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Old 11-27-2007, 03:55 PM   #1
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Holiday Ettiquette Question

Okay, here's my situation. I'm the lowly "office operations supervisor" which means, I spend all day answering the phone and playing on the internet. I drive my own car, pay for my own gas (with $3 in change this morning just to get me here), do my own repairs.

The people I work with have company cars, get their gas and their repairs free, and make much more than I do. I'm a single mom. They are married or have grown children, so two incomes or no need for two incomes.

Last year I was blindsided having to get them something. I got each a bottle of wine for about $10. They items they got me were far more expensive. Should I feel bad and spend more or should I expect them to understand I don't have the means that they do to give gifts? The two men have wives/fiances, but not kids. The other woman here has grown kids but makes bank! What is right?

Personally, I'd prefer not to get anything from them so I don't have to give, but I don't think that's an option. Advice.

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Old 11-27-2007, 04:00 PM   #2
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I would have to say they probably already realize you are not on the same plane as they are incomewise. My advice is continue to offer gifts as you can afford, as long as you choose in good taste. Good taste always trumps expensive in my book. You shouldn't feel guilty because you can't "shower" those with more resources than you with costly gifts. Keep doing what you've been doing.

As for receiving their gifts, accept with grace and sincere thanks. As an extra measure of "class," give each one a handwritten thank you note after the holidays.
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:01 PM   #3
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I think a bottle of wine is an appropriate gift. Its not overly personal, its something they can keep and drink when they want or even (shock horror) pull out when they in turn need to give a gift they hadn't planned for. I really don't think it matters if hey give you something more expensive. Gifts are not about the worth, in the office situation they might be simply a nicety. Its nice they value you enough to make sizable gifts to you, but perhaps your situation has already factored in their choice? Get them the wine and relax ;)

Oh, I agree with Katie 100 about the thank you note. I'm amazed so few people write them nowadays.
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:07 PM   #4
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I would suggest that you go with the baked goods route. I think it shows that you thought enough of them to dedicate an evening (or two) of your personal time. It is far less exspensive, more thoughful. Plus when someone gives me something that I am not able to create,(homemade bread for example.) I am truly impressed amazed, and thankful. It never crosses my mind that they didn't spend as much $$ as I did, all I remember is they created something delicious with their own 2 hands.
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:09 PM   #5
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I agree 100% with Katie.
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:14 PM   #6
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You also could suggest no gift exchange- as I did when retired, so we (friends) don't anymore, but we do do Birthday's. But if you do - just give what you can - good people understand and appreciate the thought.
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Barb L. View Post
You also could suggest no gift exchange- as I did when retired, so we (friends) don't anymore, but we do do Birthday's. But if you do - just give what you can - good people understand and appreciate the thought.
Well, since they've done this for 10+ years and I've only been here 1, don't think that'll fly.

I'm liking the baked goods idea. I could package them nicely with stuff from the 99 cent store.
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renee Attili View Post
I would suggest that you go with the baked goods route. I think it shows that you thought enough of them to dedicate an evening (or two) of your personal time. It is far less exspensive, more thoughful. Plus when someone gives me something that I am not able to create,(homemade bread for example.) I am truly impressed amazed, and thankful. It never crosses my mind that they didn't spend as much $$ as I did, all I remember is they created something delicious with their own 2 hands.
If you feel comfortable baking some holiday treat (like a quickbread or some cookies) I recommend Renee's suggestion. I DO bake, but I still appreciate very much when someone gives me a gift they created themselves. It's so very thoughtful.
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:25 PM   #9
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Katie said everything I would have!

Go to a big wine store (forget the name of them down there) and you should be able to buy a bottle of Beaujolais Brouilly for around $10.00 or so. Excellent wine for the money!!!!! I'm not a Beaujolais fan but a Brouilly is the best. If you want to you can find this wine and I will come up with an entree for you that goes with it and you can type it out, roll it up like a scroll, and attach it to each bottle of wine.

You should not feel bad at ALL that you can't spend the same as the others.
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Callisto in NC View Post
Well, since they've done this for 10+ years and I've only been here 1, don't think that'll fly.

I'm liking the baked goods idea. I could package them nicely with stuff from the 99 cent store.
The gift of time and flavor are the best gifts to give or recieve. IMHO
You could end up as the "Must Have" gift item of the office.
I can hear the conversations by the water cooler now.....
"What did you get Marge.?"
"Another botttle of wine that I really don't like. What did you get Mary?"
"Some fabulous homemade bread from Callisto. My family will be lucky if they ever get to taste it.It is absolutely DELICIOUS!! I wish I was good enough in the kitchen to make my own. Do you think Callisto would be willing to share her secret?"
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