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LIV President's Blog 2014

LIV President's Blog 2014

Geoff Bowyer, LIV President 2014 on the latest issues and topics. Read and comment.

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What to buy for your Kris Kringle that won’t sabotage your career

What to buy for your Kris Kringle that won’t sabotage your career

Have you bought your Kris Kringle gift yet? While this can be a fun workplace tradition that can help bring everyone together it can also be a mine field of potentially embarrassing or inadvertently offensive gifts. Well, not this year – as a very mature aged and experienced Santa I’m here to help!

And for a funny look at what to buy the lawyer in your life read With All due Respect in December LIJ on page 99. There’s everything from scales of justice cufflinks to silver gavels.

What not to buy

Kris Kringle may be a ‘secret’ but there’s an excellent chance that your giftee will work out who the gift is from – so keep that in mind. I love a good joke as much as the next person, but with Kris Kringle humour should be approached with caution. I know a work colleague who as one of the few women on staff received a cleaning bucket and sponge – I didn’t think it was funny either. In fact, it’s worth remembering that this is an opportunity to bring a smile to the face of a work colleague through a small but thoughtful gift – it’s not a time to be mean-spirited or to ‘get your own back’.

Stay away from:

Anything with sexual innuendo – mugs with inappropriate pictures or messages, a copy of 50 Shades of Gray, anything shaped as part of the anatomy. This is probably the biggest crime that could well be a Career Limiting Move. I vividly remember a colleague receiving an innocuous looking mug which when later filled with hot liquid revealed…well…a way too scantily clad person.

Anything too personal – a self-help book, underwear, a nighty, the bible…you see what I mean…

Personal hygiene products – a toothbrush, nose hair trimmer, deodorant. I’ve seen them all, and it just embarrasses everyone. Don’t do it, it’s not the time to make a statement about someone’s personal hygiene standards.

Anything related to weight loss – You thought it would be funny to buy the big person in the office a copy of the Biggest Loser cookbook? Even if they want it, it will only come across as a cruel joke that embarrasses them and you.

What to buy

I’ve been thinking long and hard on this, and have surveyed my nearest and dearest. Please note that the products suggested are just that – a suggestion – not a commercial endorsement. Here are the fruits of my labour:

  1. Hand cream: Every single member of the executive team has hand cream on their desk, and I note that the particularly nice ones are admired. Fool proof! Don’t forget that men get dry hands too. Check out brands such as AESOP, L’Occitane, or Crabtree & Evelyn (which can all be found at the big department stores).
  2. Mug/cup & saucer: There’s nothing better than drinking your 6th cup of coffee for the day out of a nice cup. There are lots of beautiful options so choose something elegant. Check out the homewares areas of DJs and Myer and job’s done. T2 has some good options also . It’s not that hard to get personalised name mugs these days either or one which has their favorite footy colors.
  3. Indoor plant: Have you noticed how ‘cool’ indoor plants have become? With a great range of pots? Perhaps a Bonsai for an over-crowded desk?  A lovely gift that will be appreciated by anyone to brighten up their desk or home. Your local nursery will have some good options.
  4. An inspiring book: Hopefully we will all have time to do some reading over the Christmas break. Why not buy a title such as The Collected Stories of Rumpole, Excursions in to Law or The Children Act?  Or just drop by the LIV Bookshop and Owen and Tom will be able to help you out. Alternatively, if you know their music tastes - a CD of their favorite band.
  5. A decent bottle of wine: It doesn’t have to be Grange, but I don’t think anyone ever feels hard done by when they receive a bottle of wine. Perhaps something in the Christmas spirit, such as some bubbles, or a sparkling Shiraz? Try to get one in a nice box.
  6. Key USB Flash Drive: Who has a USB storage stick handy when they need one? This is a bit out of the usual budget of Kris Kringle, but new sleek styles of USB storage devices are perfect for the tech-savvy work colleague – and this one is even engraved!
  7. A Keep Cup: Stylish, environmentally friendly and locally designed. Perfect for the office coffee addict. New glass design is a winner.
  8. Hipster coffee or tea : Melbourne has a seemingly endless range of single origin, locally roasted coffee and tea suppliers – Dukes, Axil, St Ali for coffee and T2 and the Oriental Tea House to name a few. Buy a quality blend, and if you have the cash, add a KeepCup.
  9. Awesome chocolates: If you’re going to buy chocolates, make them fantastic and beautifully presented. You can’t go wrong with Haighs, KoKo Blacks or Max Brenner. I promise that no one will be disappointed even if your budget only extends to a few pieces.
  10. Gift to charity: Let’s face it, some people are very hard to buy for, or you may be (as I am) very conscious of the wealth of our community compared to others, particularly at this time of year. I think that gifts for charity such as those by World Vision, UNICEF and Oxfam are fantastic options. And even if you do pick another gift on my list, why not add a small charity gift that will also bring a smile to yet another person’s face?

Of course, make sure you buy where they will gift wrap for you and allow yourself the time to wait. Do this in your lunch break and you have your Kris Kringle gift tucked safely back in your work drawer ready to go. I hope that this helps you to buy a gift that makes you and the recipient happy. Oh, and if you have any other great gift ideas, please share them below – I still have five kids to buy for!

 
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Belinda Wilson
Am so looking forward to receiving any of those gifts above!
5/12/2014 1:45:24 PM

Geoff Bowyer
Ha! Thanks for the comment and I'd like to point out I'm a Kindle and Kobo person myself - and yep, a CD would result in inevitable scorn form my 5 'ohsomuchmore' virtually digitally connected offspring. Thanks for the feedback and we are putting together a compilation (just trying to get the rap lyrics right as I blog).
5/12/2014 10:53:33 AM

Tess Bowyer
Well I'll take that bottle of grange mentioned above, thanks Dad!
4/12/2014 7:38:23 PM

NJ
I'm a bit surprised at the Technology King suggesting an old fashioned CD as a present! Surely an iTunes gift card....
Thanks for all the tips throughout the year Geoff. You've gone to a lot of effort and should compile them into a handy reference tool for young lawyers - eBook naturally! Merry Christmas!
4/12/2014 1:24:35 PM

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