I am a young man at a company that I have been at for about a year.

It sounds like some people at the company give holiday gifts and some don't. 

I am thinking of doing something small for my bosses and their boss, like a plant in a holiday mug. 

Does anyone have really good - CHEAP - ideas? 

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Do you have a "Dollar Tree" or similar store in your area?

 

My local dollar store has some surprisingly nice ceramic "holiday" coffee mugs already filled with candy and other stuff, and with a card attached.  Price is $1.

A gift card for a place to eat near the office where they could grab a free lunch is an option; though if you are buying for multiple bosses that could get pricey.

I think a simple, masculine, holiday card is the best approach. You don't want to come across as "kissing up" rather than expressing gratitude. I'd include a simple note i.e. "Looking forward to another great year in 2013." 

Note: the card should be something like this: http://www.pagestationery.com/stationery-for-men.html

I just saw a "what to get the boss" list. Can't find it.

The most common office gifts are chocolates, cookies, other gift baskets, wine, and gift cards. A coffee thermos, desk set, box of golf balls (if he plays) would also be appropriate. I've read you should make a donation to charity in the boss's name, rather than give a gift. I've also read bosses shouldn't expect gifts even when they give gifts to employees.

Though the "secret Santa" and related programs are annoying, in my mind, I find that it's better to have an office-wide policy/program about December gift-giving than to leave it for new, less social, and more cash-strapped employees to figure out the unwritten rules. [If co-workers are also friends and want to exchange gifts away from the office, fine.]

How's this for cheap?  I used to have a staff of about 14 workers, mostly made up of teenagers (tourism industry).  For Christmas one year, one of the teenage girls gave me a box with about 15 music cd's.  All stuff I liked, but some where scratched and none were in cases.  I didn't mind that they were used, what bothered me was that I eventually learned her boyfriend had stolen them from the cars of our guests right in our own parking lot. 

I know that story didn't help you, but maybe this will.  As a boss I loved being recognized on holidays, but hated getting a bunch of trinkets that would probably end up in the garbage.  A card is fine and if you want to spend a couple bucks, get a gift card to my favorite coffee shop or restaurant. 

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