Bosses are notoriously difficult to give gifts to, mainly because you simply do not want to give too much or too little. You also might feel uncomfortable about the possibility of overstepping your boundaries, such as in giving a gift you thought was humorous but could actually be considered rude.
Now, this does not mean that you should just avoid giving your boss anything. Some bosses really do deserve a gift, especially for the holidays. Here are a few ideas to try.
1. Luggage Tag
Small but essential, luggage tags make sure that no standard-looking bag ever gets lost in the conveyor belt again. Have the tag engraved with your boss’ name for good measure.
Perfect for: A boss who travels frequently and prefers nondescript luggage that looks like everyone else’s bag.
Take it up a notch by: Choosing a customized leather luggage tag that comes in a tasteful color that is easy to spot from a distance. Your boss will thank you for it. For recommendations, click here.
2. Travel Essentials Kit
Travel essentials usually comprise skin and hair care products packed in small containers. A kit comes in handy during short trips or during those times when your boss is between hotels but needs to freshen up.
Perfect for: The boss who likes to pack light but still wants access to skin and body care products that do not smell like those provided by hotels.
Take it up a notch by: Getting the whole kit in a personalized bag.
If your boss loves fresh smoothies, they will love a blender that whips up a healthy snack or meal in just minutes.
Perfect for: A boss who loves healthy food options or is looking for a way to eat healthier.
Take it up a notch by: Choosing a portable/cordless blender that is compact enough to prepare single- or double-serve smoothies. Look for one in your boss’ favorite color.
4. Personalized Notepads
Notepads may be a fairly familiar sight but they are always welcome especially customized ones. A set of notepads carefully chosen for its color, style, and design is a thoughtful, practical gift. Have it personalized with the boss’ name and title.
Perfect for: A boss who likes to scribble notes, write reminders, and doodle during meetings.
Take it up a notch by: Giving him/her a waterproof notepad. Waterproof notepads are just that – waterproof, so even if your boss spills coffee or juice on it, the paper (along with what is written on it) will remain intact.
A hardworking boss deserves a break and some stress relief courtesy of a handheld massager. Look for massagers that come with options in terms of intensity and vibration patterns. For recommended products, click here.
Perfect for: A boss who puts in more hours at work hunched over the desk just to get things done.
Take it up a notch by: Giving a cordless neck/back massager that comes with a heating function. It is portable, compact, and lightweight enough to be packed in a bag or suitcase.
There are mugs and then there are travel mugs. Travel mugs are designed to be compact but big enough to give your boss a satisfying drink. These mugs are also insulated and can keep coffee, tea, or chocolate hot for up to 12 hours. With cold drinks, travel mugs can keep the liquid refreshingly cool for as long as 24 hours.
Perfect for: A boss who loves a hot or cold drink on the go.
Take it up a notch by: Getting him/her a pastel-colored mug with a customized design.
If your boss loves to entertain, why not get him/her a bamboo cheeseboard that will hold that delectable charcuterie that is all the rage in his/her circle? Bamboo is a great material of choice because they last longer and are incredibly durable. They do not break easily and are easy to clean.
Perfect for: The boss who appreciates practical gifts that are nearly maintenance-free, thanks the hardness and density of bamboo.
Take it up a notch by: Customizing it, of course. Get a handmade board and have it engraved with your boss’ name.
8. Scented Candles
Scented candles make welcome all-occasion gifts, and they are a no-fail choice for the holidays. Look for scented candles that are made from nose-friendly ingredients such as soy wax and beeswax. Paraffin candles are more common and affordable, but they do produce plenty of soot.
Perfect for: The boss who swears by the power of scent to promote well-being and relaxation.
Take it up a notch by: Getting one of those exclusive scents that make a home smell like Christmas morning.
9. Tea Infuser and Cup
For most people, a tea bag is a far quicker way to brew tea. If your boss is not most people, however, he/she might prefer loose leaf tea brewed in water for several minutes to bring out its flavor and aroma. A tea infuser and cup will make the perfect holiday gift.
Perfect for: The boss who loves his tea.
Take it up a notch by: Including a bag of his/her favorite loose-leaf tea with the gift. Choose a ceramic mug that is the right size and is dishwasher- and/or microwave-safe.
10. Something Sweet
What would the holidays be without some sugar? Holiday-themed cookies, bars, and cakes are always appreciated. There are even healthier options such as naturally sweet, dried fruits or nuts dipped in dark chocolate.
Perfect for: The boss with the sweet tooth.
Take it up a notch by: Choosing one of those artisanal chocolates or locally made jams. Many chocolatiers and candy makers offer unique products that are not found elsewhere, and their flavors are just as unique.
11. A Christmas Tree Ornament
How else to celebrate the holidays than with decor that evokes the joy and sparkle of the season? If you are crafty, you could hand-make a special ornament yourself. If not, head on to a shop that offers handmade or one-of-a-kind ornaments.
Perfect for: The boss who insists on sparkles and shimmers on the Christmas tree.
Take it up a notch by: Splurging a bit on a Swarovski crystal ornament. It will set you back by about $50 or so but it’s the season for giving and what better way to celebrate than to give a thing of beauty that will last for many seasons?