questionshow much do you spend for presents for work…

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We don't exchange gifts, but the employees take a collection and buy a gift for the owners. The owners reward us nicely.

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If you have more than a handful of people to "exchange" with, I'd just go Secret Santa. I also tended to get some kitschy/cheap cup/bowl and put homemade yummies in them - acceptable to all, crazy cheap. (I guess my short answer is, I'm cheap and <$10 for a gift. Unless you bake/etc. then, as cheap as you can!)

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We don't do presents at work. In fact I think there's something in a corporate policy statement that frowns on it, particularly for anyone above you. The idea being that they're trying to ensure that it doesn't look like people are trying to buy a promotion/good favor with the boss, etc. And that makes sense, particular in a huge company that is primarily a government contractor.
That said, I give a dozen or so homemade cookies to my cubemate and a few other of my closer friends from work. I've never figured the cost, but it's pretty small.

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@gt0163c: Yeah, I never got one for my boss before, nor my coworkers. Just folks that work for me - and that usually was a really nice lunch out. Now I have guys on shift so that won't work and the rest of the department is used to a paid for department holiday lunch which is not allowed this year (wasnt really before and caused problems with the rest of the company that didn't get one). So I get the brunt of that disappointment and I need to soften the blow somehow. The coworkers I'm less concerned over - they can have a sandwich at the lunch! To me Christmas is for family and charity, not exchanging unneeded and unwanted presents with people I don't really know. If i could do an exchange like @thumperchick suggested that would be great but I don't have that option at this point. Maybe next year.

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I like to give small gifts to lots of people at work. I spend $5-10 each on the three people in my immediate section, about $5 on the two bosses above us, about $10-20 on a couple of good friends here at work, and $2-3 on all the secretaries and people I am on a chatty basis with. This year all the ladies are getting pearl earrings, as I was able to score two boxes with a dozen pairs each for about $6 per box from a jewelry vendor I deal with in China. I'm buying nice jewelry boxes and putting them in gift bags, and throwing a few Lindt truffles into each bag to flesh them out. With the smaller office gifts it really is "the thought that counts" in my office, nobody expects extravagant gifts.

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@thumperchick: For some reason the boss put the kibosh on the Secret Santa and the Christmas luncheon this year. He's supposedly planning something big for tomorrow, but I won't see it as I have taken the day off for my birthday holiday. I've asked one of my coworkers to call me if it's something worth coming in for on my day off.

This year Christmas is a big deal, because City Council decided to knock down City Hall in February and build a ballpark in it's place, and I don't know a single City employee that's happy about it (or many members of the voting public). I've worked in this building for 29 years, I expected to finish my career here, and instead it will be rubble and they are cramming us cheek to jowl into cubicles in a warehouse literally not meant for human habitation for the foreseeable future. We are enjoying a whole lot of retirement parties as everyone who can is abandoning ship. Everyone is sad and upset, so this Christmas is not a happy one at my workplace.

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At my job we do a Secret Santa. Which is nice, the old limit was $10. The new boss says we can spend more, which most of us do, because we are only buying for one person. My biggie is, three of my co-workers are also my friends, so I have separate little goodies for them, I'm sure they will enjoy them...when I finally give them their gifts. Mind you, our Secret Santa is only 7 people (there are a few part timers that work as well, but they don't attend our morning meeting every month and are therefore not eligible for Secret Santa). The boss is one of my friends in the company (yeah I got it made, I've known her almost my whole life!), so I don't buy her a 'boss' gift and a 'friend' gift, just one thing, lol! It works well for me :)