my coworker gave me a christmas gift. i did not give her one.
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my coworker gave me a christmas gift. i did not give her one.

last year my co worker and i did not exchange christmas gifts. this year she bought me a gift but i did not buy her one. i feel like a jerk

Asked on Dec 31, 2009Improve / edit this question

4 Answers

Lorena Williams   L4: Guide   56 answers   +26 votes
This answer has +1 votes  by

You do not say if you are a man or a woman.  In this sort of situation, men usually just say "thanks" and do nothing more.  Additionally, if the person who gave you the gift is your superior or subordinate, it's really not necessary to respond with more than a verbal or written "thank you."

If the person is truly an equal co-worker, below are two suggestions for responding.

1.  Buy a gift card from your coworkers favorite store and put it inside your thank you note to this coworker.  In your thank you note, say something like "I appreciate your friendship and thoughtfulness so much.  Please accept the enclosed as a token of my appreciation for your thoughtfulness."

2.  Go to lunch with this coworker ASAP and pick up the tab.  By using the lunch route, you can simply say "consider it my belated Christmas gift."

Whichever way you choose to go, always be gracious and don't go into a litany of apology for not having given a gift.

You can prepare in advance for this dilemma in a work place by making up one or two gifts that are under or around $10 and keep them in your work area or at home. That way you will be prepared if such a situation arises. It would also be a good idea to put gift tags on them, which can be filled in as need arises. The gift tag will definitely make the gift more personal.


Posted on Jan 2, 2010
Donna Aycock   L2: Contributor   53 answers   +50 votes
This answer has +2 votes  by

I think this has happened to everyone at some point.  Don't feel like a jerk, you could not know htat she was shopping for you. 

I think that a thank you note is enough if you do not usually exchange gifts and did not expect one from her.  If you are friends, do take her to lunch as Lorena suggests.  However, the economy is tough on everyone this year and you did not expect a gift.  I don't think that you should feel obligated to reciprocate.

I do agree that stocking some gifts is a good idea.  I also keep blank cards around around in case I need one for a birthday or other occasion.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010
Jerrod Nazarian   L3: Expert   195 answers   +99 votes
This answer has +1 votes  by

No offense to the previous answers, but I stand in the opposite corner on the idea of universal gifts for 'those' moments.  Gift giving is simply that, someone giving a gift, there is much thought put in gift giving and it should be appreciated.  Reciprocation is wonderful, but make it meaningful, it need not be a xmas present.  Gifts are great every day of every year.  Make them mean something.  Instead try and keep this person in mind, one day perhaps tomorrow you may come across something to reciprocate their kindness.  But remember they gave the gift because they care, don't tarnish that from guilt.  Be grateful someone was thinking of you, and let them know.

-note- I don't necessarily disagree with keeping blank cards around, but they are blank to be filled out

Posted on Jan 6, 2010
Jane Thomas   L2: Contributor   179 answers   +81 votes
This answer has 0 votes  by

It's never too late...................!

Posted on Jan 6, 2010

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