With the holiday fast approaching (only 15 days left until Christmas by today's calculation), it's time to select gifts for your family, loved ones, friends, and colleagues. As a personal shopper for a few exclusive clients and the owner of CeeCoupon.com, I am here to share with you some secrets and help with gift ideas.

Most of you have a boss, co-workers, and colleagues for whom you struggle to find fabulous and unique gift ideas within a reasonable budget. These gift ideas for co-workers are subtle, unique, and within a modest budget:

Custom Cookies

One of my favorites is a standby that I use during many occasions but is especially wonderful during this time of year, an edible greeting card cookie from Edibles, Inc. This cookie is made with the finest ingredients and comes in a pretty box finished with ribbon that you can customize. The cookie is 5" x 7" and can be personalized with your very own greeting. The cookies are traditional sugar cookies and topped with real buttercream frosting (they melt in your mouth!) and are made to order at the time of purchase online. And get this! They are less than $25.00 each (not including shipping) and are delivered straight to the recipient's door. Of the at least 15 of these cookies I've bought over the last few years, they have all been a hit!


Whether your boss is a scrooge or your co-worker never turns her frown upside down, there isn't a person out there who doesn't enjoy the pampering. So what is better than an hour massage from Massage Envy? Massage Envy is a reputable massage clinic located in 42 states with over 800 locations nationwide. With a gift card purchase of between $40 and $50, you can give the gift of a complete one hour massage. As a member of Massage Envy, I can testify that their messages are not only relaxing and stress-reducing but are very high quality. Why pay upwards of $100 for the same message you can gift for half the price? Treat your curmudgeon boss or grouchy co-worker to this therapeutic gift and the rest of your office will love you

Crate & Barrel Value

Crate and Barrel's website has a section divided into price categories, like their Gifts Under $50 shopping section. There are plenty of steals, like a DeLonghi Front Access Coffee Maker (a steal at $49.95), Cast Iron Fondue Set ($49.95), Bean Coffee Press ($29.95), and much more. My personal favorite on the site this year is a Calphalon 2-Piece Contemporary Non-stick Frying Pan Set that's been marked down to $49.95 from a suggested retail of $120.00. Talk about saving money! Crate and Barrel's friendly and easy to navigate website has yet to let me down. And their signature black and white gift boxes with the choice of color fabric bows add a "just personal enough" touch for your boss or coworker.

Keep it organized

For organizational purposes, because after all, these picks are for your boss and co-workers, I found an excellent appointment calendar system that would be perfect for those in your office. TheBusyBodyBook Grid is both a personal and family organizer, and it boasts five separate columns to keep up with your own calendar and activities as well as others in your family. At a steal of only $12.95 and $14.95, it comes in contemporary colors and designs to keep even the busiest person focused.


Redenvelope.com is always a special favorite of mine when personal shopping and a go-to for a difficult to buy for person. This site also features a $50 and under gift section with several items perfect for an office mate or boss. Check out the Juniper banzai, great for a desk or windowsill, it's only $29.95; or the USB beverage chiller/warmer, also $29.95. Who couldn't use an apparatus to chill or warm a beverage? Genius!

Gift giving rules of thumb

When purchasing an item for your boss and/or co-workers, keep in mind the following: Make sure the gift is in good taste and not too personal. Gifts like clothing are no-no's at the office. One year, I received a black negligee from my office Secret Santa. I opened it after I got back from vacation and was so embarrassed. I never found out who it was but kept looking around the office to see if I could get a visual clue of who sent. Make sure the gift isn't over-the-top. $50.00 is a good max. And anything too expensive or flashy may send the wrong signal.

As with any gift, never leave the price tag on the gift or disclose how much you paid for the present.

Gift certificates and gift cards are a great alternative to getting a gift but are to be used sparingly. Creativity is always appreciated.

Personalize your gift to an office mate or boss with a card expressing your holiday wishes for them.

Finally, make sure when ordering from the Internet that you understand the shipping lengths. Order ahead in plenty of time to ensure the gift has arrived well before the holiday.


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