Your co-workers and the relationships you have with them vary more than the weather changes in Pittsburgh. You spend just as much time with them as you do your own family– perhaps sometimes more– so giving them a little something at the holidays is just the natural thing to do. After all, you’re just as much a team player at work as you are with your family, so why not gift like it, too?
Putting together these care packages to see your work team through the holidays is easy-peasy with our guide!
Your “Work Spouse”
There’s that one coworker who goes above and beyond the norm to work with you in such a way as to make you a better employee. They keep you on track, honest with yourself, and inspired to do your best. They support your efforts in every way.
That’s your work spouse, and they deserve something special for the holidays. They’ve taken care of you, now you get to take care of them a little bit.
Nab a good quality reusable shopping bag– sensible and environmentally-friendly, look at you being responsible!– and use it as the package for the care you want to give. Now’s the time to really get thoughtful– what is it they love? What are their interests?
Bakers will appreciate unique cookie cutters, a new apron and oven mitts– the silicone kind are best, but novelty ones are fun, too– and a pretty new mixing bowl.
If you’ve got a fashionista on your hands, make sure to get a really beautiful gift bag and patterned tissue paper– appearances are obviously important to them! Do some research on vintage stores in the area, and observe the colors your work spouse gravitates towards. Then stop by the vintage stores and select a lovely silk scarf or tie– they often have designers in stock– and nab some great accessories to pair with it. Consider adding a tie pin, broach, cufflinks, or even a pair of vintage gloves or a pocket corner. For a really special touch, have the cufflinks or a bracelet engraved with their initials.
Be sure to wrap each piece carefully in pretty tissue paper to preserve them, and buy the nicest card you can afford.
Your mentor deserves an extra-special gift, too, because they’ve really acted like a work parent to you. They’ve been your guiding light and cheerleader while you’ve built your career, and their gift should truly reflect that.
Depending on what holiday they celebrate– Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc– buy them a really lovely silver ornament in a shape that corresponds to their preferred holiday. Have it engraved with their name or initials, and polish it to a shine. If it’s a larger piece, consider adding a personalized thank-you to the engraving. To make a care package out of it, stop at the liquor store and select a variety of mini bottles of alcohol– get between six and ten bottles (wrap a little bit of tissue paper around each bottle so that they don’t clink and break). Nab a gift card to their favorite restaurant, and pop everything into a neat box. Wrap it precisely and tie it off with real ribbon and thoughtful card.
You could also do a coffee and tea care package, to help them amp up for the day and wind down at night. This is best accomplished by partnering with a small, local coffee and tea shop. They can help you select two really good roasts of coffee and grind it fresh for you. Then add some tea– matcha for energy, tulsi (also called holy basil) for immunity-boosting, and a really good relaxing blend that’s caffeine-free. Remember to add a tea strainer if you’re buying loose-leaf tea! If the boutique carries rare tea blends, add at least one to the package and have the proprietor or clerk help you write down some of the tea’s qualities. When you get home, type up what makes each coffee roast and tea blend special, along with brewing instructions, and print them out on quality paper.
For a bag, go earthy– pack everything into a plain brown gift bag– but go flashy with the tissue paper. Look for ivory paper kissed with gold stars, or tissue paper with a sophisticated holiday pattern. Avoid childish prints like Santas, candy canes, and gingerbread men. It won’t send the right vibe. Add a genuinely gracious, hand-written letter or card and you’re done!
If your office has an Intern, they’re often getting the short end of the stick and struggling to help, learn the ropes, and do schoolwork all at the same time. For the holidays, consider asking the entire team to pitch in for a care package and sign the card– the appreciation will not go unnoticed!
Interns are often still in school, so alcohol is generally out of the question– especially if they live on campus or are underage. They’re really struggling to juggle a lot of schedule demands, so think about things that would make their life easier– and we’re not necessarily talking about a planner (though if they don’t have one, buy them one). Put together a few gift cards to restaurants that offer delivery, for those late-nights when the cafeteria is closed– or those times on the weekends when the food is just inedible. Next, create a snack basket with at least two each of salty, cheesy, and sweet snack foods. Pop everything into gift bag or tote bag, and make sure everyone doesn’t just sign the card– make them leave a note, too!
You could also create a self-care gift basket to encourage them to wind down and relax. Visit a local small bath and body product boutique– or find one on Etsy– and purchase a variety of bath bombs and salts, bath tea, bubble bath, and body scrub. Try to avoid saccharine and juvenile sweet scents– go for sophisticated ones made with real essential oils (avoid anything that lists “fragrance” or “parfum” as an ingredient) that feature calming scents like lavender and patchouli. Add some candles and incense for an extra special touch, or if it’s a guy, add some really nice bougie shaving cream and aftershave.
If all else fails and you really don’t know what to do– or have any time in which to buy anything thoughtful– go for fun stuff that nobody really thinks to get for themselves. Stop by a convenience store and pick up a bunch of different scratch-off lottery tickets and some playing cards. Toss them into a gift bag with some tissue paper and write on the bag something like “I’m really lucky to have you as a coworker– I hope some of that luck rubs off on you!”
Let your coworkers know how important they are to you– and how much you appreciate their role in your life– by giving them a thoughtful care package this holiday season.