Organizing the office’s holiday gift exchange wasn’t exactly on your to-do list for the week, but since the boss decided the task fell within your job description you have to come up with a game plan. If you’ve never organized a gift exchange before, rest assured, it’s not difficult. You just have to make some decisions and set guidelines for participants. Use these four tips to get started:
Make the Gift Exchange Optional
As you plan a gift exchange, remember that not everyone celebrates winter holidays. Likewise, some people can’t afford to spend extra money on a gift that they wouldn’t normally buy; others just don’t want to participate in an exchange, period. US News suggests participants will enjoy the activity much more if it is their idea to join the exchange and not a requirement from the powers that be. Once you announce the activity, ask interested people to sign up by calling or sending you an email.
Set a Reasonable Price Limit
It’s important to set reasonable dollar amounts to be spent on the gift. An amount in the range of $30 to $50 is reasonable, and can purchase nice gifts such as Christmas gift baskets from FTD, a pair of stylish gloves, or a journal and pen set. Once you set a limit, remind participants they should do their best to choose a gift that is close to the price limit; it should be clear it’s not acceptable to buy a $15 gift when the limit is $50. Gifts should be tangible; no gift cards or coupons allowed, advises The Organized Executive blog.
Have a Cookie Exchange
Multitasking may be out when it comes to workplace productivity but if your office is full of foodies and bakers, Woman’s Day suggests holding a good old-fashioned cookie exchange. Each person should bring at least two cookies, bars or candies for each participant in the exchange, plus a dozen or two for eating during the party, advises Real Simple. Then set out each tray on a table and let people fill their containers with a variety of goodies to take home to their families. Be sure to have coffee, tea and hot chocolate available to wash down the sweets.