Carolyn Hax: A Jewish colleague and the gift of understanding

I feel like a lot of my standard gifts lean toward the Christian tradition — poinsettias, Christmas ornaments, stocking filled with coffee cards/chocolate etc. We get along great but work out of different locations, so I’m not so familiar with her that I can think of a specific gift she’d be sure to like.

Should I plan the gift to coincide with the first day of Hanukkah, or is there a more appropriate time to give? Am I overthinking this? Probably. But any help or insight would be much appreciated.

Gift-Giver: I’m thinking your Jewish colleague is a wake-up to the wisdom of uncoupling your workplace appreciation gifts from religious holidays.

Conveniently, there is the New Year holiday, standing neutrally by and carrying only the calendar as symbolic freight. Coffee cards and chocolates are just as excellent wrapped in sparkly gold and silver. I’ve done extensive research on this personally.

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