Giving without going broke
Remember, the most important thing is to make your co-worker, boss , assistant feel special or appreciated. And that doesn't necessarily require a lot of money.
* This may sound corny but I tried it and it works: bake something, or have a friend bake something -- present it during that 3 o'clock lull when everyone needs a sugar rush. My specialty is chocolate covered pretzels, always a hit!
* While a gift certificate to a restaurant is nice, words go a long way. A card with a personal note will be the part of they gift they most appreciate.
* Order lunch in, your treat. (Their favorite food) It says something about the effort you make for them.
* Consider going in as a group for the boss' gift. Pass an envelope around with a note about what the money will be used for and everyone chips in what they want. No need to embarrass that co-worker trying to pay off a student loan by requiring a specific donation.
* For anyone you work with a gadget, paperweight, calendar, picture frame, pen and pencil set, or book are useful low cost gifts.
What if you receive an unforeseen gift? Do you reciprocate? " There are several viewpoints on this:
I think you could," says Deborah Brown-Volkman, a career coach in East Moriches, N.Y., and author of the forthcoming book "How to Feel Great at Work Everyday."
Dr. Randall Hansen , Founder of Quintessential Careers, writes: "Don't feel pressure to run out and buy a gift for the boss or a co-worker if he or she gives you one. But do send a thank-you note acknowledging the gift and expressing your gratitude.