Finding the proper business gift

Shopping With

Your Money

December 19, 2004|By Laurie Squire

The product: Holiday business gifts.

The experts: Anna Wallner and Kristina Matisic, professional shopaholics who host The Shopping Bags program on the Fine Living Network.

What we want: Something nice but modest - this is not a who-can-top-whom spending contest.

We must have: A business gift that's somewhat personal (like a tin of shortbread cookies if you know they're a favorite), and it also needs to be appropriate (no lingerie or clothing of any kind).

What we hate: Don't get something to help them be more organized at work; the implied message being, "You need to be more organized!" We also don't recommend a gift meant to be used at work. If they don't like it or choose not to incorporate it into their office routine, you get an awkward situation.

Smart shopper: Especially when it comes to shopping for a boss or manager, get to know their assistant (they've always got the inside scoop on likes and dislikes). And do your homework: One viewer wrote in and told us her sad story of a good gift gone wrong. She had bought a box of chocolates for her boss. That was fine, except the chocolates were loaded with walnuts and pecans ... a big no-no for a boss with a serious nut allergy.

Our pick: A good bottle of champagne. You'll get noticed for this one. It's a classy gift but not over the top. A decent bottle will cost about $50.

Next best thing: A donation made to a registered charity in his or her name. You set the amount.

Laurie Squire is a staff writer for Newsday, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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