Deck the Office With Holiday Parties and Awkward Gifts

By Deanna Hartley, CareerBuilder writer

'Tis the season to be jolly - and it turns out more employers are getting into the holiday spirit this year. But there's good news and weird news for U.S. workers this holiday season.

Let's start with the good news: You can expect more holiday perks this year, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. This season, employers are planning more parties (63 percent, up from 59 percent last year) and offering more gifts (2 in 5, up from 1 in 3 last year) and bonuses (47 percent, up from 45 percent last year). Interestingly, the vast majority (96 percent) of workers prefer a bonus over a holiday party.

And now for the weird news.

All I want for Christmas is...Hot Pockets?
There's no better way to say "Happy Holidays!" than with a microwaveable snack. That's right - we asked people to tell us the most unusual gift they've received from a co-worker, and apparently someone just popped into the office refrigerator and grabbed (hopefully his or her own) lunch.

While not the nicest surprise, at least this gift was edible - unlike someone, ahem, pawning off a chess piece. Yes, just one piece, not an entire set. Depending on your interests, you may prefer it over a collection of zombie action figures.

Some of the more appropriate, yet still a bit unusual, gifts included a bag of chips and a Ziploc bag with just one serving of coffee. And then there is the utterly ridiculous, "what were they thinking" gift: a fire extinguisher that someone probably ripped off a nearby wall and presented to a co-worker. With that kind of taste, thankfully not everyone will be shopping for gifts for the office this year.

Just 1 in 5 will spring for gifts for co-workers (21 percent) and bosses (20 percent). Not surprisingly, the vast majority of them (3 in 4) will keep it to $25 or less.

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