Great Gifts for Coworkers and Bosses

If you want to stand out in your company, be a nice person. Remember birthdays. Open doors. Give genuine compliments. Do unexpected acts of thoughtfulness.

For example, if it's your coworker's birthday or your boss just had a baby, why not say something/do something to show that you care? Even the smallest gesture will do.

may 9 calendarThe key is to capitalize on the "off-season." Don't wait until Christmas to bring in the lemon bread and to give your deepest compliments. On the contrary, try to celebrate and acknowledge your coworkers/boss in May, July, and September. Unexpected gifts are the most remembered.

Individual Gifts

If you want to give a gift to an individual (to say "thanks," "congrats," "it's nice working with you," or "happy birthday"), here are my top three tried-and-true suggestions:

great job noteHandwritten Notes. Invest in some nice solid-colored or artistic cards. Write a few heartfelt sentences about why you appreciate working with that person or what you admire about him/her. 

 

sees candies chocolate barsChocolate Bars. Any chocolate bar will do, but a nicely packaged or "exotic" bar is even better. A high-quality bar from See's, Trader Joe's, or a specialty chocolate shop is an especially good choice.

 

5-dollar-bill$5 Gift Cards. Pick a place where $5 is all that is required - a coffee shop, an ice cream parlor, or a video rental store. 

 

To maximize the "surprise" factor, place the gift in your coworker's mail box or on your boss's desk instead of giving it in-person. 

Group Gifts

There are occasions when "group gifts" best fit the bill. Perhaps you want to say thank you to the people in the department that you work in or to a team of teachers at your child's school. In those cases, bringing in or dropping by food is the ideal choice:

einstein-bagelsBagels. Stop by the local bagel shop (bagel shops are preferable to grocery stores - I have no idea why grocery store bakeries can't perfect the art of bagel-making, but that's just the way it is...) and buy a dozen or two, along with some spreadable cream cheese.

 

nestle_drumstickIce Cream Bars or Popsicles. On a budget? Buy a few boxes of ice cream bars or popsicles from the grocery store and distribute them on a warm spring/summer day. It's like handing a coworker a little bit of happiness on a stick. Any flavor will bring smiles to the recipients' faces. But I personally recommend a box of Dilly Bars from DQ or a box of Drumsticks.

david's cookiesBaked Goods. Any variety will do. Cookies. Muffins. Miniature loaves of breads. They'll be gobbled up instantaneously. You can bake the goods yourself...or you can order from a specialty company like David's Cookies. David's Cookies offers gourmet cookies, tarts, scones, cakes, and other dessert specialities...delivered straight to your recipient's door. 

Those are my top recommendations. Now, I want to hear your ideas! 

What creative gift ideas do you have for bosses and coworkers? Share your suggestions in the comment section for your chance to WIN...

david's cookies deep dish chocolate chip cookie cake...a 10" Chocolate Chip Deep Dish Cookie Pie from David's Cookies ($44.95). It's "filled with chocolate chips and topped with huge chunks of chocolate, Hershey's Mini Kisses, and drizzled with chocolate ganache." I had the privilege of sampling this massive cake (it feeds 16 people!) with a group of friends and we all agreed it was decadent and rich. This is the perfect pick for chocolate lovers...and an excellent corporate gift idea for a group/team of people you want to appreciate. 

I will select ONE winner from the comments. This is a "merit-based" contest (unlike most of my contests where winners are randomly selected...). I will choose the best/most creative idea.

The deadline is Tuesday, March 10, 2009, at midnight.

*Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.

*UPDATE* The winner is #158 Colleen S. I love that Easter Egg Hunt idea. It's interactive and fun and involves candy/prizes. What a great way to cheer everyone up in an office environment on a "boring" afternoon!

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200 comments on “Great Gifts for Coworkers and Bosses”

  1. A nice gift that doesn't cost too much is go to resturant.com and buy certificates and hand them out. Its nice in a card and if you have a small workforce

  2. I like to buy a nice platter or dish (as a gift for the person to keep) and make either a favorite dish for a person or something wonderful for co-workers to share.

    Some ideas are lasagna alongside a salad kit and French bread. Baked enchiladas alongside with chips and salsa.

    I always include the recipe for the dish and the entire gift often costs less than $25. So many people love it and I often get requests for a specific dish for later parties and such.

  3. It depends on the coworkers likes and dislikes. I had one who loves chocolate as much as I do, so of course I gave her nice chocolate.

  4. I work at a non-profit, so money's tight for all of us. What I've done is to take a bag of lotions, perfumes, and candles -- items I won in contests or received for Christmas -- and let my co-workers (mostly women) pick what they want. It didn't cost me anything, and they had great fun shopping and picking out their favorites.

  5. I worked in an office where some of the bosses didn't get their secretary anything, while other bosses were quite generous. For Christmas and Secretary's Day I would get ALL of the secretaries a smaller gift and then my secretary got an additional gift. My favorite gift was a "movie night basket". I purchased a round box of microwave popcorn that served as the gift basket. (Blockbusters was the only place I could find them). I added two sodas and two small boxes of candy. I wrapped the basket in cellophane and gathered and tied it at the top with ribbon. The secretaries liked the gift so much that they didn't realize there was a gift card (for a movie) attached to the ribbon. It was the perfect gift for less than $10.00. The best part was everything was disposable so they didn't have to worry about what they were going to do with a basket they may not want or need.

  6. I like to give gifts that take a little extra thought or effort. For instance, my daughter and I always make homemade special cards for her teachers at school and we even sewed soccer net cards for the kids on her soccer team! When I take a basket of bagels and muffins into the office, I like to include some special jam or jelly and some pretty napkins to use. I made a bucket of mud and worms for my daughter's class at school and even brought one into the office and everyone just loved having something different!

  7. It might sound unoriginal, but I love to give gift cards to the grocery store or gas station so that my co-workers have a little extra money to spend on what they really want because they have some of the necessary boring stuff covered by moi.

  8. It's a little time, but so much fun..I made my "Incredible Candy Apples" for my office once.
    Here's what you need

    popsicle sticks
    red delicious apples
    melted caramel
    some really really good chocolate - melted

    Dry goodie mix - mix together whatever you like to coat the apples in but make it bold and colorful. I use coconut, mini M&M's and chopped peanuts but you can use almost anything.

    dip the apples in the caramel and cool on wax paper then dip in the chocolate. Roll them in your goodie mixture and cool.

    Wrap in clear cellophane and tie with a ribbon.

    Put them in a big basket with a bow on top and watch everyone's eyes widen!

  9. I do a lot of cookies-on-a-stick (homemade) in flower shapes in a pot, or just fun shapes, nicely decorated, like purses and shoes. And as for that tempting chocolate chip cookie pie, I don't know if it would feed 16 people over here. Being pregnant is a good excuse to have more than my fair share, right?

  10. I gave my boss a unique salt and pepper shaker set once. It was Christmas and they were shaped like red and green peppermints.

  11. I frequent bake homemade treats and send them to my husband's office. Cookies and cupcakes are especially popular but also spiced or sweetened nuts. I'd love to win this and send it.

    For my own co-workers I more often do something savory (we have better facilities) and I've found that everyone loves mac and cheese, especially a recipe from the grandmother of a co-worker!

  12. My favorite way to thank my coworkers is to bring them lunch. We've ordered in, before, but the most appreciated (and tasty!) lunches are the crock pot soups I bring in the morning, letting it cook until noon. Mine and my colleagues favorite is Taco Soup (which can be vegetarian or even vegan) with all the taco fixings--tortilla chips, avocado, cheese, sour cream, etc. I just set up the conference room in a festive way and let them help themselves (on their own time) to the feast. People really love the "home-cooked" meal and that they didn't have to go out to get anything (besides the fact that we all get bored of the nearby vendors' wares). It is also creates a nice, friendly setting to relax and chat with the people you spend so much time with. Soup is not expensive, but is really satisfying and warming in more way than one.

    Before you bring the lunch, present each person with a bowl, spoon, and thank you note, which also lets them know when to show up for lunch. It has always worked for me. Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. $5 GAS gift cards. Sure, $5 doesn't buy much at the pump, but this is something everyone can use. It brings a smile to faces.

  14. My team at work sets up one day per month where we celebrate the birthdays of any member.
    It's a nice potluck gathering - we all donate money to purchase cake and ice cream and everyone brings a dish to celebrate. We take our lunch hour and celebrate together as a group. Depending on the month, some people have made little netting "goodie bags" with pens, bottled water, chocolates, hot cocoa - things that can be used at a later time. It's a fun way to treat your co-workers and build team bonding at the same time.

  15. First...I love bringing food into the office during the "off-season". My fave is to stop by the local bakery and pick up a box of favorites and a bag of creme-filled donut holes. The staff sure perks up when they see a B I G box of donuts coming in the front door. It is a GREAT way to start off a day. Mondays are the best day to do this, in my opinion.

    As far as staff gifts...this may sound a bit strange but my husband makes his own deer jerky and venison sticks every fall. We package these into smaller portions to bring in to work for small gifts. They are a huge hit!!

  16. I have in the past at special holidays made food plates and brought them to the office as a thank you for everyone to share. They could be cookies or any treats, one year I boiled and decorated Easter eggs and brought them for all to have one to eat or take home, plus easter candies all in a big basket like an Easter Bunny would deliver.

  17. I'd suggest for co-workers or bosses .. Snow Globes or Water Globes engraved with their Name and what day they started at the company/office/business along with if possible their photo and or their families photo underneath the globe. The engraved name plate would go on the front with Date and the photo underneath. skyxsky27(at)gmail.com

  18. Being nice to most all people is a must. We live in a violent world, no need to add to that! Thank you for the sweeps!

  19. A home cooked dinner would make a great gift for co-workers, especially those who have spouses that also work. You could cook a double batch of whatever you are having for dinner then bring it to the co-worker the next day. This would work especially well for crockpot meals.

    Thank you for the chance to win!

  20. I own a gift basket business and thank customers at Christmas who have spent substantial amount of money with me. I have sent pizza's for lunch, cookie bouquets, wine ,and cheesecakes. This cookie deep dish pie looks like a winner!

  21. A really great gift that just about anyone would love is a breakfast-themed gift- a Coffee shop gift card and a Donut shop gift card.
    Can't go wrong there!

  22. I have always thought flowers were a great gift for female bosses or coworkers. Also, personalized items such as pens, magnets, coffee mugs and flashlights are also nice. I also like any type of good candy as a good group gift. Also if your boss or coworkers are into following sports teams sports teams merchandise could make a great gift. This is a great giveaway. Thanks.

  23. This is something I have done for my co-workers. I bought a box of fortune cookies, hand dipped them in chocolate. I put them in Chinese take out containers. I adorned the containers with red ribbon and Chinese charms. They all loved it and was economically feasible for me.

  24. I buy or make gifts for my coworkers who are also friends, otherwise. Because of this, I can give far more personal gifts than a generic gift. I can take into account their likes, dislikes, allergies, etc. I'm a bargain hunter, so I often pick up gifts throughout the year and then assemble them into overflowing gift bags, individually wrapped and then I play a game as I dole out the gifts, such as asking Do you want a big or small gift? Something soft or hard? Something that has scent or no scent? Etc. The gift giving them becomes far more fun.

  25. At my job for Christmas we always hang stockings for each employee, it's a great way to give small gifts and keep things cheap.

  26. This looks just yummy. I work in a department of 18 people and everyone except the boss and her admin work at home. We are in the office once a month for a full day of meetings and any training we need to take care of. This would be a wonderful surprise for all my co-workers on our next "in-office" day. I don't need to tell you we all LOVE Chocolate. Thanks.

  27. This looks super yummy! I think I ruined my diet just looking at it!

    My co-workers and I randomly bring treats to share with each other. Cookies, candies, or a latte for the group (there are 4 of us) always goes over well!

  28. This looks like something from heaven since I am an admitted chocoholic and I need my fix of chocolate every now and then, seems more now instead of then or later. This cookie pie will defintely fit the bill. I wonder if it's better than the "Better Than Sex" cake. It would take a lot to beat that confection chocolate heaven! I can give it go and let you know!

  29. I think a basket with their favorite treats is a great idea. Buy a big basket - put in some drinks, chips, snacks, anything your boss likes and wrap it up!

  30. We once had an easter egg hunt at the office. Most eggs contained candy but other ones had a number that corrosponded with a Suprize bag that contained fun desk accesories. The whole office had a fantasitic time looking for eggs, it put everyone in a great mood.

  31. I am a teacher and for some reason all the other teachers are on a diet. We have done the edible arrangements and they have been a great hit.

  32. At Christmas, I always had a plate of cookies for each employee to take home as well as a large platter for munching on in the back room.
    AND, I had a tradition of giving each one a full size HICKORY FARM beef stick, not the little ones they have now but the deli-size ones that were 5-6 pounds each. Of course, I wrapped them and put tags on them and had them in the walk-in cooler at work.
    They were always appreciated because they could be used for quick snacks and sandwiches over the holidays but the best part was all the funny comments about the large wrapped "weenies" in the cooler.

  33. I work in the office of a manufacturing plant that doesn't have air conditioning in the production area. This coming summer I would like to treat the workers to some ice cold gatorade or some popcicles during their break.

  34. Valentine's Day is not a good day in my office. Some women get flowers. Some don't. So if you are in the latter the whole day is kind of a knife in the side. So every year I make six candy roses for EVERY woman in the office. Take two hershey kiss butt to butt with tape. Wrap with red celeophane. Attach to a chopped down wood skewer with tape and wrap with gardners tape. Yes time consuming. But they love them and no one is left out. Plus you have left over kisses for yourself.

  35. I usually make homemade baklava for special gifts. This chocolate looks to good to resist. Please count me in. Thanks!!

  36. I have a friend whose daughter is in massage therapy school. She needed to give so many massages each week as homework, so I arranged for her to come and practice on my co-workers and boss. Everyone benefitted. She got her homework done, they got a mini-massage and I gave her a gift certificate to my place of employment as a reward!

  37. Everyone is feeling a little tight on money. Buy some gas gift cards because they'll be useful to everyone.

  38. I find a place that was important to them in the past--childhood home town, college town, best vacation--and then eBay for a piece of vintage memorabilia from that place and approximate time period. Like a guide book, or a postcard to frame, or brochure, or trinket. It's usually very inexpensive and VERY appreciated!

  39. Okay, I know this is wrong but...in my office there seems to be a competition on birthdays on who makes the best desserts. I had to admit if I win this I'll be claiming it as one of my family's secret recipes that can't be shared and be top dog for a while! Thanks for the chance and making my dream come true!!

  40. I always make homemade cards. I have also starte making littleclear plastic memory books for my friends.

  41. My sisters an I have started taking turn bringing lunch in on Sundays to our parent's home for lunch. This would be perfect and everyone would love it! Thanks!

  42. Making little Origami paper birds or balls (the latter can be blown up) in pretty paper and attaching notes to them would make everyone feel good and would give them something to take home as a keepsake - they could also come along with homemade or professionally-made fudge, or even little bouquets of wildflowers in inexpensive vases or wrapped in children's handmade drawings!

  43. A Deep Dish Cookie Pie! MMMmmmmmm that sounds so delectable! I just told my husband that my diet is going to start the first day of April. I have to finish up the sodas, ice cream and such before then. THEN I SAW THIS! Ohhh how I would die for a piece of this it looks so good. I would share it but I am going to have to do without such things for so so long I would at least have this memory. I am drooling just thinking about it. Ohhhh Ppppllleeaseeee pick me! Thank you for holding such great giveaway! (The next one needs to be sugar free.)

  44. You have many nice gift ideas. I like to give a jar of home made cookie or cake mix with instructions or a plate of cookies that I made.

  45. that is one big cookie! I would the hero of my shop if i were to walk in one morning carrying a cookie that large- that is if i decided to shae it with them :-) Of course I would share it with them because we have shared alot together. I am a member of the Air National Guard and my buddies and I have been on many trips to the desert the past few years. In fact, this past year was the first time we were home for the summer for 3 years straight. So, as tempting as it would be to ration that cookie for myself, I would definitely share it with the gang... Thank you for the entry.

  46. I volunteer as an tax return preparer for low to middle income in local libraries and Senior centers. Occasionally a client will bring in baked goods as a thank you which the volunteers then share with the clients. Last week a clients husband was muttering to himself and I asked 'what's wrong'. He replied his wife was diabetic and had no business eating that donut. Obviously, none of us needed to be eating donuts and our older clients were more likely to have health issues.
    I love your suggestion to stop at bagel shop instead of donuts. I'd also recommend fresh fruits platters and veggies with lowfat dip as a healthy alternative. This may not be as dramatic as presenting the group with your award winning cheesecake, but you can take the time to artfully prepare your own healthy food offerings for the group to enjoy. We have to work harder on making food rewards that don't jeopardize people's health.

  47. As a teacher, I have certificates that I occasionally give out to my students for something exceptional they did. On these certificates I might write things like, "For going above and beyond the call of duty by helping Student X when he needed someone to carry his books" I gave this to a student who helped a student who was temporarily on crutches.

    Well it turns out that teachers like this too. I've given these little certificates for things like. "I saw what you did! You are an amazing person and I think what you did for Student X just proves how wonderful you are."

    You'd be surprised how many teachers not only keep these but also hang them up. I also send cards and a candy bar saying "You're Sweet. Thanks for helping me when I needed a friend."

    In season I bring in fresh fruits and vegetables. they love it.

  48. I love to give handcrafted South East Asian pottery and batik products! They are exotic and beautiful! My peers love them!

  49. I do alot of baking for my coworkers. I think food is the best thing to show appreciation for all the hardwork that they do.

  50. I like to do the homemade sweets gifts. This year I made the chocolate dipped marshmallow lollipops in a coffe cup with a gc for coffee.

  51. a great desert to take to a dinner or party the way i bake i would not have to worry sbout it being good great giveaway

  52. I work in a nursing home which can be a sad place, nurses and aids work very - very - hard and need a treat as a thank you would be appreciated.

  53. We have the kids hand make cards and then give them out with something small like a gift card or bag of candy

  54. I often give a homemade card unexpectedly, often with a food treat I know they really like. I've also been known to do anonymous goodie baskets or gift certificates for people having a rough go of things.

  55. A great "Congratulations!" gift:

    • A bottle of sparkling juice
    • Two plastic champagne glasses (not flutes) filled with small individually wrapped chocolates, openings secured with plastic wrap or netting and small rubber bands

    Place the bottle in the center of a large square of colored cellophane, or two crossed rectangles. Gather the cellophane around the bottle and secure at the bottle neck with a twist of wired garland (12" or more.) Cross the stems of the champagne glasses (stems up, openings down) over the garland and secure with the tails of the garland. Wind the remaining garland tails around the bottle and glasses decoratively.

    These also make great centerpieces for tables at parties or wedding receptions--draw names or numbers and send them home as door prizes. One year I gave these for New Year's Eve gifts with dark blue cellophane and silver star garland. For Christmas you could use green or red with gold star garland.

  56. I sometimes leave a voice mail singing Happy Birthday to them on their birthday. The first time I did it I said "guess who?" not remembering that I called from My ext. Dah.

  57. I think it would be nice to take your boss or a co-worker out for dinner on a special occasion like their birthday or a wedding anniversary! I would reeeaaally love to win this giant deep dish chocolate chip cookie! Please pick me!

  58. My old boss was a foodie just like me, and we would often take long lunches ending with a wonderful Bailey's Irish Cream layer cake that we both loved. Whenever I knew she was having a bad day I'd slip out and get her some and leave it on her desk- no note required.

  59. I think appreciate & ' thank you ' on a daily basis goes a long ways with co-workers, bosses, e t c.
    WHILE I think something ( like ' David's Cookies ' cupcakes ) are a special treat - - also, I've gotten vegetable & fruit platters - - which many appreciate !
    HOWEVER,
    I would luv to win this prize for my family !

  60. I used to make 'movie night at home' packages for my co-workers. I'd go to my local movie theater and ask for a clean popcorn bucket (I know you can buy plastic ones now). If I only needed one then they'd just give me one, but if I needed more than that I'd have to pay $1 each for them.
    I'd put a 2 liter bottle of soda, 2 packs of microwave popcorn, a box or two of movie theater candy and a gift card for video rentals. Arrange it all in the popcorn bucket and wrap in cellophane.

    These were always a big hit. I've used them to give to co-workers, white elephant gifts, secret Santa...and for that person you never know what to get.

  61. I love those ideas from everybody! I once (not long ago) made a huge cake, (actually chocolate frosting) but the easy way.
    I baked 24 cupcakes put them side by side real tight and put thick icing on them and decorated and wrote the" Happy birthday" and the name of course.
    We did not need any knife to cut anything because it gave individual servings with each cupcakes. Everybody loved the idea having their individual cupcakes.

    GENEVIEVE

  62. I make a candy tree using a styrofoam cone that's about 15" high. I then purchase individually wrapped hard candy and with sewing pins, I pin the tail end of a wrapper to the tree. Do it at random. I try to purchase candy with metallic wrappers for a WOW factor. I place the tree on a table near the fax and copier since everyone comes to that area to use the machines. When they walk over to copy/fax they can pull a treat off the tree. I've noticed that copying and faxing increases when the tree is in town.

  63. I want to give this to the team of intensive care nurses who took incredible care of me during my recent hospital stay. The doctors get all of the glory and the big bucks, and the nurses do all of the hard work. I am disabled w/severe scoliosis, and this was my 6th operation in the last 6 years. It was to screw several steel rods into my spine. The nurses were blessed angels to me, and I SO BADLY would like to present this to them as a thank-you! Being on disability w/a wife and 3 kids, I can't afford to buy them a gift on my own. This would be heaven sent, to let them know how much they are appreciated!!!

  64. My office thank you and or 'just because' came by force, but in a good way. Every time I heat my lunch in the microwave, a trail of noses would follow me back to my desk. Everyone would always ask, so what does she have today? And most of my co-workers would always say, if they cooked, they would ask for the recipe. So one day I called a departmental meeting and booked a conference room and told everyone attendance was MANDATORY. The night before I made a ton of the dish that the most people asked about consistently and brought it in. I set up a great table and everyone was really surprised, not only that, they loved that they 'mandatory conference room meeting' was a whole hour, no phones, no clients, no pressure, just everyone sharing a meal and some laughs for an hour it was great. We can't do it often, but we try to do it at least quarterly.

  65. I have a super secret Rocky Road Fudge recipe that I mkae for family during the Holidays and for teachers at the end the school year. It's like nothing you've ever tasted before and I ain't tellin' how it's made!!! Mwuahahahahahahaa!!!

  66. Baked goods are always a hit. My most popular that I make are chocolate chip cookies and lemon cookies. One year for Christmas gifts for my daughter's teachers, I made chocolate chip cookie "pops" which are just jumbo chocolate chip cookies with a popsicle stick in it. I wrote their name on the cookie with icing, then wrapped the cookie part in plastic, tied with a ribbon and attached a gift tag. They were a hit!

  67. Fabulous. I was actually just talking about this at work the other way. My co-workers and I were trying to think of good “thank you” gift ideas and this article is awesome!

  68. I make buckeyes in a gift tin with each tin containing a special note and very personalized to each individual that works with me. Thanks for this awesome contest! :)

  69. If I won the "Chocolate Chip Deep Dish Cookie Pie", I would gladly give it to my friends at the center where I volunteer.

  70. I'm crazy about those home baked gifts. It shows how much you care about your co workers and everyone loves to get a little sweet treat.

  71. My two oldest boys went to a Christian grammar school. So, I made each teacher a set of Nativity figures--Joseph, Mary holding the baby Jesus, and an herald angel. It required a lot of work--cutting, sewing, gluing, stuffing, weighting down, painting, etc. Although, it took time to make these, the gratification and oohs and aahs of the teachers just gave me such a warm feeling.

  72. My favorite thing to bring in to share with my wonderful hardworking co workers is food. We love a nice big salad, I bring my "Paula Deen" salad, one coworker brings lasagna and everyone else brings drinks or dessert. I would love to have this dessert for our next fun, we will celebrate the loss of our bonus checks.

  73. we used to bring in good coffee and flavored creamers that everyone liked. Also fresh sliced fruit. I used to make homemade chocolate chip cookies that everyone went wild for. We found that food was always a good gift. thanks for the great giveaway.

  74. My husband is the president of the local Little League, and I would LOVE to win this to surprise the losing-est team at the end of the season. All the kids give 100% during the summer, and the winning teams get accolades and trophies, how fun would it be to surprise a hard working team with this special treat!

  75. I make a to die for cheesecake and I love to make it bring it in and see everyone induldge themselves in this very fattening desert and no one refuses even the die hard dieters

  76. homemade donut holes---you can make them with the dough from refrigerated dinner rolls. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.Italians call them zeppollies.

  77. it really depends on the situation and the relationship i have with that person. i am a strong believer in giving the gift of yourself, so i like to give home made coupons, redeemable for different things. either dog walking taking a pet to a vet, picking up cleaning things that people do not normally have time for, and making a coupon booklet out of it thanks for the giveaway

  78. Back when I was working I often made little homemade things for co-workers. One time I made little coffee mug magnets out of plastic canvas and in each mug was tucked a couple of herbal tea packets. One time there was a BIG sale on tea towels and I cut them in half and crocheted a "hanger" on each so they could be hung right on their stove/fridge etc. I think homemade gifts are the best.

  79. If you are a boss in an office setting (and if work levels permit) let everyone leave 30 or 60 minutes early some Friday just to let everyone get a jump start on the weekend. It will be appreciated and remembered!

  80. I think it is important to buy something that fits each individual..like my boss, she always had photos standing up on her bookshelf so I bought her frames for her birthday..It doesnt take tons of effort just notice everyone workspace and pay attention to what they say regarding their personal or work life and go from there

  81. At my office, we're all at the computer for 9-10 hours a day & our legs "fall asleep" from staying in one postion. Well, I knew someone that could carve wood & I paid him to make foot stools for me to give to my coworkers. Awesome thing because we can store it under our desk & it helps us relax & feel more comfy at work.

  82. I love giving baked goods to my coworkers and boss because everyone for the most part loves goodies. I also like to make cakes for the holidays and bring them into the office.

  83. I do not work. I am a stay at home wife. I did get involved with one of the Starbucks pay for the person behind you chains. I would have paid anyway for mine so because someone else started the chain all the payments went to the person behind them. It was a great feeling and a lot of fun. I hope this idea catches on in other places too. I just might start one sometime.

  84. I try to get to know my co-workers so that I can tailor gifts to their interests and tastes. My boss is a fitness nut, so he loves when I can homemade, sugar-free jams or healthier relishes or homemade pickles.

  85. Roses are red
    Violets are blue.
    I'm droolin' already
    I luvs your pie, I do.
    So if you pick me
    I'll be happy as a clam
    Because I'm Susie
    The chocolate lady, not man! :)

  86. I make handmade drink coasters with everyones last name on them. I make them from tile so they are very durable.

  87. I love to make the dipped pretzels and put them in little bags with cute ribbon and name cards for each person.

  88. Our supervisor has given 6 of us the task of coming up with a Patrick's day menu suitable for Seniors (Nursing Home) The winning menu will be served on March 17 and the "winner" gets recognition. Some ideas I have include Braeburn apple crisp, Lamb Stew, Chocolate mint Breakfast shakes ( for snacks), and a soft cheese/sliced fruit platter.

  89. I think the deep dish cookie pie would melt the heart of my boss or co-workers. I think the deep dish pie would be too rich for me but I think chocolate chip cookies are better than woopie.

  90. I worked at a childcare center once where we did favor books. Each person filled out 10 coupons listing something that they were good at that they would donate. For example, I make really good pralines, so I filled out 10 coupons for a dozen pralines made by me each. One person did a scrapbook page of your theme using your personal pictures, another person did a manicure coupon, etc. They were all collected by my boss and put in your file. Then when you needed someone to take a shift for you or cover your cleaning duty one day, my boss would give that person one of your favor forms and you had 2 weeks to fill it. It was really fun and everyone sticked with the system. It also kept people from constantly trying to switch shift or duties because once you were out of favor forms to give, then my boss would not allow your request. Also, it helped us to get to know and appreciate each others skills better.
    One of the favor forms I received from someone for covering a shift was one of her handmade necklaces and I still wear it to this day(three years later). Also, it was funny how certain people were in constant demand initially because of their favors. Just as a side note, I never had any problem with people not fulfilling their favors and they were always well done items or services.

  91. Well, for someone who likes to vegetable garden, it's always nice when starting your plants inside before transplanting out into the garden, to start a few extra indoors for co-workers. Tomato's or cucumbers always seem to be appreciated. Buy them a larger container and some potting soil if you know they live in an apartment with a balcony, instead of a home with a yard, since they won't be able to transplant theirs.

  92. We did a project with shining stars for our staff. We got these shining stars (about 8 inches) and wrote notes about what we appreciated about our staff on the stars. Each person's star was different and it was a hit because it was personlized! We hung the stars outside their cubicles so every one could read it.

  93. A gift certificate that they can use for a service provided by you such as lunch or something like that.

  94. In my family the adults have decided that we have received enough sweaters for Christmas. We know take the money that we would have spent on gifts and buy gifts for needy children. It sure is a lot more fun shopping.

  95. A place I used to work held a potluck every year for Bosses' Day. This was a great inexpensive way for the support staff to thank their bosses. Everyone brought a different dish, and everyone sat together in a conference room to eat and talk. Thanks!

  96. As a teacher I save money all year and in spring I notify everyone from the principal to the janitors that I'll provide a pizza lunch on a certain date. I bring the soft drinks and pay the local favorite pizza place to deliver right before lunch time. I like to think that the good time we have together gives us all the strength
    to give the children at the school a strong happy finish to the school year.

  97. I used this idea at the University one year for a Christmas party gift-exchange ($10 limit). But it could be a good gift for other times as well.

    I bought a "share" of sheep from Heifer International. The gift included info about the sheep program and a catalog from Heifer detailing other gift options, personal stories and country information.

    It was a huge success and at our gift-exchange "game" people kept stealing that gift until it reached the maximum number of exchanges. Who would have thought that something intangible and humitarian would be the coveted present!

  98. Last year, my son had completed 3 years of special ed (pre-K) for speech problems through our local school system. He had the same two teachers and 2 teacher assitants for the past three years. They were wonderful with him and helped him so much. As a special thank you, at the end of the year, I told the teachers that I would be bringing them lunch in for them one day. Our local grocery store, offers trays of little assorted sandwiches made on nice mini rolls. I purchased a tray of these sandwiches, a tray of mini brownies and a few bottles of soda and treated the teachers to a nice lunch. They were so thrilled. It didn't really cost me much, and they were so thrilled.
    I would really suggest that doing this for a group would be greatly appreciated and loved by all.
    Thanks so much.

  99. when ever it is some ones birthday we all bring in a donation for the food bank con5459(at)gmail(dot)com

  100. Well I love DIY projects that are very personal. So I am known as the question girl, I love getting to know people I work with and as a fun coworker and boss gift I make everyone snowglobes- with mason jars and inside the mason jars I put a scene or a depiction of either their favorite place or where they want to go on their dream vacation. It is a very personal gift that is awesome for work because everyone put them on their desks and it is a great reminder of the amazing things and places that we all have yet to see. And when a case of the mondays hit it is awesome to have something to work towards on those 12 hour days! Thanks!

  101. I love randomly bringing cupcakes, cookies, and brownies for my co-workers (I work for Indiana University South Bend in the School of Business & Economics) and professors. Everyone is so polite and ALWAYS says "please" and "thank you" for everything - I've honestly have never been around more polite people in my life. After my dad passed away in 2007 (I was 21) and they knew I hadn't eaten a proper meal, my first day back they had a little picnic for me and everyone. It was so nicest thing especially since I had just started a few months before my dad died. We had fried chicken, potatoes, etc. and they even got me tons and tons of flowers - it was amazing!

  102. this looks wonderful and on birthdays and occasions- meals are great out but not everyone can afford so we have where its potluck clebration at lunch so everyone can bring a little something. As far as gifts for people restaurant.com is great if they can afford the extra or go out..instead what I do is make goodie boxes- somethings already made and a meal or two like pastas and mixes french bread and maybe wine if they drink in a basket so they can afford and enjoy the meal. Silly I know..sometimes it will be a night out in and get some goodies and have a free movie rental in there with popcorn and treats and some soda in the box with a blockbuster prepaid so they can go pick up one in the store and have it for a month or two. These days people don't need alot of junky things- meals for home or things to do at home are way more enjoyable. If being a little on the budget side there are free codes to put in the movie basket for a free month trial so you can toss that in, or some redbox codes.
    I don't feel you need to kiss up to impress- if they see thatyou put out thought and thunk- is that a word- they know you care alot more.
    Sometimes when I get coupons for free candy or such I will buy it and will put it in a goodie basket for people to much on- little things go a long way- after holiday candy put in a basket for something sweet is affordable and really makes it look like you did alot. I don't do anything personal like baths and lotions but as far as food everyone appreciates dinner in a basket- and can throw in a pot or strainer, it always can be used,...same with those movie baskets.

  103. This is a great contest. The pie looks wonderful.It always makes the day better when co-workers do nice things for each other.Life can be tough and when you spend 8 hours or more with people,having a good relationship really helps.

  104. I make professional cakes with fondant. Everybody always asks for my famous Buttercream Frosting. I never follow directions when baking..I always do my own thing and add my own ingredients. Somehow this one just hit the jackpot!

  105. I have a inexpensive idea I use often. I buy small plant pots fill them with dirt, snip off part of one of my overgrowing plants. put the snipped piece into the new pot, put a plant stick with a butterfly or something else in the pot and give them to my co-workers for there desks. They are always greatly appreciated and make the office look nice.

  106. I have orange & grapefruit trees at home and I like to fill colorful gift bags full of fruit. Everyone seems to appreciate these no-special occasion gifts.

  107. Having been a nurse for 35 years before retiring we nurses received so many thank you gifts that the desk in the office was usually laden with candy and fruit but the home made gifts were always the best and the most appreciated. One patient noticed that we made our own coffee and had his wife go out and buy us 5 lbs. of exotic imported coffee which we all looked forward to only to our dismay the stuff tasted like mud but of course we raved to the patient about it and just threw it out as no one wanted it. Another unusual gift were gift certificates for all the staff even the houskeepers and the girls from the kitchen who delivered meals and the gift certificates were for a meal at a local Italian restaurant the patient's son owned. We did not go enmasse but did go 3 and 4 at a time. I could write a book about all the things patients presented us with but in a way we were working with a stacked deck as they came in sick and we usually sent them home well and in a better frame of mind but even families of patients who passed on were usually generous and thankful for their loved one's care.

  108. Presenting coworkers with a survival kit is a fun idea. It can be presented in a HUGE coffee mug with things inside it like a small bottle of Tylenol, chapstick, gift card to download itunes, chocolate bar, and other personal items that fit that person's interests.

  109. My birthday was yesterday and my mom always makes me 7 layer cookies every year for my birthday. It is like a special treat for me because she only makes thoes cookies once a year and that is my gift from her to me. I have always loved her for that. It makes me feel special.

  110. One year for a co-workers birthday we snuck into her office and blew up balloons and had them all over the place when she came in to work that day. (Very informal office). We also chipped in as a group to buy her a big Starbucks gift card (she was a total coffee addict and had been very sad about cutting back on Starbucks for budget reasons) and ordered lunch for everyone. I baked a cake and we had a full birthday party that just let her know how much we appreciated her.

  111. Every year, for the holidays, my children and I make the same gift, and all my coworkers love them.
    I buy a mug, fill a celophane bag with fresh hot cocoa mix, and we make our own chocolate dipped spoons, and sprinkle crushed candy canes on top.
    We fill it all in the mug, and my coworkers look forward to our homeade minty hot chocolate.

  112. I love the idea of giving a boss or coworker a magazine subscription. It is not too personal, but it shows that you have considered the recipient's tastes and hobbies, and chose accordingly. There are thousands to choose from, and most are relatively inexpensive. I have received two subscriptions in the past year, and every time that I get a new issue, I think of the person who gave it to me.

  113. We have employee recognition days quite frequently but what we really need is 'mangement appreciation days' - especially in tough economic times our management is really going all out to keep everyone employed. I usually make/bake some of my specialities and mark them 'bosses only!'.

  114. I think special coupons, or IOU's are great if you have a good enough report with your boss or co-worker. I imagine that a "will run off your copies for one day" or "Let me get your coffee today" coupons would go a long way. if all else fails just regift stolen office supplies, just kidding!

  115. I'm a foodie & I can definitely appreciate splurgy treats, not saying I'm a saint here.... but I'm honestly not that big on the workplace sugar shock sort of gift, unless it is dark chocolate! "Thank you... A dozen... cookies." :\ (Thinking of struggle to pare down the sweets from the cupboard, the resolute walk past them in the grocery store, not even looking at cookies! Eyes averted... The precious 120 calories each biscotti hoarded & metered out like gold...

    The constant cookies & birthday cake & cupcake parade is fun, but oh so hazardous! And the sugar slump afterwards doesn't work either. I've eliminated white sugar altogether at home, and even stopped putting sugar in coffee- one small victory. And I DO lOVE and totally appreciate SWEETS, but home I can choose which ones are about. At work it's just too easy to grab something sweet and go or to feel obligated to samples the wonderful homemade goodies.

    If I give high calorie gifts, even for the holidays, I try to give out nuts or trail mixes. It's easy to make large batches of spiced nuts & always a hit (check for allergies amongst recipients!).

    So my choice to take to work as thank yous has been for a long time, kinda simple- Fruit! Most of us don't get enough. It's bright, pretty, upbeat, solid. Nutritious. Tasty. And virtuous. And you can purchase the most gorgeous looking apples, oranges, pears, etc.- things that should be painted into a still life!!!

    I use Environne fruit & veg to wash the fruit, it's dirt cheap & you can also wash the fruit at home but leave a packet of their wipes next to it on the table.

    Just recycle a Xerox box lid to trap the fruit on a table. But carry the fruit in a reusuable tote - in most stores these are just a dollar or so & arrange the fruit on top of it on top of the box, leave a note saying "Orange you glad you work here?" or whatever the Thank You needs to be, if going to an individual. And the recipient or passer-by gets to keep the tote in the end.

    If you've selected apples also bring a knife & some cinnamon to make it easy to eat them.

    This is cheap, fast, easy & upbeat to do. And it's also centering somehow.

  116. i like hand made gifts but i don't always have the time. I try to look at the person individually and buy their gift that way, so they know its from my heart and that i appreciate them.
    Like on co worker has a favorite restaurant she goes to every day, well thats what i get her a gift card.

  117. Wow. I never knew a pie like that exsisted..Not only it looks very delicious, I bet it is loaded with calories. Nevertheless, I hope I win.

  118. Let me just say that this is one spectacularly decadent giveaway!

    "What creative gift ideas do you have for bosses and coworkers?"

    I think the idea of giving a restaurant gift is the best, and particularly if the boss and co-workers are using the gift together, a neat place to go would be a Japanese Hibachi Steak House, where the food is prepared right in front of you. It is so much fun, and every time we go to one, it is clearly very enjoyable for everyone there!

    Another possibility, and this one depends on how deep your pockets are, is a gift card to a very high end restaurant like Ruth's Chris. People, at least the people in my circle, don't habitually frequent expensive restaurants, and in giving this gift, you're actually giving an EXPERIENCE. I think giving such a gift makes memories, and so that's why I'm submitting my ideas. Thanks for the chance to win this wonderful prize!

  119. For Christmas time, I would make up small gift baskets for my co-workers. The baskets consisted of all free samples that I had collected throughout the year. I gave perfume, candy, nuts, games - anything that was nice and appropriate. I covered the little baskets in colored saran wrap that was secured with a ribbon. I made homemade gift tags that I attached. The co-workers loved these each year!

  120. I personally received a very nice gift from a co-worker, he sent a cooked & complete meal to my house which was so nice,Chicken Marsala, mashed potatoes, corn, salad, 2 bottles of salad dressing & rolls/butter, and my family enjoyed the meal and I really enjoyed not having to cook for the day and we actually had enough left over for the next day, and its something I decided I may do for someone else. It was a great gift instead of going out to use a gift card it was delivered to my house ready to eat, Thank you for hosting this delicious giveaway

  121. In todays world it seems like a lot of people are unappreciated at work. I made certificates of merit individualized for each person I worked with based on their strong points. It was unexpected and made them feel good that someone took time to see they were doing a good job.

  122. Good gracious that looks heavenly! My idea isn't so much creative as it is practical. My last boss had a very generous boss, so she usually took care of gifts and the department lunch. On my end, the best gift I could give her was peace of mind should she decide to take the day off to celebrate. I'd take her phone calls, attend her meetings, check her mail and monitor her emails so she'd be able to be away from the office without stressing over what might be happening in her absence.

  123. i don't have any good suggestions cause my only co-worker is my husband as a stay at home mom.
    but i just had to say that that is THE most delicious pie i think i have ever seen!! oh my word i never knew that existed.
    happy eating to the winner!

  124. I do a mixture of things. First, I love making handmade cards and writing a personal note in them. It takes more effort and says more than a store bought card. I enjoy baking homemade cookies and bringing them in for the whole staff to enjoy. If I want to give a gift to an individual, however, I like to individualize it. Finding out what a person will really like and use makes me happier than a random generic gift. I've given sunflower seeds to an addict, a mango scented candle to someone who loves mangos and candles, and more. It's fun!

  125. It is special to give a gift that is specific to the recipient. For example, I once received a gift from a friend who knew that my husband would be out of town for a week. I had shared that I didn't like being alone during the evenings and that I didn't sleep well all alone at night. My friend gave me a "sleep" package which included herbal teas, lavender spray, candles, nail polish and a cd of calming music. It was an unexpected gift and it showed that she had been listening to me share my feelings.

  126. Colleen I absolutely love that idea. I will definitely use that when I go back to teaching. My idea isn't cheap, but it sure was nice to experience! As a general "thank you" for teacher appreciation week, the administration arranged to have 15 minute chair massages each day throughout the week in the faculty lounge. Apparently students in massage schools need a certain number of hours, so they often do massages for free or reduced rates. Teachers could drop in throughout the week and get a quick massage in the darkened, quiet faculty lounge. It was awesome. They also arranged for someone in training for a yoga or pilates program to lead a class after school one day a week for a month. It was cheap for the school and made the teachers feel greatly appreciated!

  127. A teacher I work with asks for "gifts from the heart" at Christmas. She tells the children not to give her something but to give to someone else. Some of the children have volunteered their time, given money to a charity, their local church, etc. She has received donations made in her name to organizations like Heifer International and some children bought a toy to give to their church for other children in need.

  128. At my last staff meeting, I read notes people had emailed me about them and after every "kudo" I handed them a Kudos Granola Bar. Then I asked them to not eat it but to interoffice it to someone outside our department with a note of Appreciation. At our next staff meeting we are going to share who we acknowledged with our kudo bar.

  129. Oh! I forgot...my creative idea. I personally love handmaking things (adding my own little creativity). I love reusing things too - like a cool paper card - have you seen the little match book cards? Or the match book garden? Way cute and very creative.

  130. Fabulous. I was actually just talking about this at work the other way. My co-workers and I were trying to think of good "thank you" gift ideas and this article is awesome!

  131. I think handmade gifts are the best! One year, I had a coworker give me a set of fabric, covered scented clothes hangers. I still have one, although it doesn't smell anymore. I also love those cookie mixes or soup mixes in a jar! Always fun.

    Since I'm a big sewer, I like giving sewn gifts, like fun aprons, totes, hotpads, baby carriers, whatever I think the individual might appreciate.

  132. Our favorite gift to give my husband's coworkers is our family's homemade candy. The candy recipe we use was passed to us from my grandmother, who gave my husband her "seal of approval" when he demonstrated to her that his batches of candy were just as tasteworthy as hers! This candy requires a lot of elbow power and takes awhile to make...the ingredients (almonds, pecans, and lots of sugar, butter, and chocolate!) aren't inexpensive. It's a special gift that everyone seems to really appreciate...and even more so when they find out that my husband, their boss, actually took the time to make it!

  133. I have made carmels for teachers in the past, these simple to make (and super yummy) candies would make a great handmade gift for your co-workers or boss, especially if packaged in a nice jar.

  134. I saw it on your blog restaurant.com sells $25 gift certs for $10. That would be a great gift because everyone loves to go out to eat.

  135. This is a great post. When I had people who worked for me I tried to make it a point to leave them those little hand-written thank you notes, it just seemed to build the team attitude around the office. Also I really enjoyed being the recipient of those notes too.

    Oh and I've done the whole buy ice cream, bring in baked goods and etc... for the whole office thing too, even when I wasn't in a management role. It's just fun to share with people and give them a good surprise - especially on a Monday or a Wednesday.

    OK an original idea... I don't really have any, you covered all of my ideas. But a lady I used to work with would bring in those "soup in a jar" things that she had made for us, one year she bought a bunch of Christmas ornaments and painted our name and the year on them. She was great at giving creative gifts. And she had a beautiful water garden... but that's getting off topic :)

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