DEAR HARRIETTE: My company is going to have its annual Secret Santa gift exchange party in a few days, and I drew the name of a co-worker I really do not know. The rule for our Secret Santa is that we cannot spend over $30. I am not too sure what I should buy for someone I do not know. Do you have any suggestions on what kind of gift I should I purchase? -- Gift Exchange, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
DEAR GIFT EXCHANGE: Can you stealthily find out anything about this person? Go to his or her work area and look around. What do you see? Lots of photos? Consider a picture frame. A stack of DVDS? A gift certificate to a local movie theater. A pile of shoes under the desk? A small double-row shoe rack that can fit neatly under there.
The point is to take a little time to learn something about the person. What people appreciate the most is being seen and honored for who they are. You can do that through the powers of observation.