Predictable Presents You Should Never Give to Your Boss

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It’s the holiday season once again. And for many of us, gift planning and buying has already started. In case you’re thinking of including your boss on your Santa list, then you’re probably in on a more challenging gifting task.

Business etiquette rules suggest that employees are not required to give their boss a gift for Christmas or any other occasion. It is a gesture that should be carefully thought out as you wouldn’t want to send the wrong signal. In a survey by, 11% of the respondents said that they expect a raise after giving their boss a present. But if you are not like those employees, and you sincerely want to give your boss a gift, then might as well make it something new and interesting.

It is the season of giving after all, so go ahead and put boss on your list! But be sure not to give him or her these 5 predictable presents:

World’s Best/#1 Boss Stuff
Whether it’s a mug, a glass, a cap, a shirt, or a framed calligraphy artwork, a present with the ‘World’s Best or #1 Boss’ text in it spells that you’re a suck-up. No good and smart executive would want to receive a gift like that, anyway.

Wines and spirits make any occasion or celebration more fun. It could be a good gift idea for family or friends, but giving alcohol to your boss is a no-no, according to etiquette experts. For some employers, it’s also a too personal gift.

Books or magazines
Reading materials – especially ones that are related to your field – are a safe choice for a gift idea, but it’s too predictable at the same time. You wouldn’t be even sure if he already has a copy of the book you’re planning to give him. Gifting him with a book could also turn inappropriate if you didn’t do your research well.

They are affordable and can easily be bought at the malls or flower shops, plus choices are aplenty, making flowers a common and predictable gift idea. But be careful as giving flowers can be interpreted as a romantic gesture, so it’s best to ditch flowers as a present for your boss.

Personal care products
Anything that touches the skin, such as perfumes, skin care products, shaving kits, and other beauty and grooming items are not only predictable. They are also undesirable gift ideas as they imply that your boss smells or looks bad.

It’s true that it’s the thought that counts. But we still have to be mindful of what we gift other people with. Be considerate and creative! Steer clear of these predictable presents if you really want to give your boss a gift as a token of your appreciation. Your sincere intention will likely earn a sincere gratitude from him.

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