It’s that time of year again. Time for the retrospective of everything you have done this year and analyzing how much smarter you’ve become. If you were living the whole years by the Costanza rules (for the ones that are new to the rules – stop here and go read the 10 Costanza rules for boosting your career advancement, and then come back to this article) , there is no doubt that you are ready for your Christmas bonus.

But the show must go on- there is one more important decision to be made! No, it’s not the color of the dress or the tie you will wear at the office Christmas party (small advice – save the ugly reindeer sweater for family dinner, nobody will think it’s funny). It is more important than that – do you know what will you buy as a Christmas gift to your boss?

christmas sweater photo
Do not wear ugly Christmas sweater to the office party

Surprised about the idea and not sure what would be a good reason to buy anything (managers have enough money to buy whatever they want anyway)? Have a look at this article, it is a good overview how being nice for Christmas can influence your career prospects. Depending on how critical your position is at the moment and how fast you would like to advance, you can decide in which of 3 levels of ass kissing you are comfortable with. We will try to help you with gift recommendation for each of the levels.

Quick overview of all mentioned recommendations:

  1. Paravel Travel Fold-Up Bag
  2. Saint Maniero Weekend Bag
  3. Cold Brew Coffee Maker
  4. Engraved Office Nameplate
  5. YETI Rambler 20
  6. Magnetic decision maker
  7. Whiskey Decanter Set
  8. Tea Forte Bleu Presentation Box Tea Sampler
  9. Native USB charging cable
  10. Funny coffee mug

Premium Christmas gifts: are you ready to go strong? High risk brings great reward

You’ve decided to play hard? Be careful, your coworkers will notice… If you don’t play this right, you will deteriorate your position among the peers. On the other hand, if you pull the right moves at the right moment – next year is yours to lose. Let’s start!

1. Paravel Travel Fold-Up Bag

Claimed as THE MOST PACKABLE BAG EVER. Very interesting headline, but the fact is that the bag looks great and it really can be packed into anything. If your boss is a frequent traveler or doing his gym regularly – this could be a good gift to consider. Every time your boss packs the sweaty underwear after the hard exercise – he / she could be thinking of you!

2. Saint Maniero Weekend Bag

If you like the idea, but your boss is not into sports and sweating by choice (only time you’ve seen your manager running was a day before performance review and he just discovered an error in the report delivered to the C-level), good option could be this fancy weekend bag.

3. Cold Brew Coffee Maker

For the ones that are unfortunate and have a boss with hipster tendencies and taste, we would recommend this Cold Brew Coffee maker. It doesn’t matter much that you don’t know why anyone would buy this thing, it will give your boss an opportunity to brag a bit more and appear more cool among his peers. This is a luxury item, meaning that nobody needs it but it looks good in the kitchen. If your boss is by some chance actually interested in preparing fancy ice coffee – this is the thing you need.

Still looks like a good idea? Have in mind the dimensions of the package if you are planning to hand it over in the office. You need to do careful planning, come early in the office and leave it unnoticed on (or under?) the desk of your boss.

4.Engraved Office Nameplate

Having a limited budget should not stop you with going full speed into this project (hm.. does this sound like your manager talking?). Just be a bit smarter with the approach and focus on the emotional message. In other words – play it on the ego. Interesting option you should check out is the Engraved Office Nameplate/Plaque. Be smart when choosing between many ego boosting, catchy phrases and make your yearly feedback discussion an easy game

Moderate Christmas gifts: still not ready for the real game?

5.YETI Rambler 20

For the people that are not ready to risk their reputation among the colleagues and like to play it safe, coffee related accessories are always a good choice to start with. There is no better ways to show your boss that you care about his coffee addiction problem than buying a fancy coffee mug. You cannot solve the addiction part, but making your boss look successful while walking through the office will bring positive nudge to your own career progression

Alternative #1: Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug

Let’s start with the most important detail – name of the product consist of this: App Controlled Heated Coffee Mug.. Not sure if you got it right? Try again: APP Controlled Heated Coffee Mug. Yes, this coffee cup is connected to the smartphone and enables temperature management in real time (be free to use this wording in the gift note). It is actually a cool gift for coffee lovers and the good part is that no one will be threatened by seeing you give this to your boss as a gift? Why ? Because nobody can tell the difference between this cup and cheap normal cup. Except your boss – he will have an app for his coffee…

6. Magnetic decision maker

Working in a big organization makes you oblivious to the incapability of decision making. You were worried about this once, but time passed and you live with it. If your boss has just recently joined the company, maybe he/she didn’t join the dark side yet. In that case, this small useless thingy could be the right choice for Christmas gift. It shows that you are aware of the situation in the company and comparing it with a toy. Good addition to this gift would be a short note saying something like: “Hope we will not use this still in the future” with which you are showing that winds of change can count on you.

7. Whiskey Decanter Set

Whiskey set could be a great Christmas gift for your boss, but it goes with some risk. First, not all managers are Whiskey lovers, and alcohol could have different connotations for every person. Second, the times of “Mad Man” and having a bottle of Whiskey in the office are long gone – be careful not to give the same feeling as giving a box of Marlboro.

If you know your boss for a longer time and you are sure in the reaction you will get, this is a great gift. If not – pass, and check out other possibilities.

Cheap or low effort Christmas gifts: are you sure you really care about your boss?

8. Tea Forte Bleu Presentation Box Tea Sampler

For the unlucky ones that have to handle a non-coffee-drinker, we would suggest to consider this Tea Box, with 20 Handcrafted Pyramid Tea Bags. Tea itself is less important and the box is what counts here. It is craftly designed together with Pyramid Tea bags that are in (“handcrafted” refers to the bag, not to the tea). And important thing – if your boss is really a tea drinker, it will show that you care about the small things and that you have great emotional and social intelligence. Did someone say career advancement prospect…?

9. Native USB charging cable

How does something as boring as a charging cable fit into the story of making your boss impressed? It’s simple – it’s a very useful thing and your boss will be using it daily. This means that he will be reminded daily about you and your great gift. It is ultra-strong and ultra durable, certified by Apple.

It is carried as a key chain which multiplies the number of reminded impressions you will have (and yes – we just invented new KPI for business gifts- “reminded impressions”). On the negative part, which you need to take into account, is the fact that it only supports Apple devices (hopefully your managers is high enough in corporate food chain and has an Apple device).

10. Funny coffee mug

You have reached the end of the list and still not sure what to buy? Then, make it simple – go with something that will show that you have a sense of humor. It’s a coffee/tea cup, it’s funny – what can go wrong, except your colleague buying something in TOP 5 from this list? Variety of choices covers many possibilities and characters you are dealing with as managers. Just – do not expect much, it’s only a coffee mug…

Notable mention: Dilbert 2020 Day-to-Day Calendar

This year we decided not to include Dilbert in the Top 10 list, but he deserves a place in any work related recommendation list. Same as you can find at least one episode that perfectly describes the situation you’ve just live through in the last meeting, this Calendar is a perfect match for any manager personality. But, as with all recommendations in the last group – it is a low effort / low gain gift. Don’t expect your position in the team will skyrocket to heavenly hights unless you buy the same calendar for yourself and use it as water cooler topic.

Costanza Dev