Employers are feeling more festive and generous this holidayseason. However, as with their plans for adding to staff, their generosity appearsto still be somewhat tempered by the not-so-distant recession.

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A survey of more than 5,000 bosses and troops, courtesy ofCareerBuilder, found that both year-end bonuses and holiday parties will be more common in the corporateworld this December than last. The upticks for both, at least amongthose who participated in this survey, were modest at best.

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Last year, 45 percent of employers surveyed by CareerBuilderhanded out year-end bonuses. This year, the number crept upto 47 percent.

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The percent of party-throwing bosses rose from 59 percent lastyear to 63 percent in this year’s survey, a nod to the morale-boosting effects such soirees can have.More bosses are giving out gifts this year too — the percent rosefrom 35 percent to 40 percent.

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About one in five employees reported that they, too, would begifting this season to co-workers and bosses. When asked to specifywhat gifts they would be bearing to the office, CareerBuilderreceived not only the expected responses (gift cards, CDs) but thefollowing:

  • A box of Hot Pockets

  • A chess piece (just one piece, not a set)

  • A fire extinguisher

  • A voucher for a free lawn game of the co-worker's owninvention

  • A turquoise leather vest

  • Zombie action figures

  • A sealed plastic bag with coffee (enough to make one pot)

  • A “gun of the day” calendar

  • A bag of chips

  • A Christmas ornament with the co-worker’s and spouse’s photos onit.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.