I work with awesome people. There are only 4 of us who are full-time staffers here (we work in a small ethnic heritage center/museum/archive) and we currently have a 6-month intern from our ethnic group's "mother country".
Between Thanksgiving and New Year's, I was out of the office A LOT. My youngest daughter had a serious health scare which culminated in my husband and I driving our daughter 12 hours from home to consult with experts in a specialized hospital. Did I mention I missed a lot of work?
For all those days when I was gone, my co-workers kept my office open in case any patrons needed to use the resources there. Our intern in particular, filled in for me whenever it was asked of her.
Our director gave us all small gifts (probably cost ~$25/person), but none of my other co-workers exchanged gifts for the holidays. However, in light of all the support and help they gave during a really stressful time for my family, I wanted to give them all a small thank you gift now that I'm back to work.
(Oh, and everything is back to normal with my daughter. We discovered that she had a really aggressive viral infection which led to pnuemonia, and then some other health concerns, but nothing close to what they were initially thinking. Thank goodness!)
My initial thought was to give them all a specialty kind of cake that my husband and I always order during the holidays that no one around here makes anymore. I know none of of the full-time staff has any food concerns (we've had that discussion in passing at lunch on several occasions), but it came to my attention that our intern is a vegetarian. Would it be rude of me to give the others the cake and get a non-food gift for the intern? I was thinking I'd give her a locally made type of ornament/sun catcher. The price for the cake and ornament would be equal, and both cost less than the gift from the director.
Does gender matter in this? Two of my full-time co-workers are men, while the other and the intern are both women. I know neither of the men would like the ornaments (they don't like 'clutter'), and I'm not sure if the other woman would. I just don't want anyone to think that they're getting a "lesser" gift is one person gets something different. What say you, Ehellions?