'Tis the season for giving gifts, but should your boss or supervisor be on your holiday list?
Many employees struggle with that question, and one business consultant says you may be worrying for nothing.
The correct protocol is that bosses should give their employees gifts, but employees should not feel obligated to give a gift back, Colleen Rickenbacher, a business etiquette consultant, told NBCNews.com.
However, it also pay to do a little research, and talk to coworkers. If you're the only person who doesn't give a gift, you could be embarrassed. Or, if you're the only one who does offer a present, you could be seen as someone trying to get into the boss's good graces.
If you make the decision to give a gift, remember these guidelines:
*Don't give anything too personal. Here's a simple rule: if the gift touches the skin, it's too personal. That means no jewelry, no perfume, no clothing, and definitely no boxers or other intimate apparel.
*Don't spend too much, or too little, money: Experts say the $10 to $25 range is generally more appropriate for a mid-level manager.
*The gift of food is a safe, budget-friendly bet for the boss.
*Do consider a group gift: If everyone goes in on one gift, you can share the cost and everyone is on equal footing with the boss.
*Don't give alcohol.
*Do check on gift policies, especially if you are a vendor or freelancer.
*Do consider books or magazine subscriptions. as long as they are appropriate: Reading material is usually a safe bet, especially if it relates to your field.
*Don't send a gift to a home address.