Comments on: what to buy your employees for the holidays https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html Sun, 22 Nov 2020 06:30:59 +0000 hourly 1 By: EchoGirl https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3194131 Sun, 22 Nov 2020 06:30:59 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3194131 In reply to Anono-me.

I loved mine in college because instead of having to walk to class/ride the bus while carrying it in my hand to keep it upright, I could just throw it in my backpack for the trip and it would be hot and un-spilled when I got there. So much easier than the juggling I was doing with a regular travel mug.

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By: ..Kat.. https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3193259 Sat, 21 Nov 2020 01:16:01 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3193259 In reply to CoffeeCoffeeCoffee.

This sounds thoughtful, but I cannot eat any of these.

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By: ..Kat.. https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3193255 Sat, 21 Nov 2020 01:08:05 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3193255 In reply to Anonys.

I am a bedside nurse in a hospital. We are not supposed to wear fleece on the job. Fleece does not clean well with respect to infectious diseases. Even after being laundered, fleece can transmit an infectious disease from a previous patient to a current patient.

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By: I could never get the hang of Thursdays https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3193231 Sat, 21 Nov 2020 00:06:17 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3193231 In reply to SarahKay.

+1 not their business!

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By: I could never get the hang of Thursdays https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3193223 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 23:57:10 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3193223 My work has done a couple of gifts this year for various reasons, but mostly they boil down to morale. Some have been better than others.
-They got Alex & Ani bracelets with our birthstones for the women, and the one man a Swell water bottle. I have never ever seen one of these bracelets worn. Birthstones? Am I twelve?? (Also, we’re not supposed to wear dangly jewelry in our dress code.) And if you’re doing gendered gifts you’re probably on the wrong track.
-Next was Yedi tumblers, nicely engraved with our logo, to use since we are no longer using communal dishes in the office kitchens. A big hit!
-Socks, given as a recognition of a “medical professional week”, were liked by the staff that qualified to receive them. However the seed packets given in September for administrative professionals day (rescheduled from April) didn’t land so well since the growing season was over.
– they cancelled our Christmas party due to covid concerns (thank goodness!) And decided to buy Patagonia jackets instead. On the surface, a nice gift, but several employees have raised concerns MULTIPLE times about buying clothing from a company that does not have inclusive sizing options. But instead of learning the first two or three (or four times) that it doesn’t work and staff are feeling left out and discriminated against, they just keep going back to the same company instead of going to LLBean, with the same (nice!) products in a whole range of size options.
All of this to say, gift giving can be challenging, and a little extra thought into who the gift is for and how they will be using it can go a long way.

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By: Vanellope https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3193219 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 23:51:15 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3193219 In reply to Data Nerd.

I’ve seen replacement tops at Dicks Sporting Goods as well.

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By: Paperdill https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3193019 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 20:34:39 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3193019 For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere dying at the thought of cozy blankets and fleeces, what would an analogous options be? Pairs of Havaianas? Blow-up pool toys?

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By: Paperdill https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3193016 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 20:31:35 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3193016 In reply to Frageelie.

Yeah, these gifts are all very corporate-y and “company is paying for it” sounding.
I’m a nurse supervising a small team, half of whom are Muslim. Christmas presents in the past for us have been Kmart water bottles, Kmart pens, Kmart tea infusers and little packages of sweets with a card.

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By: Paperdill https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3193000 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 20:24:53 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3193000 In reply to BubbleTea.

I don’t think this is a good year for making edible gifts. I work for a government department and we have actually been specifically told not to be sharing homemade food among our colleagues.

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By: MCMonkeyBean https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3192516 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 17:02:37 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3192516 In reply to Seeking Second Childhood.

Yes, our company does a lot of fundraising for United Way every November/December and the two biggest things were a basket raffle, and jeans days. Usually it was like a $20 donation would get you 30 days of jeans days but then they would throw in a bunch of extra jeans days over the next few months and we often all ended up wearing jeans from December through February which was great because January-February is the busiest time of year for our team and also those being the coldest months and jeans are easier to dress warmly.

A year or two ago they switched the dress code to letting us wear jeans all the time (this came shortly before a big outsourcing was announced and I think it was a way to try to keep people on after the outsourcing) so then they changed the fundraiser to letting you wear sneakers instead and it was certainly a less popular option.

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By: MCMonkeyBean https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3192478 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 16:52:44 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3192478 In reply to Quill.

I saw a facebook add recently for semi-prank greeting cards that do that thing where they start singing when you open it, but then they don’t stop and if you try to rip it open to make the sound stop then they spill glitter. They looked pretty funny tbh but obviously only for someone with the right sense of humor. Or someone you hate.

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By: MCMonkeyBean https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3192347 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 16:23:37 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3192347 In reply to Amber Rose.

That sounds really nice! Some practical, some treats, and some of the items are easily re-giftable if the employee doesn’t think they will personally use it. Good choices :)

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By: MCMonkeyBean https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3192312 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 16:17:52 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3192312 In reply to Lynn.

I agree this is a good year for that–it’s like the blanket option for places where the gift budget is very small, or a nice thing to include in a small gift basket type situation. They’re like blankets for your feet!

As a kid I thought socks were some of the most boring gifts you could get, but as an adult I find they are often among the gifts I get most excited about haha

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By: Sally Cat https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3192215 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 15:32:14 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3192215 In reply to Runaway Shinobi.

Same. I also got a dog treat calendar for my dogs!

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By: Sally Cat https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3192205 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 15:24:59 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3192205 I used to give my employees gift cards for restaurants I know they like. They liked those, but I switched to cash a couple of years ago and they REALLY like the cash.

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By: Runaway Shinobi https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191964 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 12:58:15 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191964 In reply to londonedit.

Yep! I’ve just ordered two chocolate calendars and we have a 12 days of Christmas gin calendar, and I’m as atheist as they come!

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By: The Other Dawn https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191921 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 11:49:56 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191921 In reply to Frageelie.

I don’t think it’s necessary, but you also need to look at the company culture. Do other managers give their team members gifts? If they do and you decide not to, eventually that might be a morale hit to your team. It doesn’t have to be something you go and buy. If you have the power to do so, give them some free time off outside of their regular PTO. That’s what I do every year for my team now that it’s gotten much bigger. I give them a full day off to be used whenever they want (by the end of the year) and they seem to love it.

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By: Mocha Latte https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191915 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 11:38:32 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191915 In reply to Seeking Second Childhood.

Normally that’s a good idea, but our offices and employees are spread throughout the state. We’re not in one location. It would probably be a pain to arrange that.

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By: Mongrel https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191894 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 10:47:24 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191894 In reply to WellRed.

I find it’s not so much that a bookmark is useless but;
1) I have enough things I use as bookmarks anyway. After a good clean-out years ago I have stacks of unused cards from Collectible Card Games which I have left in appropriate places. I’ve found most people who read a lot have something set up
2) I’ve always found metal bookmarks to be unwieldy compared to the above (or a post-it note at a pinch) and on cheaper or older paperbacks can stress the spine.

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By: londonedit https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191871 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 09:20:00 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191871 In reply to Deanna Troi.

I know this was meant to be a reply to the discussion about advent calendars above – I really think there’s a huge difference between how these things are viewed in countries like Germany and the UK, and how they’re viewed in the US. It comes up every year and it really is a huge cultural divide – in the UK, chocolate advent calendars are a normal way of counting down to Christmas and for a lot of people they genuinely don’t have a religious significance. Many people here would describe themselves as ‘culturally Church of England’ which means they’ve grown up with broadly C of E traditions but aren’t actually at all religious themselves, and Christmas carols and advent calendars and Christmas celebrations themselves are all part of that. Christmas is genuinely so much broader here than a purely religious celebration. I know plenty of people with Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi heritage, for example, who are British and who celebrate Christmas as well as Diwali or Eid. I think it’s something that’s very difficult for people in the USA to understand, as the culture around it all does seem to be so totally different there.

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By: Lumio https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191850 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 07:16:31 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191850 I’m not appreciative of gifts from my manager’s paycheck. I don’t need mugs, Amazon gift cards, Netflix gift cards, food or anything else of that order, it’s just a hassle for me to deal with. I have more than enough of everything and don’t do Amazon or Netflix. What I want are bonuses and raises in my pay check coming from the company not from my manager’s paycheck.

Otherwise give me a day or half off that doesn’t come out of my contingent.

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By: willow for now https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191847 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 07:02:03 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191847 In reply to Researchalatorlady.

Fahrney’s is also awesome

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By: Anono-me https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191842 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 06:35:44 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191842 In reply to KoiFeeder.

Some places that ship bulk orders of crickets to people with reptiles don’t use an inner carton.

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By: Anono-me https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191787 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 04:49:49 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191787 In reply to Free Meerkats.

Another Contigo fan here.

I love that they are only open when you are pushing the big button. Great for situations where a spill would be bad: by electronics, falling asleep with a book and a tea, people who have hand issues.

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By: Polyhymnia O'Keefe https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191786 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 04:27:46 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191786 In reply to Dame Judi Brunch.

I have one! One of the first things I invested in for my home office when I started working remotely. I love it.

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By: NW Cat Lady https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191784 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 04:19:23 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191784 In reply to Anonys.

Also, I get hot easily, so I *hate* pullover fleeces. I love zip-up hoodies, because they’re easy to put on and take off.

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By: Anonymanageress https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191780 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 03:46:36 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191780 In reply to Ugh.

We do this, too, but it usually comes from above me. (I implement myself from time to time, but around the holidays, it’s pretty much an entire agency thing.)

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By: ThePear8 https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191777 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 02:58:48 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191777 In reply to Manager.

Ooh, I second cameo! I gifted one of my best friends a cameo from her favorite voice actress and she cried (with happiness!) A lot of big name folks on there are really expensive but most of them are actually surprisingly affordable and it’s definitely a memorable gift.

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By: ThePear8 https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191776 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 02:54:42 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191776 It wasn’t for the holidays, but earlier this year a nice gift my company gave everyone as a “we’re thinking of you” while working remotely, were snack boxes. Everyone received a box from SnackNation, which are all healthy snacks and were quite yummy! I think being healthy snacks-focused was a little more considerate of any dietary restrictions too, and it was quite a big box with lots of variety, so there were lots of snacks I liked and any that I didn’t could be easily given away/regifted. It was interestingly a bit of a team bonding experience too since everyone got the same snack box and was talking about it on the slack (“Can’t wait for my snack box to come” “Have you tried the Belgian cookies yet? They’re so good!” “Those organic slim jims were amazing”) Another time they gave us all Grubhub gift cards, which was nice since people can order whatever they want with it.

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By: Seeking Second Childhood https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191775 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 02:34:01 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191775 In reply to Lunch Eating Mid Manager.

Thank you. Fragrances are a migraine trigger for me.
(Confirmed by 2020 WFH. The only times I’ve had to take PTO for migraine was when my teen burned scented candles and when she worse a scented lotion she got for Christmas last year. First time in 20 years I won’t use up my sick time.)

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By: Seeking Second Childhood https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191772 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 02:28:44 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191772 In reply to Lunch Eating Mid Manager.

I presume this is using dress down day as a fundraiser for charity.
My husband’s very conservative company does this in the summer, without the logo-wear twist.

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By: Grace Less https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191770 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 02:27:02 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191770 I’ve purchased mini umbrellas in fun patterns because my team overlooks the parking lot and we always comment on how a bright umbrella cheers up a dreary day.

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By: Seeking Second Childhood https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191768 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 02:24:20 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191768 In reply to Mocha Latte.

Or pick a locally owned store able to hold cards for pickup at the service counter.

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By: Eccentric Smurf https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191762 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 02:15:05 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191762 In reply to BubbleTea.

I’d love a handwritten card like that!

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By: Emmie https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191748 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 01:17:01 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191748 In reply to Anonymanageress.

I second Cheryl and Co. They usually run a semi-late December sale. I signed up for their passport program, which gave me free shipping for $20. They even have single cookies they’ll ship for $6.

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By: Definitely Not Christian https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191742 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 01:01:22 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191742 In reply to Ugh.

I work for a company that has nothing to do with religion…but the family that owns the company is *very* Christian. As in, sends Bible Study emails, has the company pastor (!!!) give Bible lectures, they end our company calls with prayers, and they definitely put “Merry Christmas” on the holiday cards. (We were also sent a letter before the election telling us to not vote for the socialists, so, you know, there’s that.) It’s kind of irritating- I have worked for two institutions that were owned by religious organizations and they did not push religion on us like this company does. I wish this company had an opt-in policy on this type of thing- it’s very exclusionary and weird, in my opinion.

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By: Researchalatorlady https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191731 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 00:41:52 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191731 I like the “five-dollar cake of soap” idea (from Andy Rooney — with the passage of time and inflation, “fifty-dollar cake of soap” might be a more appropriate analogy!) buying someone an upgrade, or the best-of-the-best, of something that they may already use regularly. Other ideas, fwiw…

– a Knock-Knock “Brain Dump” pad for meeting doodlers
– the World’s Smallest Toys line (everything from TinkerToys to Rubiks Cubes) for fidgeters, those who collect desk playthings, the “fun one” in the office (you know who they are)
– A power bank, charging cord, USB extension cord, PopSocket, or similar
– A super-high-quality (i.e. gaming) mousepad
– Flavacol popcorn salt, some gourmet popcorn kernels, and a gift certificate for a month of Netflix/Amazon Prime/a Blu-Ray/equivalent (add a roll of dental floss if they have a good sense of humour!)
– Book tape, for the avid paper-book reader (available at office supply stores or online, like packing tape but thick and acid-free) with a bookstore gift certificate
– “Stick together” kit – Sugru (which is pricey for people to buy but super useful), Tuck tape, nano tape (great for stainless-steel fridges) and a roll of duct tape in a pleasing pattern
– Winter Driving – for any drivers parking outdoors in frosty areas, a windshield cover and Snow Joe snow scraper (so much better than a snow brush), a cute note saying “Summer is only X months away”

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By: Lunch Eating Mid Manager https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191728 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 00:37:00 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191728 In reply to Gada.

I would 100% find lotion and perfume to be weird work gifts. Plus so many people are scent-sensitive, so you really shouldn’t have scented items at work anyway IMHO.

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By: Generic Name https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191723 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 00:27:02 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191723 Thank you for these sensible suggestions. So many “what to buy” gift lists are, let’s say, aspirational at best for most people.

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By: Lunch Eating Mid Manager https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191713 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 00:10:39 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191713 In reply to Manager.

Love Cameo! My family has done two this year. It is very fun to watch together!

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By: Lunch Eating Mid Manager https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191712 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 00:09:41 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191712 In reply to daytripper75.

I had to read this three times and I’m still not sure I understand. Your employees have to pay to wear jeans? Who gets paid? Does someone walk around to collect? What is happening?!

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By: Researchalatorlady https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191710 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 00:02:49 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191710 In reply to chocolate lover.

Levenger is the crack, no, the meth for stationery lovers. You will love me and hate me for introducing you to it. It’s the be-all and end-all for your own stuff and the gifts.

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By: Deanna Troi https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191708 Thu, 19 Nov 2020 23:56:11 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191708 The Advent season is the preparation to celebrate Christ’s birthday and also the preparation for the Second Coming of Christ. The first day of Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year and doesn’t always fall on December 1. Many Advent calendars begin on December 1, though, so they can be used for more than one year. Most of them end on December 25, which is celebrated as the birth of Christ.

I’m somewhat shocked that there are people that don’t realize that this a religious ritual. I don’t mean this a criticism of you personally, Anonys – it just goes to show you how ingrained so many Christian traditions have become in society that people aren’t even aware that they are Christian.

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By: SarahKay https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191702 Thu, 19 Nov 2020 23:42:31 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191702 In reply to Lady Heather.

Plus, honestly, I really don’t want to share my clothing sizes with my employer.

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By: Clumsy Ninja https://www.askamanager.org/2020/11/what-to-buy-your-employees-for-the-holidays.html#comment-3191701 Thu, 19 Nov 2020 23:40:05 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20454#comment-3191701 In reply to OyHiOh.

I hear you! I bring my own pens to work and keep them in my pocket or backpack.

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