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Holiday Office Gift Giving Do's and Don'ts

The holidays should be a time of joy and celebration, but often become a time of stress and frustration for those of us who work and face the prospect of giving or receiving holiday presents. Many questions abound. Should you give all your coworkers a present? What do you do when the boss gives you a present? What is an appropriate gift for a co-worker – for the boss? Are gag gifts okay? Do you need to reciprocate when a co-worker or boss gives you a present? When and how should you present your gifts to co-workers and bosses? This article addresses all these office gift-giving questions and more. Here are some basic rules of etiquette for enjoying (and surviving) office gift giving: • Do first understand the company policy on gift-giving. The larger the company, the more likely a specific policy. • Do examine the company's corporate culture for the types of gifts that might be acceptable. A gift for a co-worker at Google may not be the same thing you get for a co-worker at IBM. Rule of thumb: the more relaxed the corporate culture, the wider latitude you have in gift choices. Do use your common sense and good judgment when making gift choices. • Don't get a gift for anyone in the office for the sake of making a statement; give gifts to show your appreciation and thanks to the people who helped you the most in the past year. And don't ever get something for the boss just to show up your co-workers. (You don't want to be seen as a suck-up or brown-noser.) • Do stay within your (and the office) budget for the gifts, and don't go overboard on the gifts, especially for the boss. • Don't assume the people in your office share your tastes. • Do spend time and effort to choose thoughtful gifts for each on your office list. And it's best to stick to people's hobbies or favorite activities when thinking of gifts. Another safe category would be a gift for the office, such as a gadget, paperweight, calendar, picture frame, pen and pencil set, etc. A last resort would be a gift card to a favorite retailer. • Don't even think of gag or other inappropriate gifts. Don't give items that are too personal, religious, racial, or sexual. Clothing (especially lingerie), perfume/cologne, handmade, regifted, and alcoholic items are also don'ts. • Do consider gifts that can be shared (with co-workers or family members), such as gourmet food items -- especially those in festive tins or boxes. Unusual plants or flowers are another possible do. • Don't feel pressure to run out and buy a gift for the boss if he or she gives you one. But do send a thank-you note acknowledging the gift and expressing your gratitude. • Don't give gifts to co-workers in front of others. Instead, do consider having a holiday lunch or high tea and exchanging gifts outside the office. If you can't get out of the office, do exchange presents discretely (and perhaps after hours).

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Do include a gift receipt so the recipient can easily exchange the item if necessary. Do consider giving donations to charities as gifts, but do remember that some people prefer gifts, and don't ever use donations to controversial charities as a gift. Don't pass up a chance to partake in a “Secret Santa” if the whole office is doing so, but do remember to stick with all the rules Do wrap your gift and do consider adding something extra to make the gift even more special, such as a gift of book with a really distinctive book mark. Don't wait until the last minute to shop for your co-workers. Whenever possible, do plan in advance for the most thoughtful presents. Do remember all these rules to have the most success (and joy) when considering office gifts, and don't use these rules as an excuse to be a Scrooge or the office Grinch.


How to stay healthy this winter

Achoo! "Pass the Kleenex please." Tis' the season to be sneezing, and coughing, and sniffling oh my! As winter blows in, so does an array of sickness causing strains of viruses. Evidence has proven that most illnesses are transmitted through contact. Particular viruses and bacteria's can be transmitted through the air, but most transmissions occur through contact. Have you sanitized your keyboard lately? Common sense goes a long way in all things, especially when it comes to preventing oneself from getting sick during winter months. Not that anyone should have to remind you, but wearing a hat, gloves, scarf, warm water proof boots, and a heavy coat during cold weather is probably one of the smartest things you can do to avoid getting sick. Now that that's out of the way, here are some more tips to help you avoid getting sick this winter. 1. Wash your hands often. Bacteria and viruses are easily transferred from person to person through casual contact. Make sure to wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with warm soapy water.

2. Take a good multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement to help your bodies own immune system be more prepared to ward off nasty invaders. 3. Eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. Eating foods high in saturated fats and sugar slow the bodies immune system making the body more susceptible to germ invaders. 4. Avoid shaking people's hands. I realize this may sound rude, but hey, you never know where that guy/gal's hands have been. 5. Carry hand sanitizer, and use it whenever soapy hot water is unavailable. 6. If you don't feel well, stay home and nurse yourself until you feel better. 7. If you suspect friends or family may be sick, hold off on your visit until they are feeling better. 8. Get plenty of rest. A run down body is far more likely to be susceptible to illness than one that is well rested. 9. Make sure to wipe down surfaces like computer key boards, cell phones, and handbag handles with a sanitizing wipe to kill harmful germs. 10. Don't neglect your exercise routine. Exercise builds the bodies natural immune system as well as enhances overall well being. A fit body, is a healthy body. Source :

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