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Christmas presents at work dilemma

(17 Posts)
StickyFloor Sat 05-Nov-16 12:54:50

I have created a problem for myself at work:

Last year I was fairly new to the company and bought small gifts for my team of 3. They were each mortified as they weren't expecting anything and didn't have anything for me and I ended up feeling terrible for them!

So this year I feel they will probably all buy me something because they will expect me to buy something, so I have started a present thing that maybe they don't want.

I really do want to get them each another small something but want to tell them in advance that this is just a one-way thing, don't feel you have to reciprocate, but I think that sounds ridiculous.

Even worse, I now manage another team of 2 - I can't treat one team differently to the other so I guess I need to get them something as well, knowing full well that they will all be mortified.

So I am about to annoy all 5 of my staff, and force 3 to buy me something that they can ill-afford.

Is there any way out of this? I want to get them all something but don't want them to feel bad about it.

duskonthelawn Sat 05-Nov-16 12:55:29

Suggest a secret santa?

StillRunningWithScissors Sat 05-Nov-16 13:26:37

Agree with Dusk.

KP86 Sat 05-Nov-16 13:31:36

Take them out to lunch instead.

Chottie Sat 05-Nov-16 13:46:49

Buy an whole office present i.e. fruit basket or coffee run with pastries on a miserable, dreary Friday morning in December.

StickyFloor Sat 05-Nov-16 15:20:02

Thanks for the ideas. I Can't do Secret Santa or lunch as the teams HATE each other!

Love the idea of taking in foodie treats. Just worried I will sound like an arse saying I am doing this instead of presents - I have to spell it out though or it won't solve the problem.

AmeliaJack Sat 05-Nov-16 15:23:28

I'm not sure they will feel the need to get you anything. My boss always gets everyone in the team a bottle of wine or nice box of chocolates with a note attached thanking for their work during the year. None of us reciprocate, it's very clear it's a thank you.

StickyFloor Sat 05-Nov-16 15:47:07

I hope you're right AmeliaJack - your boss has done a much better job of this than I did. That's what I wanted it to be, a thank you / Christmas gift / token of appreciation, but I didn't communicate it well I guess.

Chottie Sun 06-Nov-16 05:51:56

I think you are overthinking this OP.

A group present is just that, a group present. I buy a group present for my teams and thank them for the year's work and wish everyone a happy Christmas. I don't expect a return present.

donajimena Sun 06-Nov-16 05:57:01

Ride this year out, see what happens. If they buy you gifts you can thank them effusively.
Then next year you can state how delighted you were but not to get you anything as your gift is a thank you and a token of appreciation.
I've been given many Christmas gifts in my working life and have seen them as a thank you and not bought my boss anything in return.

NightWanderer Sun 06-Nov-16 06:44:53

Take in a box of Christmas chocs/biscuits/sweets for the office to share. Do it mid-December. Don't give individual presents.

I think you're totally overthinking this.

BWatchWatcher Sun 06-Nov-16 06:48:05

Yes, holiday food treats (sweet and some healthy) in mid December. Problem solved smile

Joinourclub Sun 06-Nov-16 06:56:01

I think it is fairly normal for a boss to buy small gifts for their team with out receiving any in return. Just make it clear in the cards that it is a 'thank you for all the hard work this year' present.

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Sun 06-Nov-16 07:15:35

I think if you're the boss it's sort of accepted that you don't need to reciprocate? My boss always bought us all a bottle of wine, and it didn't occur to me to buy her something, I would have felt a bit weird doing that.

I think it's lovely that you're doing it.

WatchingFromTheWings Sun 06-Nov-16 07:31:11

I agree with pp, a little buffet of a couple of tins of chocs, biscuits, mince pies. Add a string of tinsel and some table confetti. Job done!

StickyFloor Sun 06-Nov-16 08:38:00

Funnily enough I have received gifts from bosses in the past and not reciprocated or felt bad in any way. So, I wasn't expecting them to react so horrified last year.

Hopefully you're right and they are more chilled about this than I am!

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 18-Nov-16 18:05:26

I have always worked at places where the boss buys a thank you type gift (bottle of fizz) at Christmas without the expectations thst they are supposed to buy in return

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