What to Get for Your (Guy) Boss this Christmas 2017

Christmas Gifts for Your Boss - StartupStorey

Introduction 

The operative word here is ‘boss’. You need to be aware that some gifts may be thought inappropriate to give to your boss, especially for the Christmas season. 

These are gifts which have any ‘connotation’. Clearly, you need to go for something relatively neutral.

Christmas Gifts for Your Boss - StartupStorey

Word of Caution

Do you normally get gifts for male bosses during the Christmas season?

If not, then why are you getting this boss a gift? Like it or not, gift giving from a man to a woman is a part of our courtship rituals. It would be easy for your gesture to be misinterpreted or simply to be perceived as inappropriate familiarity.

If your boss has done something far beyond the call of duty to support you, then a gift to show gratitude might be appropriate but include a card making specific reference to whatever she has done and saying how grateful you are for it.

Get something bland and neutral and don’t spend too much money. Stay away from any gift associated with intimacy such as scented candles, flowers, valentine-like chocolates or jewelry.

#1 Fountain Pen

“This pen writes beautifully. Smooth, no skipping, Feels great in the hand. Is somewhat lightweight compared the the “Million Dollar Pen,” but that is not a negative. Easy to hold. Very attractive pen. It is not a “cheap” pen, and the quality is evident when used. Very impressed. Good ink flow, no skipping or blotching. Keep the cap on when not in use, even for 30 seconds, or else the tip will begin to dry. Ordered pen only; don’t intend to keep it in the case and look at it. A great pen is meant to be used, not just admired.”

– Review from Amazon.com

#2 Leather Journal

“This journal is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I was in the market for something that looked rustic or handmade and this was exactly what I wanted!

There was a bit of a chalky residue on the leather when I first received it, but a quick once over with a slightly damp paper towel eliminated any trace of the residue. It smells like nice leather and it’s the perfect size to carry around or slip into a bag.

Update: I’ve tested four different pens on the journal page and as well as a regular piece of computer paper for comparison.

All of these were written while the pages were sitting on top of another piece of the journal paper. I did my best to use the same amount of pressure for each pen across both paper types.

The close-up pictures are all on the journal paper.

Overall, writing on the journal’s paper feels like it has more a waxy glide than normal paper. It isn’t like actual wax paper or difficult to write on – there is just a better glide with all of the pens.

 

—– On How the Pens Write —–

The ballpoint pen is what I normally write with on a day-to-day basis. It was just fine on the journal paper, but I do prefer the look of the ink on the computer paper.

It glided nicely over the journal page and I didn’t have to press hard to get a good ink flow, but it did leave more splits in the ink than on the computer paper.

The Staples’ Brand Gel was hands-down the best pen on this paper.

The ink looks dark and flowed smoothly, but there was the occasional break in the line. It was a brand new pen so that may account for some of the breaking, but it wasn’t annoying enough for me to stray from wanting to write with this one.

To be fair: I liked using these on the computer paper as well, but it felt equally as good as writing with it on the journal paper.

The Jetstream pen was the most disappointing. I’m not a huge fan of the ink color from these pens, but I know a lot of people like the way they write so I included them.

Somehow these felt like the bad kind of scratchy on the journal pages, but not so much on the computer paper. I know it looks great in the pictures, but there was something missing with it for me.

It just kind of looks and writes like a cheap pen on the journal pages.

The fountain pen was a hit or miss depending on your own feelings about the ink. There was a lot of minimal bleeding both away from the line and through to the other side, which can be seen in the close-up and the back pictures.

Writing with the fountain pen on this paper felt great tactically; it had that great quill-like scratch without being rough on the paper. I personally am not a fan of how the ink behaves on the paper, so this won’t be my main writing tool for this journal.

 

—– On Bleeding and Ghosting —–

This is where the computer paper comparison comes in handy!

You can see on the computer paper that all of the pens have some ghosting, but not any bleed through. In contrast, the first three pens on the journal page have little to no ghosting while the fountain pen has average ghosting and minimal bleeding.

 

—– Conclusion —–

If you are thinking about buying this – don’t hesitate! No one asked me to write this review, I just love this journal so much that I want everyone else to love it, too!”

– Review from Amazon.com

#3 Neck Ties

“These ties are surprisingly elegant. They look professional and the quality is better than I expected. I am fussy where quality is concerned but these look as good as expensive brand names.” – Review from Amazon

 


#4 Rolex Watch

“Don’t buy this watch to impress others, buy yourself a once in a lifetime present so that every time you pull up your sleeve to check the time you will smile.

This watch is a dream come true, a total luxury for someone who has everything. I work as a general laborer so my funds are certainly not limitless, but I chose to save up for this particular watch. Amazing, solid 18k gold, very heavy, beautiful! If watches are not your thing then you won’t get it.

If they are your thing this is no waste of money.

The stock market falls off and you may lose this much in your retirement account in one week, or, wait for it to rise and have something at least for all your years of hard labor. Cheer up you have solid gold on your wrist! No one cares, but I do! That is why I bought it strictly for my personal enjoyment. My wife is not interested in watches, she would rather have a big diamond. Trust me this watch holds its value way better than diamonds!” – Review from Amazon

#5 The Intelligent Investor Book

“ I found commentary very useful (though often distracting). If you are not a professional – you’ll appreciate the commentaries and epilogue – read it first? It’s very inspiring.

Book: “You either get the idea in the first five minutes, or you don’t get it at all”, commented Warren Buffet in the epilogue. I would add – you don’t necessarily need to read all 550 pages, but you must read through the idea of value investing – and it will change your way of looking at the world. I always felt confused and amazed by listening to all the ridiculous fuzz that comes from the Wall Street through TV and the internet. The book explains why.

Several rules of thumbs I noted into my keep:

– Investor buys the business [based on its price/value], speculator buys the stock [based on an absurd believe that he can foresee where the stock price will go].

– The best way to earn adequate return without any trouble whatsoever is to invest into cheap (low maintenance cost) indexes; use dollar averaging (buy every month instead of once at a random point of time) for smoothing the luck involved.

– For enterprising investor (willing to spend much more time), look for a diversified list of bargain issues (at least 30 issues, business values (i.e. net current asset and other related metrics) is below market cap)

– During the bubble, hot industries and companies are getting overpriced. That could only be financed from somewhere. Partially that money are coming from well established old economy companies that lose the appeal. Thus, invest in such old economy companies while bubble grows, as soon as the bubble burst – undervalued companies would rise back.

– Don’t ever buy IPOs! (See chapter for compelling arguments)

– Don’t consider companies that do not pay dividends. Dividends – money firm pays you for providing capital, they belong to you. They cut a piece for reinvestment – payout ratio. If firm doesn’t pay dividends – invest all into growth so you could profit later – that’s a speculation. Moreover stock price would be more volatile because it should now rely on future rather than current prospects.

– When gambling – bet on a single chip to maximize the payoff (roulette $1 to $35 payoff at 1/37 chance). When investing – diversify: each investment must have a margin of safety, the more diversified portfolio – the less likely that all will fail. You are a roulette house now who earns with each turn of the wheel.” – Review from Amazon

Reading is nourishing for the soul where famous biographies are highly sought after – do check out our other articles about Lessons to Learn from Steve Jobs for your Startup and 20 Books that every startup founder needs to read.

#6 Nespresso Machine

“After staying with a friend in Ireland who had a Nespresso unit, I got hooked on Nespresso coffee. I bought a machine as soon as I was back in the states and have never looked back.

The coffee (espresso) is rich, with a nice crema on top due to the 19 bar pressure of the machine which forces hot water thru the Nespresso capsule.

Nespresso currently has 5 different machines to choose from, however the most affordable are (in order): the Inissia ($149 list, $99 on Amazon), the Pixie ($229 list, $158 on Amazon) and the CitiZ ($299 list, $175 on Amazon).

There is very little difference between these machines in terms of the guts of the machine. They all offer the 19 bar pressure, have a handle that opens the top for the pod insertion, built-in water containers of roughly the same size, and programmed buttons for the amount of espresso you wish to brew.

These can be reprogrammed to suit your personal preference on all these machines. The machines mentioned can be bundled with a separate milk frother/heater for about $50, and they come in a variety of colors.

The less expensive models, like the Inissia and the Pixie, have more plastic parts in them than the more expensive machines, with the idea of offering the Nespresso system to newcomers who wish to keep their initial outlay lower, but they all basically make the same cup of coffee.

The Pixie is the in the middle of the affordable machines in the Nespresso realm. It is slightly taller than the Inissia and more stylish. It is also sturdier, and has more parts made of metal than the Inissia.

It is rated at 4.8 stars on the Nespresso website.

Nespresso offers 17 different coffee capsules to choose from plus assorted flavored versions, decafes, and the occasional special roast coffee, all rated by intensity.

A variety pack comes with the machine, and after that you will want to register your machine at Nespresso.com and buy your capsules online from Nespresso.

They source 80% of their coffees from AAA rated sustainable farms, and they provide postage paid envelopes to recycle your used coffee pods. I have always had exceptional customer service from Nespresso, and they stand behind their machines. If you get hooked on this espresso and want to upgrade your machine later, you can always take advantage of members only sales at Nespresso.com.”

– Review from Amazon


#7 Amazon’s Home Assistant

“Somehow, when all first generation of Echo devices were released, I didn’t pay much attention to it, because we lived in the apartment complex, didn’t have any smart devices and paying so much money for an Alexa speaker (which were a bit raw at that time) didn’t show much sense to me.

This fall Amazon released lots of Echo devices, but I think that particularly this one is the best among all others.

We moved to our first house and bought lots of different smart devices to our home. That’s why we bought this echo plus.

Unlike other Amazon Echo products, this one can serve as the center of my smart home.

It can automatically detect and control all sorts of smart gadgets, like light bulbs, outlets and even the lock on my front door (which we will buy soon).

If you hesitate which one to buy Echo or Echo Plus, let me highlight the similarities and the differences:

  1. Design: the Echo Plus is taller and comes only in three colors when there are six variations of Echo (three with cloth covers and three with sleek finishes, including wood).
  2. Sound: The Echo has a 0.6-inch tweeter, while Echo Plus has a 0.8-inch tweeter. My husband bought Echo for his office, so when we compared the sound in both of them, the Echo Plus had better sound hands down.

Although both of them support multi-room audio, which means that I can listen to Bossa Nova in the kitchen and my hubby can listen to Linkin Park in his garage.Just don’t expect a superb sound quality from both of them, if you are an audiophile, buy the professional equipment.

  1. Can you hear me?: Both Echos did a great job when I asked about the weather quietly from the other end of the room. But Echo Plus is also a smart hub by itself.
  2. Calling: I call to my husband or friends or family on a cell phone, as well as send them messages. They just need to have Alexa app on their phone.

 

SUMMARY:

If you don’t have smart devices (and not planning on getting then, stick with an Echo. Otherwise, buy Echo Plus. Everything works just like it should and I’m happy with this device.“

– Review from Amazon

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For more gift ideas, especially if your boss loves to read, check out 20 Books that every startup founder needs to read.

17 Replies to “What to Get for Your (Guy) Boss this Christmas 2017”

  1. Let me start by saying that I have been an amazing employee, and my performance is among the highest in my company. Recently, due to some pretty harsh stressors in my life, I got pretty behind at work. (Like an entire month’s worth of documentation behind… Probably a total of 16 hours worth.)

    My supervisor noticed this a few days ago, and sent me an email just stating that she noticed I was behind, and asking if everything was okay. I outlined a few of the very terrible things that happened outside of my control in my personal life, and she did not respond.

    Today, she cancelled everything else I had planned for work, and told me to come into the office to get caught up. I went into the office, and was expecting to be written up at the very least. Instead, my supervisor asked if I needed anything, and told me that she wanted to make sure I had the time I needed to catch up, but that she didn’t respond to my email because she didn’t want to pry. The conversation was very brief.

    Later, after I had been working for a while, she pulled me into her office and had a very light hearted conversation for about 45 minutes about some funny things in our office. She gave a few casual examples of how good of an employee I am, and how I make a big difference to the company. She told me I could clock overtime to catch up, even though I’m salary and this work should have been in weeks ago.

    I told her I wasn’t going to clock the overtime, because this was my mistake.
    Is it appropriate to get her a thank you card and a little gift? I was thinking a brief card, some chocolates, and a small Totoro statue to add to the collection in her office. I’m not sure how to thank her for how she responded to my screw up… I feel like she did a huge favor for me, and lifted a very big weight from my shoulders.

    1. I think your idea of getting her a card and a gift is very sweet, but my advice would be to go with the card, but not the gift.

      Recognizing her kindness in a card with a short message in it is a perfect gesture, but a gift might be overkill.

      After all, she is only doing her job as a competent manager — though she obviously did it very well, and with compassion. I think gifts between employees, or between an employee and a manger, should be the exception, not the rule.

  2. Is there any formal policy as to gift-giving in your company? I think that’s the number one thing.
    You know her and your company best, though. In my last job, my boss was kind of like yours, and I’d get her little stuffed animals from time to time because she absolutely loved cute stuff like that. Some people might say that’s not professional, but it depends on the situation.

    1. I wouldn’t worry so much about the price of a gift as much as getting something that your boss would appreciate that you were thinking of him/her or know something about them, like a trinket from their alma mater (office related or otherwise) or something related to their favorite sports team.

      In most cases, bosses could likely get for themselves whatever they want (or at least anything you could buy them for a gift), but showing that you listen to them and appreciate their interests is more meaningful.

  3. I’m going to say a nice, sincere letter or note outlining what you like about working there, what you appreciate about his management style, how much you appreciate your raise, and how much you’re looking forward to a successful year.

    I understand that you are very appreciative that he hired you, and very appreciative of the raise, but those were business decisions, not personal gifts to you.

    He will really appreciate a note or card thanking him for the things that you like about working there and the things that you’ve learned about the business.

  4. Before getting promoted I would always get my boss and single coworker a small token of appreciation, since promotion, I do the same thing, but there are a total of 4 people in my office and we’re very tight knit due to the nature of our job. Best advice, give a card in a big office, something more personal in a small one. Go by the old elementary school adage “did you bring enough for the whole class?” A card makes you stand out, and doesn’t look like you’re kissing ass. If you make family cards (photos of SO kids pets etc.) And this boss has had a significant impact on your time at the job, give one of those. It’s very touching and helps to break a bit of that “boss/employee” wall.

    1. Great piece of advice!

  5. My last employee (who I loved) gave me hot chocolate and a mug at Christmas, and a candle when she left the company. It wasn’t necessary at all, in fact it was surprising, but it didn’t feel unprofessional. I appreciated it. I always had something for her too.

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  7. If you say admit to crimes (real or not real) on blog posts, can you be reported to the police and be tried on what is written online?. What if the crime was just a lie, and its a supposed crime you did in another country?

    1. This is a complex question which we do not have the authority to answer 🙁

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