Deciding on the best gift for your boss can either be a walk in the park or a huge pain, depending on how well you know her. Not to mention, there’s no rulebook on how much to spend or what’s deemed “office-appropriate.” But not to worry: We tapped Kate Bellman, the head of editorial and content at Nordstrom, for insight on navigating holiday gifting for your superior. Her first note? "A gift for a boss is a nice gesture, but not an obligation"—which means just by clicking on this round-up, you're already in good standing for that promotion you've been working toward.
With Bellman's insight, we scoured the internet to find the best holiday gifts for your boss, from a neck massager to lavish hand cream (which would also make a great gift for your coworkers). Even if you have just a general idea of your boss' taste, or at the bare minimum, a working relationship with her, it's hard to go wrong with one of the gift ideas on this list. As soon as your boss unwraps one of the below items, you’re sure to stand out from the rest of the office. Did I hear someone say, “Employee of the Year?”
What to Keep in Mind
- Consider Your Budget
"First off, start with a gift that works within your budget," advises Bellman. "Never underestimate the sentiment of a genuine, hand-written card if that’s what the budget allows!"
- Remember the Office Culture
"It’s also a great idea to recognize the culture of the office," says the Nordstrom expert. "Some have a no-gift policy, while others celebrate together through office parties or contribute to a singular team gift."
- Pay Attention to the Little Details
"When it comes to picking a gift for your boss, it’s best not to go too intimate or personal but to pick up on some details of their personality or interests. If they’re never without a cup of coffee, a nice mug and a Holiday java blend tap into recognizing their day-to-day. If they like to travel, a travel-based coffee table book would make a thoughtful gesture. Cozy categories such as candles and throws are always a fail-safe or a classic desk accessory to give their office a timeless touch," Bellman offers.
Shop for the Best Gifts for Your Boss
- Best Gift for the Organized Boss: Anthropologie Petite 17-Month Planner
- Best Gift for the Cashmere-Obsessed Boss: J. Crew Oversized Cashmere Wrap
- Best Gift for the Boss Who Loves Coffee: OHOM Ui Mug and Warmer Set
- Best Gift for Your Boss in Winter: Nordstrom Cashmere Lined Leather Touchscreen Gloves
- Best Gift for the Boss Who Packs Lunches: Modern Picnic The Mini Luncher
- Best Gift for the Boss Who's Stressed: Etekcity Cordless Neck Massager with Heat
- Best Gift Sets for Your Boss: L'Occitane Holiday Classics Set of 5 Hand Creams
Best Gift for the Organized Boss
Bosses tend to be extra busy, so why not help them keep track of meetings and events with a cute planner? You can even make it extra special by personalizing the cover.
Customer Review: "I really love this planner, it’s very classy and cute and keeps me organized! Received many compliments."—Anthropologie reviewer
Best Gift for the Boss Who Loves Coffee
Is your boss glued to her coffee mug? Now she doesn't have to sip on room-temperature coffee any more, thanks to you—and this warmer set! The sleek, modern mug comes in three colors and boasts a custom charger to heat up the liquid inside.
Customer Review: "Just started using my new Kopi Mug and totally in love!!!! I drink tea everyday and this mug keeps them warm all day long. Plus the wireless charger is also super convenient for my phone. Highly recommend."—Nordstrom reviewer
Best Gift for the Cashmere-Obsessed Boss
An uber-luxurious scarf isn't something people tend to buy for themselves, which makes it the perfect gift. J. Crew's oversized number is one of our top picks. It's hard-working in terms of winter-proof warmth and not overly mind-boggling expensive—which is always a major plus. It comes in at just under $200 (even less due to the current Black Friday discount) and is made of 100 percent pure cashmere, which makes its reasonable price tag almost too good to be true.
Customer Review: "I absolutely love this wrap. The cashmere is soft and substantial. Incredible price point. I wear these all fall and winter long."—J. Crew reviewer
Best Winter Gift for Your Boss
Now she'll never not have the chance to send you an on-the-go Slack message. Plus, these leather gloves are far more stylish than your typical touch screen options.
Customer Review: "These gloves are well-made, warm, and really do allow cell phone use when worn. Measurements for hand size are accurate and I am hard to fit with very small hands!! I highly recommend these gloves!"—Nordstrom reviewer
Best Gift Set for Your Boss
Don't let your boss' hands suffer in the winter. This gift set includes hand creams in five different scents: Almond, Lavender, Shea Butter, Cherry Blossom, and Verbena. Her hands (and cuticles!) will thank you.
Customer Review: "This is another L'Occitane must have. My hands are always hydrated and silky, never greasy. I use it around three times a day or as needed, a small portion is just enough to nourish your skin."—Nordstrom reviewer
Best Gift for the Boss Who Packs Lunches
Does she carry her lunch to work every day in a plain old Tupperware container? This chic bag will change all that. With an insulated interior and crocodile-embossed vegan leather exterior, no one will be able to tell you're carrying last night's leftovers. It's a contemporary and grown-up take on the lunchbox, one your boss who loves to meal prep will definitely appreciate.
Customer Review: N/A
Best Gift for Your Boss' Office
Since lighting candles is generally frowned upon in the office, gift her this luxe room spray to make her office smell amazing.
Customer Review: N/A
The Best Journal Gift for Your Boss
Everyone needs a journal, and this one by Montblanc feels extra luxe, making it the perfect gift for anyone at work you're hoping to impress. The cover is crafted from fine Italian leather; the lined pages are silver-edged (oh la la!); and the notebook features a built-in grosgrain ribbon bookmark. Your boss (or coworker) is going to want to pull this out during your next team meeting.
Customer Review: N/A
Best Cozy Gift for Your Boss
Who doesn't love cashmere? I can all but guarantee that this 100-percent cashmere beanie will not leave your boss' head this winter. Choose between a selection of neutral shades, including slate gray, oatmeal, ivory, and dark black.
Customer Review: "Beautiful soft and light cashmere beanie, this is the second one I have purchased from this company. Love the beanie it is light weight, super soft, love it."—Amazon reviewer
Best Gift for the Boss Who Travels
If your boss travels a lot, gift her this amazing weighted eye mask. This snooze-ready style features four equally weighted pods that contour to the face to block out light and offer slight pressure to soothe and stress-relieve. It's made of cotton jersey and microfiber that feels comforting to the touch. This eye mask instantly soothes in-flight headaches and will help your boss get some much-needed sleep.
Customer Review: "Love love love this!!! This weighted eye mask is my absolute favorite. I ordered one for home and one for travel. Helps me get right to sleep!"—Anthropologie reviwer
Best Blanket Gift for your Boss
Who doesn't love a plushy blanket they can wrap themselves in and snuggle their work worries away? This one from Nordstrom's mainline is one of team MC's favorites, as well as a personal pick from Bellman. It measures in at 50 inches by 60 inches, features four-inch fringe, and comes in seven different cute colors, including dark navy and moody gray.
Customer Review: "These blankets are amazing!!! I have purchased 3 of them and the colors have a beautiful sheen! I am extremely pleased with the quality for the money."—Nordstrom reviewer
Best Jewelry Gift for Your Boss
Buying your boss jewelry doesn't need to be scary. This pair of chunky gold hoops are so classic, she'll want to wear them every single day.
Customer Review: "[I've] had these earring for a while now and I love them! They haven’t faded or irritated my ears which I love. I usually have to get new earrings by now because the color or the gold faded. definitely worth it!!!"—Amazon reviewer
Best Gift for Your Boss Who's Stressed
The holidays can be a stressful time, so your boss, who already has mountains of obligations on her plate, may be in need of some TLC. This cordless and heated neck massager is a thoughtful gift that they'll definitely appreciate. There’s nothing like a mid-day neck massage to relieve some stress.
Customer Review: "Wow! This thing ROCKS! It's like getting a deep massage at home. You can reposition it to target precisely where you have those awful muscle knots, and it works like a charm to relieve tightness and tension. The heat is a gentle heat that deepens the massage. I love it!!"—Amazon reviewer
Best Beauty Gift for Your Boss
We love an on-brand holiday gift. Sunday Riley's C.E.O. Glow contains Vitamin C and turmeric to decrease redness and instantly brighten skin. Your boss will be reminded of how much of a badass she is when she does her skincare routine after coming home from a long day.
Customer Review: "After using the product for a few weeks, I have noticed my age spots are not as dark and I have gotten 3 people asking me what I use on my face. Love using this in the morning to give my face a mini massage to start the day"—Sephora reviewer