It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is undoubtedly a favorite holiday for many of us (myself included). While this remains a family tradition, its magic has spread into workplaces as well, making managers wonder what the best Christmas gifts for employee would be.

What do employees want for Christmas?

First of all, get them something. It’s important to mark this special occasion and get into the Christmas spirit with your team. After a year’s hard work and deadlines stress, a couple of weeks filled with gratitude, hope and a general positive feeling are the perfect way to encourage employee engagement.

The smallest of gestures can go a long way. However, if you’ve never shown any interest in building a relationship with employees that goes beyond the call of duty, they might not feel like this is a genuine interest so be careful that your Christmas celebrations reflect your company culture.

Know your employees. Even if you have the best of intentions, it’s important that they generate the right reactions.

There are several types of gifts for employees that you can choose from: consumables, useful items, luxury objects, funny gifts, personalized ones or charity gifts. Of course, money is another option. It’s not one I’d advocate for but if your employees prefer it, it’s an option you have to consider.

Let’s go through some of the Dos and Don’ts of employee Christmas gifts and we’ll share our collection of suggestions to give you some practical ideas.

Dos and Don’ts

Every gift sends a message. Make sure you base your choice on your values and culture. If you value individuals for their specific qualities, you can opt for personalized gifts that reflect that value and tell them “I appreciate your uniqueness.”

If you have a “Let’s do great work and have fun doing it” type of culture, go for a creative, fun gift that will surely be appreciated.

The way that employees feel about you is important. You could get them a box of chocolates and get some really warm reactions but you can also get them an iPhone 6 and see a short display of gratitude. It’s not just the gift. You can’t make up for a bad relationship by giving them an expensive gift. Take care of your company culture and use this moment as a way to reinforce it rather that simulate it.

When it comes for Christmas gifts for employees don’ts, experience has taught managers not to risk buying gifts such as:

  • Lingerie;
  • Self-help books or “How to do your job”;
  • Toiletries or beauty products;
  • “Personalized” letter with the wrong name;
  • Pamphlets on “How to lose weight” or “Join another religion”;
  • A gift certificate that bounces;
  • A letter of termination;
  • Nothing;
  • A small box of cookies for the whole team;
  • A 10% meal discount at a restaurant for the Sales agent who brought in half the revenues for that year;
  • A 24h extra shift;
  • A day off. But not on Christmas or New Year’s Eve;

It all comes back to the message you’re trying to send. Don’t tell employees that you think they are inadequate for their job, that you think they need help or that they look really good in a certain apparel. It’s inappropriate and really unhealthy for a workplace.

Some of these gift ideas are debatable. For example toiletry or gym subscriptions could be viewed as an insult by some employees, while other could really appreciate them. Like I said, get to know your employees and make sure you have a basic idea of how a certain gift could be received.

If you’re going for a personalized gift, make sure you get it right. Details are essential for this kind of gifts.


Look no more! We’ve gathered a collection of great ideas, ranging from affordable gifts to luxury gifts and, of course, funny gifts.

Our favorite idea? Gifts that give back, without a doubt! We’re strong advocates of gratitude and sharing happiness.

Send us a photo of your employee gifts ideas on the Social Media channel of your choice (@gethppy) and we’ll pin them to our board!

Image via under C.C.0 license