MYPRODUCT45 Traditional Gifts. Obligation or Joy?


Many of us have been given the opportunity to offer gifts as a sign of appreciation manifested by us and our company to collaborators and partners.

In MYPRODUCT4 I exemplified my intention to give to collaborators a gift that must come out of the standard in the sense to surprise the person who receives it and most importantly to make her/him smile. All these gifts accompanied by a written or personally transmitted note in order to make memorable this process.


How do you do with your colleagues’ gifts for traditional holidays? March 1, March 8, Easter, Christmas.

Do you offer gifts to managers and department colleagues only? To colleagues from other departments? To all your colleagues? Or act selectively?

And one final question: do you perceive these gifts as an ”obligation”?


I think the answer to this question should be calibrated according to the organization.

At the base offering gifts should be a pleasant activity. But there are many studies that show that this is a very stressful process because regardless of the number of gifts this process involves time, energy, money. And often the results are contrary to expectations.

In this context, if you are acting in a company with many dozen, hundreds of people that work in the same building / workplace, it is quite difficult to prepare hundreds of small gifts for all colleagues.

Obviously, in such a situation, it is normal to focus on your department colleagues firstly and then based on ‘interests’ to give gifts to managers / colleagues from other departments with whom you frequently interact on projects you are running.

In such situations, the expectations of colleagues to receive a gift are lower, in the sense that everyone is focusing towards the close world circle of colleagues / interests.

If you work in a small company with 30-40 people then things are radically changing. The general expectation is that no one will be “skipped” from traditional gifts, people even counting the gifts (who – to whom gave it).

In such organizations, you assume from the beginning that you have to give the little attention to all your colleagues. Otherwise you risk to be notified negatively because there will definitely be some colleagues who will act in this respect.


In the large organizations I activated, I selectively approached this process in the sense that I gave traditional gifts only to my department’s colleagues and to colleagues I had a direct interaction in my working projects.

In small organizations, obviously, on these occasions, gifts were general to everyone.

From this perspective I can say that I followed the standard formula of traditional gifts.

But I worked on small details that brought a mark of differentiation in this process.

I tried to surprise colleagues who did not expect to be included in my preference list. For example, the cleaning lady.

I paid little attention so that each person received a gift different from the one received by his colleague. In this way the process was individualized and not uniform.

I accompanied the gift with written small thoughts, wishes, notes, personalizing this approach based on the person I offered the gift.

Or I preferred to offer traditional gifts one day sooner or later than the standard day.

5.Key Learnings

By using these little tricks, the traditional gift process attenuated the ‘obligation’ component that is often associated with these periods.

It is important to find the small details that differentiate your approach so in the end the joy of offering a gift to meet the smile of the person who received it.

Otherwise everything is only an obligation.

Notification: MYPRODUCT reflects my real professional experience and expertise as well as my subjectivity. I do have a profound respect for all the companies I collaborated to and for all the people I worked with. It is not my intention to approach any sensitive, confidential or offending information related to companies, projects or people. If you the reader deduct or recognise companies, projects or people in my examples, I kindly ask you to respect MYPRODUCT and my professional and ethic approach and to not share any detail, information, situation, name, company.