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Top 10 Strangest Office Party Gifts of 2013

CHICAGO – Bonuses. Parties. Gifts. If you’re like most U.S. workers, you’ll find all this and more in your office space this year. But some of the gift-giving is getting a little unusual, to say the least. In fact, some office gifts are downright strange.

According to a Harris Interactive survey of workers, hiring managers and human resource professionals across the country, 45 percent of employers plan to give their office employees holiday bonuses this year. That’s in line with 46 percent in 2012. Forty percent plan to provide the same size or larger bonus this year.

What’s more, 59 percent of employers are throwing company holiday parties for their workers in December. That’s on par with 2012. And 20 percent of workers plan to attend their company office party this season.

Finally, and this is where it gets really interesting, 35 percent of employers plan on giving their employees holiday gifts this year. That compares to 36 percent last year.

Here’s the run down: 22 percent of workers plan on exchanging gifts with co-workers this holiday season, while 21 percent are buying a gift for their boss. Seventy-eight percent of workers who plan to buy gifts for their co-workers expect to spend $25 or less on each gift, 36 percent will spend $10 or less, and 10 percent will spend $5 or less.

While most office gift exchanges between co-workers contain relatively standard holiday gifts, some gifts stand out as particularly extraordinary. When asked to share the most unusual gifts received from co-workers, workers reported receiving:

  • 1. 50 pounds of fresh Louisiana shrimp
  • 2. A picture of the boss’s family
  • 3. A plaster cast of a co-worker’s hand
  • 4. A half-eaten box of candy
  • 5. Homemade laundry detergent
  • 6. Eggs
  • 7. Camouflage toilet paper
  • 8. A unicorn calendar
  • 9. Stamps
  • 10. Hula hoop

What’s the strangest holiday gift you ever got at an office party?