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Holiday office gifts: Don’t go overboard

Stressed about office holiday gift giving?

Now that the holiday season is fast approaching, I’m once again confused and, more importantly, stressed about office holiday gift giving. When to give, what to give and how much to spend. – Stressed for the Holidays

Dear Stressed for the Holidays,

The holidays are a stressful time for many people, so let’s first try and take a little bit of the stress away.

Lets deal with the easy question: How much to spend?

First and foremost, you should only spend what you can afford. It is foolish to put yourself in debt just to buy someone a present. Anybody who would expect you to do that is not worth giving a present to, in my humble opinion.

Secondly, at the office, remember you technically never “give up” the ladder, so if your boss buys you something, you are not required to buy them something back. However, remember a good hand-written thank-you note will go a very long way!

And although I’m not one to push for office gifts, if everyone really wants to exchange presents, then a “Secret Santa,” where you buy for one person, is just fine. But remember to stick to the agreed-upon budget and more importantly remember to be tasteful in what you buy.

The entire office will see this and being the office clown is not always a good thing. In fact, what was funny at the time you bought it in the store can be a big disaster in a professional office setting a few days later.

Deep breath, it is all going to be OK. Just make your list, set your budget and stick to it.

Oh and one final important rule: Don’t wait until the last minute; go do your shopping now and get it over with.

You will love having your feet up on a cold winter’s evening when everyone else is shopping and grumpy.

• Got a question? Send an Email to askcharlesthebutler@metronews.ca