Christmas: Should a Paralegal Buy Gifts for Co-workers?

With Christmas peeking around the corner, it's time for paralegals to start thinking about their shopping list for office gifts. Bigger law firms may adopt the Secret Santa method. Names of participants are written on strips of paper and dropped in a hat. Each person draws one name and shops for that lucky recipient. Typically a spending limit is set. This method may cut down on how many people are on your gift list. A word of advice, if you participate in a Secret Santa drawing, do everyone a favor by adhering to the spending limit. There's nothing more irritating than one or two people getting awesome, expensive gifts while others who followed the rules sit there feeling oddly embarrassed that they DID follow the rules.

That said, yes, you should buy gifts for your attorney, secretary, other paralegals, and most especially support staff - the receptionist and clerks whose help is oh-so-necessary.

You do not have to spend an arm and a leg to show your yuletide appreciation for co-workers. If you have an inside track on types of things those on your list would like, great. If you don't, this list may be helpful.

1. Baked goods (homemade or store bought)

2. Bath and body products

3. A paperweight

4. Gift certificate (to a restaurant, mall or movie theater)

5. Pen set

6. Lapel pin

7. Scarf

8. Chocolates

9. Plant

10. Gloves

11. Potpourri

12. Candles

13. Ornament

14. Stress ball

15. Photo frame

16. Coffee cup warmer

To cover bigger groups likes clerks/runners, your best bet is baked goods. Prepare the goodies on a festive plate and wrap with red or green cellophane. Finish with a ribbon.

Gifts for your boss - do not choose gifts that are too personal. It is inappropriate particularly if your boss is of the opposite sex. However, if you are aware of a hobby or pastime that your boss enjoys, you can find something that compliments it.

Gaily wrapped packaging makes a "small" gift more special. Take time to attractively wrap and beribbon your office gifts.

Are you fascinated by trials? Do you like helping people? A career as a Paralegal is challenging, rewarding, and NEVER boring. Sign up for free newsletters that show you how to step into this exciting career. Adventures await you....


Laura McDonald is a paralegal, employed by Michael L. Hawkins & Associates, P.L.L.C. She is a member of NFPA (National Federation of Paralegal Associations). Laura is experienced in the areas of personal injury, civil litigation, family, environmental and corporate law, estate planning and bankruptcy. She has created a website, Santa Time, located at

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