Do I give my manager a gift at Christmas?


The Holiday Season is often a time when many reflect on their employee-manger relationship. It is very thoughtful to want to express your gratitude to your supervisor for being a great boss or mentor.


No one wants to look like a brown noser to their fellow workers or appear too ‘obvious’ to their boss. Below are tips you might want to know to help you through another office gift-giving dilemma.


1. Etiquette makes you look good and everyone else feel good. Giving your supervisor a thoughtful gift, says a lot about you and your boss.


2. Be aware that generally, employees are not expected to give gifts to their managers.


3. Keep it simple, small and inexpensive.


4. Some suggestions are picture frames, mugs, a box of your supervisor’s favorite candy, something for their family, or an inexpensive book about something that is of interest to your boss.


5. If you want to give your boss “a small token”, do it discreetly.


6. An individual employee should never give a supervisor an expensive gift.


7. If an individual employee gives the supervisor an expensive gift the supervisor should decline and graciously not accept the gift.


8. A larger gift can be given by a group of employees or the team.


9.The following suggestions are good for group gifts but are considered ‘too much’ from an individual employee:

  • A gift card to a favourite restaurant for the manager to enjoy with a spouse or friend

  • Tickets to a sporting or cultural event

  • A pricey gift that relates to the supervisors’ hobby

10. A handwritten note is the most personal. You may want to include some things that happened during the year that made a positive impact on you and thank your supervisor for being great to work with. Because that is what it is all about 😊

Happy gift giving! 🎁


Jeannie Vaage, Etiquette Consultant, VIP Protocol
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