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Updated Dec 10, 2012 - 7:16 am

How to find the right gift for the boss

To gift or not to gift to the boss is a tricky question around the holiday.

First, giving your boss a gift is a personal choice and you should never feel obligated to spend your money on him or her. Not buying a gift should not affect your career.

However, if you have decided to spend a little extra on the person who signs your pay check, there are some things to keep in mind.

“There are ways of giving your boss a gift where it doesn’t seem like you are trying to win favor and there are things I do suggest,” said international etiquette expert and author of Poised for Success, Jacqueline Whitmore.

Her first bit of advice is to always opt to participate in an office pool to get your boss something a little nicer.

If you work in a small office and you have a good working relationship, attempt to purchase something his/her entire family can enjoy.

“Let’s face it, bosses usually have everything, they don’t need another coffee mug or pen or picture frame for their desk,” said Whitmore. “If they don’t have children, maybe they have a dog or cat. That goes over very well.”

Reality is, for many of us, money is tight. What then?

“You can make something, maybe an ornament. If you bake, try some brownies,” said Whitmore, adding that a holiday card with a nice note inside is also a good option.

No matter the price tag, put some thought into whatever you give.

“Just tailor it to the person. The gift that is thoughtful and personalized will go a long way,” said Whitmore.

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