This is my feeling, "employee will be off work, so she/he is not off work as of yet", I have to wonder how much input she has given towards "her" gift.
I think someone needs to be the one who sends out an email questioning this particular gift, but in a certain way so as to not put the spotlight per se on this one person, but really not sure how to do that.
"Hey, I thought our limit was $25 for get well gifts? Has this changed? I am not sure this new policy is fair to others who have already put in their money and only received what was originally stated. I think that we should keep the get well gift at the stated amount and if anyone wants to do more, then so be it. If the gift amount is to be changed, we should discuss this
on a yearly basis". What does everyone else think?".
And I am sure everyone but the recipient of this current gift and the one who sent the email, will agree with you.
And if the person receiving the gift is not happy with fruit, why not the cracker basket or goodie basket? I don't think you should go from a basket to now what seems like a more personal gift to someone. Stick with somethng generic, so people do not get their feelings hurt.
If this was going to become the norm, I would be opting out of this tradition in the work place.