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I received a fairly generous gift from the office recently for my newborn son - it was a chip-in $200 gift card, which was greatly appreciated and that I'd like to thank them for.

Normally I would purchase donuts for the office - but with COVID restrictions still in place, we each only go into the office once a week. So that would be an impractical gift for most people working there.

What would be a sensible way to express my thanks to the office? A single thank-you card doesn't seem like it would suffice, but I don't know who all contributed, so individual thank-you cards aren't an option either.

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What would be a sensible way to express my thanks to the office?

I believe, by saying "office", you mean to say your team or your department - from where you should know all (at least most) of the people. Given that you mentioned about COVID restrictions (and awareness) are in place - I'd personally not get into bringing food items.

For now, write a thank you mail to your team (include all you know - whether they contributed to the gift card or not does not matter), and mention that once things are back to normal and you all are back to office, you'll treat them with donuts (or whatever you'd like).

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    And if you say "thank you for the gift card" in the email, don't mention the value of the card - this can cause problems if other people get less (or more) at other times Sep 25 '21 at 20:15
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Send a thank you email to the team with a couple of pictures of the baby

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    The important bit is the picture or two of the baby. Thanks for the gift, this is why you gave it!
    – Neil_UK
    Sep 26 '21 at 8:05
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    Yes, pay the baby tax! Sep 27 '21 at 10:23
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I like the other answer which suggests waiting until things are back to normal. However as an alternative you could get some non-perishable treats instead. Individually wrapped ones would be best. Then you just send a mail along the lines of "Thanks so much, I left a box of <insert thing here> on my desk, please help yourselves to one next time you are in the office".

There's a risk that someone greedy on Monday might take everything but there's not much you can do to prevent it and I doubt anyone would blame you if that happened.

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What would be a sensible way to express my thanks to the office?

Send an email to everyone thanking them for the gift. You don't need to know who chipped in. If someone didn't chip in then they'll simply ignore your email. When you're all back in the office if you want to purchase donuts for the team that seems OK, but I wouldn't make a big deal of it at the moment.

A thank you card seems like overkill to me.

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You are wildly overthinking it.

Which is kind, but don't end up doing anything embarrassing.

  • Send a polite, effusive, thank you email.

End of story.

Nobody wants baby photos.

Nobody wants confusing "thank you for thanking me "gifts"". You don't give "gifts" to "thank" someone for a "gift".

  • Send a polite, effusive, thank you email.

End of story.

If you send donuts or anything, it will be

  • hugely confusing
  • embarrassing
  • hugely annoying
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    "Nobody wants confusing "thank you for thanking me "gifts"." - unless the OP is in some middle eastern or Asian country where not sending a reciprocal gift could be considered as a gross insult which will not be forgotten (or forgiven) for the rest of your working life.
    – alephzero
    Sep 25 '21 at 13:21
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    I want the baby photos. (if I work in that office, don't ya all start sending me baby photos.) Sep 25 '21 at 14:41
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    In my office, nobody was ever upset if someone brought donuts (or any other kind of baked goods), no matter the occasion. :) However, under the circumstances, it's just not practical. I agree that OP shouldn't spam her colleagues with baby pictures, but including one or two in the thank-you email will be welcome by those who are curious and can easily be ignored by everyone who isn't.
    – Llewellyn
    Sep 25 '21 at 18:41
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    TBH, I think OP should be concentrating on the baby and not worrying so much about the office.
    – emory
    Sep 25 '21 at 23:29
  • @alephzero - I guess, if that question comes up, we'll address it. This is a "dollar" question (like USA). And in such a milieu, the question would never arise, as the issue is entirely formalized and settled.
    – Fattie
    Sep 26 '21 at 14:25

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