do I have to chip in $100 for a Christmas gift for our boss? — Ask a Manager

do I have to chip in $100 for a Christmas gift for our boss?

A reader writes:

My coworkers in my department like to give one another gifts for various events and holidays, like birthdays. It is a nice thought, and typically the contributions are small ($5 to pitch in for one gift card), but for Christmas, we all chip in to buy a gift for our boss. It’s a minimum contribution of $40 but often comes out to be $100+ per person, and I am starting to feel a bit resentful.

Is there a way that I can politely decline to contribute to the gift for our boss, or should I cough up the money? My team is small—only five members—so it will be very obvious if I do not partake.

I wasn’t as bothered by it in the past, although I did think it was ridiculous, but right now I am really pinching pennies as I am in a tough spot financially.

Today at Slate, I answered this question and a bunch of other holiday-related questions from readers, including:

  • No one showed up for the company party I planned
  • I’m the head of the office. Can I skip the holiday party?
  • Can I just buy my team a bunch of food and be done with it?
  • Should we have to use vacation time when our office closes early for the holidays?
  • Should I wait to job search until after the holidays?

Head over there to read it.

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