Jack's Manual


Be a Better Gifter


To riff on the old poker adage, there’s a terrible gift giver in every office, and if you look around and can’t point him out, there’s a pretty solid chance you’re that dude.

But I’m a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad gift giver, you say? Well, it’s your lucky day. We’ve culled a list of traits characteristic of great gift givers, accompanied by a few gift ideas (some more specific than others) to help you become the kind of gifter everyone desperately wants you to be.

Great gift givers make gifts personal. Look for quirks. Does the person you’re buying for use a specific kind of pen or use high-quality stationery? Get her a fresh pack of pens and a monogrammed daily planner or notebook for less than the cost of a great bottle of wine. Have an entry-level employee who’s from out of state? Try to find a restaurant serving authentic cuisine from that region and get her a gift card that’s plenty to cover a meal for two. Personal gifts can be practical, too — especially in the office setting. Jack Black's pick for making it personal: The Balm Squad

Great gift givers know that details matter. They show that you can be bothered to think about someone else for five seconds. Say you draw a name of a coworker you don’t know particularly well. Stumped? Instead of buying her a gift certificate to a sporting goods store, ask her work friend where her favorite lunch spot is and put that gift card to good use. Is she pretty proud of the car she drives? A gift card to get her car washed and detailed is always a thoughtful, practical gift. Jack Black’s pick for the detail-oriented: The Defensive Line Anti-Aging Triple Play

Great gift givers know that expensive gifts aren’t necessarily good gifts. Johnny Walker Blue Label may be a hit among your golfing buddies, but maybe not so much with your office manager or HR specialist. Ask what he likes to do in his free time. Is he a craft beer enthusiast? Book a tour and tasting at a local brewery for him and a friend. Get him a bag of his favorite roast of coffee. Hell, if you get desperate, get him a goody basket full of his favorite candy and two passes to an upcoming movie. Jack Black’s pick for the frugal: Body Works Gift Set

Finally, great gift givers know when to ask for guidance. Facebook messages to people you don’t know is a step too far, but you get the idea. Look for clues, ask for clarification, and the picture will become clear. Jack Black’s gift guide for the confounded.



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