What to get for my bosses at work that already have everything...
October 10, 2016 3:30 PM   Subscribe

Christmas is coming up and I work for a family business. I need to get all the owners a gift. There are 10 individuals total (five couples). I am at a loss what to get them, I can not afford to spend a lot. I would consider spending up to $100 for all of them.

I have been there two Christmas's, one year I got them all a mason jar gift of cookie mix I handmade and the other Christmas I got the men a manly hair & body wash and the women a handmade sugar scrub in a pretty jar.

This time of year they always get plenty of candy and the like from companies that send it to the office. I would make a dish and take it but some of the individuals don't ever come in the office so that would not be a option.

Does anyone have any ideas on what I could give/make? One gift per couple is an option or individual gifts would be ok.
posted by just asking to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Not to question the premise, but are you sure you need to get them a gift? It's generally inappropriate to gift "upwards" in the office - gifts can flow down from management to the people below it, but your bosses should not be accepting gifts from you. Some baked goods would be fine (make a single batch of brownies, give each person a couple) and/or some nicely written cards would be very appropriate, but even $10/person seems super steep to me.
posted by brainmouse at 3:34 PM on October 10, 2016 [38 favorites]

Could you get a really nice basket of snacks for the office and tell folks it's for everyone so dig in? Or order pizza for everyone? $100 is a lot of pizza.

Or, $10 Starbucks gift card, heartfelt message in a holiday card, done.
posted by blnkfrnk at 3:58 PM on October 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

I would be looking at inexpensive-to-make edible treats. Like, sugar cookies or blondies or homemade spicy popcorn, in tins from the dollar store. They shouldn't be accepting gifts of significant value. It's fine to show appreciation but it's not appropriate to be spending much of the money you earn by working for them.
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:09 PM on October 10, 2016 [6 favorites]

My go-to gift when I need to make gifts for lots of people (I do this for the nurses in my hospital and clinic) are homemade marshmallows.
If you needed to bump the value, maybe get some nice mugs or fancy hot chocolate mix.
posted by honeybee413 at 4:16 PM on October 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Homemade jam is nice for office gifts.
posted by bq at 4:35 PM on October 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Fleur de sel caramels-impressive and easy. Great recipe on Epicurious.
posted by purenitrous at 4:43 PM on October 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

They're your bosses? Honestly, this seems like exactly the sort of thing that greeting cards are meant for; inexpensive well-wishing for the holiday season. I find the idea that you'd feel obligated to give an actual gift rather strange; presumably they "have everything" because they make enough to afford it.

If you do actually want to give something, I'd nth some inexpensive homemade edible, like cookies or candies or something.
posted by Aleyn at 5:05 PM on October 10, 2016 [7 favorites]

Have you considered a donation in each of their names to a charity (Heifer International is my go-to for this, although it is vaguely Christian and I am not.)
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:26 PM on October 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

Gifts flow downward in a business. If you want to make a gesture of appreciation, write a nice letter/ card and bake or buy some delicious cookies for all to share.

You don't want the impression of "buying" the favor of your superiors. Or putting them in the awkward position of one day having to decide if they should discipline you just after you have given them some super thoughtful gift (should the discipline be truly warranted).
posted by JennyJupiter at 6:41 PM on October 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

I fully agree with the posters who note that the protocol is for gifts to flow down, not up.

That being said, if I know the recipient celebrated Christmas, inexpensive holiday ornaments are a go to for me. You can often find nice ones at craft fairs, or make your own.
posted by anastasiav at 7:10 PM on October 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Just as you shouldn't have to spend lots of money on work gifts, don't feel obligated to spend lots of time baking something, either.

I would find some candy at the grocery store that seems fancy-ish but isn't that expensive, parcel it out into cellophane bags, and tie with ribbon.
posted by delight at 7:17 PM on October 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Although most are saying gifts flow down, people where I work do give small gifts to their bosses. Maybe because we see them daily and interact a lot, or because it is a non-profit and we don't really get little perks.

Anyway they do tend to get candy, cookies or alcohol. I have started to move from that to other consumables like a bottle of flavored olive oil or vinegar, fancy tea or coffee, locally made barbecue sauce or hot sauce. Even if they don't cook a lot, these are things that are still useful to have on hand. Or they can always regift it! These types of things can be found at Christmas Craft Shows, Farmers' Markets or specialty shops.
posted by maxg94 at 6:27 AM on October 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

My husband just made delicious apple pie vodka, and I think he's planning on doing them as holiday gifts this year. It would be cute in mason jars with gift tags and maybe gingham fabric squares in the lids. I'm not sure exactly what recipe he used but I know he used vanilla bean sugar, cinnamon sticks, vodka, apple juice, and apple cider. I think it sat for a few weeks in the fridge before he strained it.

Another option would be cute mugs and nice-looking tea or specialty coffee. You could do a pair of mugs and one tea/coffee package for each.

Also agree that flavored olive oil makes a great gift also. You don't have to even cook a lot -- someone gave me some basil olive oil and I used it a lot in salads and for dipping.
posted by radioamy at 10:12 AM on October 11, 2016

Oh, I just came across this recipe I saved for Magic Mushroom Powder. I am pretty sure I found it on AskMe.
posted by radioamy at 10:15 AM on October 11, 2016

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