Come the holiday season, many people find it’s not just family and friends on their shopping lists. Coworkers and acquaintances often land on such lists as well, and it’s not always easy deciding what to get those people who aren’t close friends or family members.


Gifting the boss is a sensitive subject and should be dictated by company protocol. If you are the only employee to buy your boss a gift, it may seem like you are trying to curry favor. However, if everyone else is gifting and you fail to offer a gift, you may be caught off guard.

Some business etiquette experts say that it is customary for bosses to give gifts to employees but not the reverse. However, employees who are especially close with their bosses or who work closely with them each day may want to offer a small token of appreciation.

When selecting gifts for bosses, do not give anything too personal, such as clothing, perfume or jewelry. Food or gift cards are a safer bet. Experts say a gift in the range of $10 to $25 is adequate. Chipping in for a gift with other employees may be the best course of action so you don’t inspire resentment among coworkers.

Babysitter or nanny

Caregivers play important roles in the lives of children. Once you have found a sitter or nanny who you trust, you want to ensure you keep that person content. If you regularly use a nanny or sitter, money is always a great gift. For a full-time nanny, one week to one month’s pay is adequate. For a regular sitter, consider a gift equal to two nights’ pay.

Coach or club leader

Children today are involved in many different activities, and chances are parents’ schedules are filled with sports games and practices. A small gift of $10 to $20 can show your appreciation to a coach or club leader. This is another instance when it might be nice to pool your resources with fellow parents to purchase one large gift.

Mail carrier

If your mail is delivered by the same mail carrier week after week, you may want to spread some holiday joy. Mail carriers have an extra workload during the holidays, when they are tasked with delivering packages and greeting cards in addition to more routine mail. Civil servants may be forbidden from receiving cash. In such instances, a gift card makes a great gift.

Trash collector

Hauling garbage is neither an easy nor glamorous job. Many garbage collectors appreciate a tip for their hard work. Take notice of who collects the trash from your home. If it is the same people each week, take the time to personally deliver an envelope with a small tip of around $20.


If you are a regular for frequent treatments and color in a salon, show the stylist you appreciate his or her work with a cash gift. If you want to give a wrapped present, avoid tools of the trade or anything that is too personal. Stylists are on their feet much of the day, so a gift for a massage appointment or pedicure may be just what they need.

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