NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The office holiday party can be awkward enough without an inappropriate or unwanted gift exchange. Here's a look at some of the best presents for co-workers and those that may end up earning you a lump of coal.
1. Holiday-themed items
You can't go wrong with baked goods or food such as cookies, brownies or cake, says Maralee McKee, The Manners Mentor and author of Manners That Matter for Moms.
"It's the time of year when people are making and sharing treats with one another, so you know this is a gift that's going to be enjoyed," McKee says.
Even if you gift an edible item that's not exactly your colleague's cup of tea, they can share with others.
"That's not something that's easily done with other gifts," says Anne Swift, head of marketing at Nuts.com. "You co-worker can either enjoy the item immediately, pass it around the office or leave it out on their desk for people to come by and snack."
If edibles aren't your style, try a holiday ornament, poinsettia or wreath, McKee recommends.
"It can be kept at the office or taken home and placed on the mantel or door," she says. "The point is you've said, 'I'm thinking of you' and spread some holiday cheer."
2. An experience
What may be even more appreciated than a physical gift is an opportunity to make a memory and have an experience, McKee says. Consider gifting your co-worker with passes to the movies, a museum or festival.