Navigating the happiest time of year at work can be difficult; there are tons of different people (whether you work in a small or large office) and everyone celebrates different things. You're close with certain people and not with others... there is a lot of ups and downs when the holidays come around.

Do you get your boss a gift? Your coworkers? What about vendors? How do you accept gifts but not give them? What is the holiday party etiquette? How do you manage to get everything done with high holiday stress in the air?

There are SO MANY QUESTIONS and while I don't have all the answers, I have some; from personal experience and from a pro at Linkedin who shared some stats with me!


Holiday Gifting

My first year at my job I did get my boss a small Christmas gift but after that, I didn't. I felt that she wasn't that type of person and it was kind of unspoken between us. Gifting your boss can be confusing because what is appropriate? Do you expect something back? It's a gray area.

According to Linkedin, 91% of professionals think that holiday gifting at work is appropriate and 33% have planned to gift their superiors. However, 45% of professionals do not gift to co-workers. I think that it's up to you and what you feel comfortable with and what the culture is like at the company.

You may have a company that gifting is expected or one that it's against policy. You know your company and peers best so think about it and feel out the vibe.

My company does a Secret Santa and truthfully, I don't participate-- not for any particular reason but it kind of slips my mind. I think that's a good way to give a coworker a gift without feeling the need to go overboard.

As for vendors, I've received holiday gifts from vendors in the past but I don't gift them. When we see them throughout the year, I do give them products (I work for a beauty brand) so I see that as gifting just not during the holidays. I also think that most people do not gift vendors but they gift the company (we always are getting food and baked goods delivered to the office from a variety of people we work with).

The Holiday Party

It is SO IMPORTANT to go to the holiday party! If you're in a bigger company, it's a fabulous place to network and connect with people that you don't normally see. According to Linkedin, 28% of people learned about a new opportunity at the company while 26% have talked with an executive they don't normally get to speak with. 

My company is small, so small that the CEO and President know me by name and I have been in their company solo, multiple times. If you work at a smaller company like that, it's still important to go, socialize, and show your face. It's also nice to see people outside of work in a more relaxed setting and get to know everyone on a more personal level. 

As for holiday party etiquette, keep your dress code professional; a nice, tasteful dress or a pair of slacks, a sparkly shirt and heels are safe. Do up the hair and makeup if you want some extra flair but keep it tasteful -- you are still at work.

In the past few years, I have grown a strong dislike for drinking. I have a few glasses of wine when I'm out at dinner but really don't go out drinking anymore nor do I enjoy getting drunk. That being said, if you are someone who loves to drink, please do not get drunk at office holiday parties. I know some companies have that type of culture but I see it as being unprofessional and no one wants to say something out of line at work, or do something truly out of line. No one wants to be the talk of the office the next day. Just drink responsibly. 

Time Off

Most companies will give you Christmas Day and New Year's Day off; some better companies might even give you Christmas and New Years Eve. Others will give you the entire week between Christmas and New Years off... 

Either way, you need to take time off during the holidays. 73% of professionals say they would prefer extra time off than a holiday gift. It's important to spend time with your family and also enjoy the holiday season. 

For my holiday time off, I save up a bunch of PTO (paid time off) days throughout the year and use them for a few days before Christmas until after New Years. This year, I'm off from December 20th-January 2nd so it's a really nice break and it'll be a good rest and recharge.

If you have the extra days to use, I highly recommend taking extra time off during Christmas week. You will enjoy the holidays so much more!

In terms of sick days, winter is the sick time of year. If you are sick, STAY HOME. No one wants your germs and you need your rest. Being sick at work is not fun for anyone and you will not be doing your best work so use the sick day, your office can survive without you!

Do you have any other burning career questions? Let me know!! 

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