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Thanks For Nothing: Odd Co-Worker Gifts

holiday gift . / Credit: Worker Gift Image via Shutterstock

While nearly a quarter of employees will receive holiday gifts from co-workers this year, they probably shouldn’t be holding their breath for a present they've been dreaming of, new research shows.

A study by CareerBuilder reveals some of the odder gifts employees have received from co-workers through the years, including a harpoon and, in another case, homemade pickles.

Among the other memorable gifts:

  • CD of the co-worker's recorded songs.
  • Dolphin oven mitt.
  • Four rolls of toilet paper.
  • Can of wasp spray.
  • Jar of sand.
  • Conch shell.
  • Lava lamp filled with fake fish.
  • Expired body lotion.
  • Book about kittens.

Overall, more than 80 percent of the workers planning to give gifts are prepared to spend $25 on each holiday present they buy for the office, while 38 percent expect to spend $10 or less. Ten percent of employees will go the cheap route, spending less than $5 on each present.

While employees might not expect much from colleagues, things are looking up when it comes to employers. More than 35 percent of companies plan to give holiday gifts to staff members this year, up from 30 percent in 2011 and 2010, while 46 percent will give out year-end bonuses, an increase of 13 percentage points since 2010.

The study was based on surveys of 2,494 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 3,976 workers across a variety of industries and company sizes.

Follow Chad Brooks on Twitter @cbrooks76 or BusinessNewsDaily @BNDarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.