The 6 Worst Christmas Gifts to Receive at Work

Christmas is a time for giving, and we all know that there are certain gifts that we should avoid giving to our loved ones. But what about our employees? Are there any gifts that we should avoid giving them too? In this blog post, we will discuss the seven worst Christmas gifts to receive at work. Keep these in mind when you are shopping this year!

Branded merchandise

We know your team should love your brand as much as you do, but that doesn’t mean they want to receive branded merchandise as a gift. Not only is this type of gift usually impersonal, but it can also be seen as a way for companies to promote their brand rather than show appreciation for their employees. If you must give branded gifts, make sure they are something that your employees will actually use and appreciate – or throw in the branded hat, tea towel or stickers as an added bonus!


No one wants to receive a gift that is going to make them smell bad. Unfortunately, this is exactly what can happen when you give toiletries as a Christmas gift. Unless you know your employees well and are confident that they will love the scent of the soap or cologne you have chosen, it’s best to steer clear of this one. Even the most delicious brands can be a nightmare for someone with skin complaints or a sensitive nose – or sensitive souls could think that the gift implies they need to change their hygiene habits!

An experience with the boss

Now we love an experience, but some companies have been giving out ‘meals with the CEO’ as a treat. Now that might be a hit – especially if your CEO looks like Ryan Reynolds/ Emma Stone / Insert Celebrity Crush here – but it does feel a bit like an IOU on an actual gift. Think how hard your team have worked to pull you out of sticky moments. Now think about how much free time they have in an evening to spend with loved ones, and if they want to swap it for a dinner date with you.

A much better idea is some little perks on top of a tangible gift. Free parking, early finishes, working from home once a week – now those are presents your team will love.

Gag gifts

Gag gifts may be funny to you, but they are often seen as offensive and inappropriate. If you wouldn’t give the gift to your boss or a client, then don’t give it to an employee. This includes anything that could be considered racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. It seems obvious but what can seem like a funny momento that references an in office joke at the time of purchasing could look quite inappropriate if it was read out in a court transcript. Stick to gifts that are appropriate for all audiences – your employees will thank you for it!

Perishable food items

While food is always a welcome gift, there are certain types of food that should be avoided as Christmas gifts. These include anything that is perishable and especially turkeys. While some employers love the Charles Dickens moment of delivering their hard workers a big ol’ bird before Christmas, the chances are they purchased their own one months ago – or they are vegan, flexitarian, or heading to the mother in law’s for the big day. We have even heard reports of employees leaving their unwanted gifts of frozen turkeys outside the pub!

A gift card with weak options

Unless you know that Zara in Marketing LOVES fleeces and that Mark in Finance is a huge fan or the Hard Rock Cafe, take a closer look at your multi use voucher! Some multi use gift cards say they have a lots of choice. – and they do – it’s just the brands on them aren’t likely to be used by your team. A smarter idea is to do a poll of their favourite brands. Chances are they are on the life:style Gift Card!

Now you know what not to do – it’s time to order some Lifestyle Cards! They are the perfect way to show your employees you care, without any of the Christmas Gift giving pitfalls. Your team can choose from over 150+ high street brands so they are sure to find something they will love. Order now for free delivery, 2 year expiry with no fees or admin charges.