Gift-giving 101: What to Give to a Person You Barely Know

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Remember the feeling when someone you cared about so much smiled so wide upon opening a present you gave? Gift-giving will always be a pleasurable pursuit if you’re doing it for someone you love. But when the matter involves a person you barely know, that’s a different story.

Exchanging gifts during the holiday season has become an office culture for many organizations. Especially if you’re not a people-person, you might find it extra challenging to find the perfect gift for the co-worker you barely exchanged a hello with. Here are some things to know by heart to avoid giving something inappropriate and prevent awkward exchanges with your colleague:

Making an Effort

An office gift exchange usually comes with rules. Often, employees will have to draw names to find out who they’re buying gifts for this year. If that’s the case in your workplace, you’ll have at least a week to prepare for the big day. This gives you ample time to observe your drawn colleague. Do they always come in with a Starbucks cup in hand? Perhaps they’re a coffee connoisseur, and they’d appreciate a gift card. You can also ask around with your co-workers to learn about the person’s interests.

Getting Too Personal

If you drew a friend, it’s safe to buy clothing, home essentials, jewelry, or perfume. However, these gifts might come off as inappropriate if you give them to someone you barely know. Better stay on the safe side by giving general stuff, like office essentials or artisan gifts from your local boutiques in Phoenix, Arizona.

Gag Gifts: Are They Appropriate?

Giving your co-workers a good laugh by handing over a gag gift is not always a good idea. While that could bode well with a person you’ve known for long, your present can be culturally inappropriate for the person you’re giving it to. Make an effort to learn about the traditions and norms of the person or, better yet, avoid giving gag gifts at all.

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How Much Should You Spend on the Gift?

When buying a gift for a person you barely know, you might feel inclined to spend more than you feel comfortable spending. You might feel the natural need to impress a co-worker or anxious about how they would feel or think upon unwrapping your present. But remember that it’s not about the monetary value; it’s about the thought that will go along with your gift.

Gift Wrapping

When wrapping a gift, the rule of thumb is always to attach a tag addressed to the person. Make sure that it’s also personally handwritten. This shows your sincerity, reflects your attention to detail, and adds a personal touch to your present, no matter how insignificant you think it is.

Buying the Perfect Gift

If you find yourself stressing too much over the gift exchange, remember that you don’t have to buy the perfect gift. As long as you remain culturally aware, attach a handwritten tag, and show your sincerity, the person will certainly appreciate the effort, if not the present itself. After all, it’s the thought that counts, right?

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