Holiday etiquette with Mrs. Hancock's simple do's and don'ts

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Tis the season to give gifts but when it comes to presents for co-workers the first thing you need to wrap up is some rules.

Valley etiquette expert Mrs. Hancock says, "Give appropriately. Stay away from things that might be a little intimate or racy, perhaps obscene or sexist."

Mrs. Hancock says there are some definite do's and don'ts. "You should ask management if there is a dollar amount you want to stay near or at and then try to keep that in mind," Mrs. Hancock advises. "We use the easy button in our classes because sometimes it's just a question of being reminded again."

One of the easiest gifts is a gift card but if you want to give something a little more personal, Mrs. Hancock says, "If you know a co-worker has leanings towards classical music, for example, a CD is a lovely thing. Coffee table books you can get on sale and it looks like you spent a lot of money."

Mrs. Hancock says if a co-worker is always borrowing your favorite magazine; why not get them a subscription? Another safe bet is picture frames.

You can also just get a little creative. "There's so many ideas out there and you just put your mind to it a little bit and maybe do something that is crafty and handmade.

Some gifts you might want to stay away from are perfume and candles. Mrs. Hancock explains, "Want to stay away from fragrance items if you can. You just don't know people's sensitivities and level of sensitivity towards such things.

When it comes to food make sure you know your co-workers dietary needs.

"I like to try and stay away from gifting food items because unless I know someone's dietary needs, maybe they have allergies and then think about the person you're gifting too. Keep their tastes in mind," Mrs. Hancock advises.

If your office is kind enough to give you the gift of a holiday party, say thank you by following the rules here as well. "You can hit the buffet eventually. You can get a cocktail when the time is right, but it's about the spirit of giving and connecting with the people you work with on a daily basis outside of the office."

Mrs. Hancock also says you should keep the office chit-chat to a minimum.

And when it comes to the dress code, she says, "You want to dress appropriately. If you don't know the dress code for your holiday party, ask management." She also says, "We definitely don't want to drink too much. Sloppy behavior does not bode well with management."

Finally, make sure to thank your office holiday party planner. Mrs. Hancock says, "It tells them you're kind and considerate and that you have a sense of personal awareness and you think about other people."

To find out more about Mrs. Hancock's etiquette class or to sign up, .