Deciding what gift to give to a boss can be very difficult. You want something that says “I respect you” without saying “I’m trying to be your best friend so I won’t get passed up when bonus time comes around.” But mugs are trite and magazine subscriptions are overrated. So here are some fresh gift ideas that won’t convey the wrong message.
A bottle of wine is always a good gift. Wine prices vary so you can pick a bottle that matches the level of the relationship. If you have known your boss for years and coexist on a very friendly basis, you can choose a more pricey bottle of wine. However, if you don’t know your boss well and are only getting a gift as a formality, there is no need to buy an expensive bottle of wine. Either way, it is a gift that most certainly will be used.
An excellent place to find interesting local foods and wares is the farmers’ market. There are generally lots of jams, pies, canned fruits, mustards, and so on. A bottle of mustard or a jar of jam is not a traditional gift, so to speak, but it is a nice gesture.
If you are pressed for time and seeking something fairly inexpensive, consider making up a little basket of pasta and sauce. Buy some garlic ribbons or some black pepper fettucini, grab a specialty pasta sauce or even some garlic and herb infused olive oil, then put both in a basket or gift bag. It makes a cheap, delicious gift and can be replicated many times over using a different mix of pastas and sauces.
If you want to get your boss something that isn’t food, get him or her a funny book. Write a note saying that when work gets too stressful, they can pull out this book and have a laugh. Just make sure that the jokes are in good taste. Avoid anything raunchy or offensive.
If you are an environmentalist and your company has not yet phased out all of their plastic or styrofoam cups, you can definitely make a statement by giving your boss a SIGG or a Klean Kanteen. They are reasonably priced and help your environmental agenda.
Just a few words of advice when picking out something for a boss. Be sure to avoid anything that has a size, like clothing items. No matter how good you are at guessing someone’s size, it’s best to avoid that issue altogether as a sign of respect. Next, if you want to impress them, get them something non-work related. Everyone has a life outside of work and it’s nice to acknowledge that. And lastly, although wine is a classy gift, other alcohol paraphernalia should be avoided. For example, shot glasses do not make a good gift for a boss.
Armed with these ideas and parameters, it should be no problem to give your boss a thoughtful gift.