Some of the hardest gifts for working mothers to purchase are those for coworkers. We don't want them to be too lavish - or too inexpensive. We don't want to buy something too personal, and definitely not something impersonal. Gifts for bosses are different than those we'd buy for colleagues at the same level. And what occasions warrant gifts? Birthdays, holidays like Christmas or Hanukkah, birth of babies or weddings?
So if you're wondering what the best gift for a coworker is, here are some suggestions for each gift-giving occasion.
Some offices will have Secret Santa or Kris Kringles, whereby you pick a coworker's name out of a hat and buy that person a gift for a certain dollar amount. Often the dollar amount can be as low as $10, and now you have the arduous task of trying to buy a nice gift for a small amount of money. Whether it's a Secret Santa gift or just a thoughtful gesture to spread holiday cheer, there are some great inexpensive gifts for coworkers that they'll still enjoy.
$10 to $15 Range: While you think you're getting a bargain, if you set a gift-giving limit of under $15, it's sometimes hard to come up with thoughtful coworker gifts in this price range.
Male: Great coworker gifts for men in this low price range include: money clip, business card case (with engraving if it's inexpensive), bottle of wine, chocolate/cookies basket, small basket of fruit, grooming set, small bottle of cologne, iPod case, iPod ear phones or a graphic T-shirt.
Female: Body lotion gift sets from a retailer like, Bath and Body Works, scented candle, mug with tea or coffee sampler, nail polish or pedicure set, hair gel and spray (if you know the products the person uses), bubble bath with loofah, perfume, jeweled iPod case, winter gloves, hair clips and accessories (if the person uses them), stainless steel earrings or a bottle of sangria.
$25 to $40 Range: With a little more cash to spend, you have more choices, but it's still a challenge to buy the perfect gift for a coworker. In some cases, you may be buying for superiors or simply giving to people who have become friends in addition to coworkers.
Male: A great tie, stainless steel cuff links, a bottle of wine, vodka or scotch, a dress or golf shirt, scarf, coffee sampler with a Starbucks gift card, small bottle of cologne, pair of beer mugs, healthy food basket, fruit basket, tin of cookies or sweets.
Female: Gift basket with lotion, body wash and scented spray, gift card for a manicure, winter hat or scarf, touch screen gloves, Starbucks gift card and coffee or tea sampler, perfume, pedicure set, martini glasses, hair product basket, health food snack basket, fruit basket, margarita glasses and margarita mix, sweater, ear muffs or wallet.
Often, you'll want to buy your boss or favorite coworker a gift on their birthday, especially if you have an office where you make a big deal about birthdays. In this case there's no price range to adhere to, but you should spend what your budget will allow. You should also seek a gift that will be meaningful to the recipient. For example, if the coworker is an avid coin collector, you might want to get him or her a special coin you know he or she has been wanting. If there's a coworker who is into fashion, get her a great blouse you know she'll love, and just make sure to include a gift receipt in case she needs to return it.
If a coworker is getting married and you're not invited to the wedding, it's often a nice gesture to give a token gift. Some suggestions are a wedding picture frame, a serving bowl, gift card to a major department store, pair of wine glasses or a massage gift card.
New Baby Gift
If a coworker has a baby, it's customary to give a baby gift, either solo or with a group of colleagues. It's good to wait until the baby is born so you can purchase a gender specific or personalized gift. Moreover, some people feel superstitious about receiving gifts before a baby is born. Great gifts for newborns are cotton or fleece sleepers. And think toward the future, because new parents get tons of gifts for infants. Buy sleepers in different sizes. Bibs with fun sayings, cozy blankets, rattles and personalized gifts, such as a rocking chair or step stool, also make good baby gifts.