2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on secretary gifts, but you may also want to check out all of our posts on holiday business etiquette.
What sort of gifts are you getting for your secretary or assistant this year? In our last poll, the majority of people noted that they just gave their assistants and secretaries cash for a holiday present. Still, a small, personalized gift in ADDITION to the cash gift is a nice touch (time and budget permitting, of course) — it shows your assistant you really do care about him or her. So today I thought I’d round up a few small gift ideas to accompany that larger cash gift. (Note that Above the Law‘s discussion on how much to give is more recent than ours — I agree with their New York rule of thumb of taking your seniority and multiplying it by $100, but know your office.)
Our other gift guides are below — note that each one has a Pinterest board that is still being updated as we find stuff. (Here’s our “personalized additional gift” board to go with this post.)
- Gifts for Moms (including MILs and mom-like mentors); Pinterest board here.
- Gifts for the Guys (husbands, fathers, brothers, friends, etc.); Pinterest board here.
- Gifts for the BFF; Pinterest board here.
- Flowers are a classic for this kind of gift — not only does it gift your assistant with something nice, but it lets everyone in the office know that you did too. (Better for birthdays, I suppose — it puts everyone on notice that it’s your assistant’s birthday!) I’ve always run to the most local florist, but if I were up for flower delivery, I’d try this new company, The Bouqs. I saw them on Shark Tank, and while (as far as I remember) none of the investors were impressed, I was impressed enough to look them up. Their pitch is $40 flat fee, free delivery, no hidden fees. The flowers are “farm fed by volcanic ice melt and mineral-rich soil,” and you can set up a concierge service to remember your choices (and get a 25% discount). They now send the next day (which I think was the Sharks’ big sticking point; previously you needed to order a lot further in advance.)
- Know your giftee, but: a luxe version of their favorite snack food can be a great way to show that you’re paying attention and you appreciate them. These double-dipped caramel pretzels look ah-ma-zing, and they’re only $12 today.
- If your assistant loves her daily cuppa, this tea for one gift set looks amazing — I know it would make me happy every day. I first saw it over at ShopBop‘s gift guide, but C.Wonder has it as part of its sitewide sale for 30% off (bringing it down to $33).
- This little porcelain tray is only $10, and I love the idea of it near a computer monitor — it’s bright and happy, would be a nice spot to put jewelry that your assistant might take off during the day (earrings on phone calls, for example, or bracelets while typing), or even just a great place to put the myriad things that accumulate on your desk. Note that some letters are back-ordered.
- A wristlet is always a great gift for an office friend — they can keep their change, lunch discount cards, and a lip gloss in it, and add their credit card, cash, and phone to it when they grab it for their lunch run. I think Fossil makes some of the best budget leather bags and accessories around, and they have a number of cute wristlets — this scarlet one is bright and happy and only $45.
- I’m kind of in love with this Kate Spade planner — Amazon has a bunch of cute ones.
Readers, what are you getting for your assistant’s holiday present this year? If you’re giving cash, how much (and please note WHERE in the country you are, and if there’s an easy identifier for your kind of office (“BigLaw,” Big Four, Forbes 500 company, whatever), please include that.