cleaning out that decades-old Lean Cuisine from the office freezer (and maybe that, perhaps yogurt?).

Gift Idea #4: Listening

When was the last time you actually asked “How are you doing?” and waited around to have a conversation with someone? We’re so busy this time of year, and feelings of depression and isolation can bring folks down, even when they’re surrounded by a bustling office. Try taking a few minutes to have real conversations with your co-workers. Find out what’s going on with them. Offer a non-judgmental ear to them (one that’s not attached to some elf on a shelf).

Gift Idea #5: Thank-Yous

Have you told them lately that they’re awesome? Maybe take some of your pre-holiday spare time and write out some actual thank-you notes (or, if you must, emails) to your co-workers to tell them how much you appreciate all they’ve done this year. You won’t believe how many sizes your heart can grow if you just put a few words to paper and share some kind thoughts with a friend.

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