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7 Most Boring Business Gift Ideas to Avoid This Season

Whether you’re an employee who is considering a gift idea for your boss, or you’re the boss trying to decide what to give your employees, there are some ideas that are very, very good – and others that are just plain boring. Here are seven of the absolute worst, most boring gifts to give in either case.

#1 – Candles

Candles seem like the one gift that people give when they absolutely can’t think of anything else. Although there is certainly a time and a place for a scented candle, the office isn’t it. Choosing a scent that someone else will like is difficult, too, and odds are your gift will get re-gifted in a few days.

#2 – A Coffee Mug

This is another common gift that employees give their bosses or vice-versa. Unless you’re buying one of those $30 insulated Yeti tumblers that everyone is after this year, spend your money elsewhere. People end up donating extra coffee mugs to Goodwill because they get so many. 

#3 – A T-Shirt with the Company Name

While it might seem like a good idea to give a t-shirt with the company name or logo to your employees (or even to your boss) the truth is that they don’t want to be reminded of work while they’re at home any more than is necessary. If you must give a t-shirt, try to find one that suits the recipient’s personal style.

#4 – Gag Gifts

There are plenty of bosses and employees out there who think that gag gifts are the most hilarious things they’ve ever seen. They’re best avoided, though. In today’s politically correct culture, you may accidentally offend someone – even if they’re not the recipient.

#5 – Self-Help Books

Self-help books might seem like a great way to help your employees improve themselves (or to help your boss improve the way he leads) but this is rarely the case. The recipient may even find it embarrassing, so skip it and opt for something else.

#6 – Christmas Candy

Unless you’re giving high-end, luxury Christmas candy hand-dipped in the Swiss Alps, it’s probably best to avoid giving things like this, too. Not everyone is a fan of candy, and some may be allergic or diabetic. If you want to give something edible, consider gift cards to a local confectionary or candy maker that offers allergen- and sugar-fee options.

#7 – A Tie

A man’s most dreaded Christmas gift is a tie. In fact, in today’s corporate world, more women than ever before are receiving ugly ties as Christmas gifts. Unless the recipient has asked for a specific tie, don’t buy one. Odds are, that person has an entire closet filled with ties received as gifts that he or she will never, ever wear. Not even in a million years.

Business gifts are always thoughtful. Your boss will appreciate the thought and effort, and if you’re the boss buying for your employees, it’s a great way to boost morale. Although it’s the office, it’s best to avoid being too cliché and boring. Avoid these seven terrible gift ideas if you really want to be a star this season.

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