In addition to the annual Christmas party, many organizations have a tradition of gift giving. You may feel pressured to buy something for everyone in your department – and that is one more thing that you may not want to add to your holiday ‘to do’ list.
One company decided to change that tradition, and figured out an alternative to buying for the 30 plus people in the organization. Some of the employees met and decided to start making gift baskets of consumables, cookies, breads etc., that would not clutter the office all year. The baskets werea hit, and started a trend.
Still, people felt they had to give a basket to everyone. The next year, the Secret Santa concept was floated – this is where everyone picks a name out of a hat, and buys only that person a gift. The company voted, and everyone agreed to the Secret Santa idea. Even though there was now less stuff, people still tried to outdo each other with the gift they would give. Finally, the company put a $20 cap on the gift value. That is one alternative for your office – and below are 12 more:
- As an office, adopt a school, hospital or collect money for the homeless or needy families. Resource for adopting a school: http://www.wrksolutions.com/AdoptASchool.pdf,
- Donate to a charity in the name of a colleague who cares about that issue. For example, Rescue Gifts: http://gifts.rescue.org/
- Give reusable items that can be used all year long, like water bottles, mugs , reusable shopping bags or solar rechargers: http://www.pitchengine.com/reuseitcom/reuseitcoms-top-ten-holiday-gifts-that-make-a-big-impact/172024/
- Give gifts of recycled, reused and natural materials like www.eco-artware.com
- Give fair trade and organic items such as tea, coffee, or chocolate.
- Give homemade baked goods, potpourri, or a dried herb wreath: http://www.craftster.org/ and http://www.diynetwork.com/topics/christmas/index.html
- Create a special memory by giving activities, a ball game, museum tickets, or another fun activity: http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=was or http://www.skydivinginwashingtondc.com/
- Send a card to a soldier overseas or an injured veteran spending the holidays in a military hospital: http://www.amillionthanks.org/ or http://anysoldier.com/
- Make a special emergency kit gift basket with a blanket, flashlight, gas can, jumper cables, and flares – do it yourself or go to: http://www.thefirstaidkits.com/safety-gift-ideas/
- Give away that great book you enjoyed to someone who shares your taste. Or give the gift of reading to a child in need: http://www.firstbook.org/
- If you must shop, buy at a local small business: http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/1289899487001/why-it-pays-to-buy-local
- Look at your suppliers and see what can be changed: http://blog.lohas.com/blog/lohas-trends/american-ingenuity
Not to employers: Don’t forget to still give cash bonuses or other incentives for all the good work over the year!
Also, check out: http://www.buynothingchristmas.org/alternatives/