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Today I’ve got another holiday gift guide for you! This one’s for people who are in your daily life, but who you’re not super close to. Think holiday gifts for neighbors, co-workers, teachers, the mailman, etc. Basically, it’s your obligatory Christmas list.
But first, if you missed my previous gift guides make sure to check them out!
Gift Guide 1: Best Holiday Gifts for a Friend Going Through a Breakup
Gift Guide 2: Holiday Gift Guide for Bloggers and Content Creators
Should You Get Gifts for Neighbors? What about Co-Workers or Teachers or the Mail Man?
How many people do you interact with regularly? Or, who provide an important service for you – like delivering your hundredth Amazon package or teaching your kid math?
The answer is a LOT. There are a lot of people who *could* potentially be on your obligatory Christmas list. So, how do you decide who to get a gift for?
I think the easiest answer is… it’s complicated. Certain people should always be on your list – like your kids’ teacher (or teachers.)
But, what about the people next door? Should you get holiday gifts for your neighbors? What if you live in an apartment complex? Or a big-ass neighborhood?
And, then, you’ve got your work. Should you get a gift for your boss? What about your co-workers? What if you’re all still working from home? Do you still get them a gift?
Some Basic Holiday Gifting Guidelines
As much as you might want to give everyone around you a gift, that’s typically not feasible for most people. Instead, choose who goes on your list based on how much of a role they play in your life.
Again, the teachers and daycare workers who watch your child(ren) should be given a high priority – they’re pretty damn important! But, if you’ve got a kid in middle school or high school, you can consider just giving some of their teachers a gift. (For instance, their Homeroom teacher should definitely get one, but you can probably leave their P.E. teacher off the list.)
Then you’ve got your neighbors – I’d say definitely give a holiday gift to the neighbors closest to you (proximity wise, not relationship wise.) Which, for most people, would probably be 3-5 of them. And if you can afford it, it’s a nice gesture to get your mailman, bus driver, and garbage man something small too.
For co-workers and bosses, it’s a bit trickier because every office has it’s own established etiquette. When I had an office-job, it was customary for all of us to chip in $10 for the bosses gift. But, if yours doesn’t do that, it’s a safe bet to get your boss something small and bring in a plate of desserts for your co-workers.
Aside from that, I’d advise that you err on the side of caution and keep a few small gift items on hand just in case Jane from way down the block unexpectedly gets you something and you need to reciprocate.
How Much Should you Spend on Obligatory Christmas Gifts?
This is another question that will heavily depend on your own budget and the norm within your office or social circle. But, in general, here’s my guideline:
- Neighbors – $10-20
- Co-workers – anywhere from $5 to $20 (depending on how big of an office you’re in)
- Teachers and Daycare Workers – $15-30
- Your Boss – between $20 and $40 (you might think spending more will make you look good, but actually, it might just make your boss feel uncomfortable.)
- Mailman, Garbage Collector, and Bus Driver – tips up to $20 or homemade treats (make sure to check the actual guidelines, too, because in many places, mail carriers aren’t legally allowed to accept cash.)
With that said, it’s always a nice and appropriate gesture to give holiday cards or a plate of cookies to anyone on your list. If you’re strapped for cash or want to give everyone a little something, that’s a great alternative.
But, if you want to give gift gifts, keep reading for my favorite suggestions!
Best Gifts for Neighbors
When getting gifts for neighbors, you likely know whether or not they celebrate Christmas, so it’s a good opportunity to get some cute Christmas decorations. Ornaments are always good – they’re small but thoughtful. Other decorative items could include hand towels, pillows, table settings, or little Swedish Gnomes.
Best Gifts for Co-Workers or a Boss
For co-workers or your boss, it’s a better idea to gift them something more practical. Lotions, candles, desk accessories, or winter gloves are all appropriate. Candy and small treats are also always a good idea. If you’re wanting something slightly more extravagant for your boss, the Tea Lovers Gift Set is a really nice item.
Best Gifts for Teachers
I have several friends who are teachers and when asked, they’ve all said the best gift is a gift-card. Boring, I know! But they probably get a lot of “teacher” themed items every year, so a gift-card will probably be greatly appreciated. Still, a personalized tumbler would probably be adored.
And, again, lotion, candles, and winter apparel like gloves or a scarf would also be a good gift idea. And I love those Swedish Gnomes, so I included another one of those too!
Extra Gifts to Keep on Hand – Just in Case
Did anyone else grow up with a “gift closet” or was that just me? Our gift closet wasn’t actually an entire closet, but rather, a small section of the closet where we kept little items just in case we needed a gift last minute. Ornaments, candles, lotions, soaps or stocking stuffers are all good to keep on hand for this reason.
I also think it’s a sweet gesture to get everyone around you a Holiday card or a small tin of homemade cookies, turtles, fudge, or candies. Luckily, you can buy cards and cookie tins in bulk to make sure you’ve got plenty!
Whether you decide to go all out this year or not, remember it’s always the thought that counts. But, if you do decide to get gifts for neighbors, co-workers, and the mailman, hopefully this post gave you some good ideas.
Do you agree with my holiday gifting guidelines? What are your favorite gifts for neighbors and co-workers? Let me know in the comments below!
As always, thanks for reading!
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