During the holidays, we love to give gifts. Who better to bless with a gift than a trusted, loyal employee? I know it can be hard to know what to do; to know how much to spend and to be fair across the board. I think my boss, Mike DuKate, has done a great job making us feel appreciated without breaking the bank, so I thought I’d share a couple of his ideas.

Last year was one of my personal favorites. Mike usually prefers to lavish us with nice bonuses, but that was not in the cards last year with money being so tight. So instead he got creative and ordered toolkits from Amazon and then took the bags to a local firm and had female employees’ and employees’ wives’ names embroidered on the bags. It was awesome. We all got a kick out of it. Speaking as a single woman, I love mine! I have used that bag over and over again. I now know exactly where a tool is every time I need one. Mike also treated us to a great dinner at a local Italian restaurant where he presented the bags. (Bosses take note: you will be a big winner when you hit a home run with the wives.)

This year Mike bought each family a big fat fresh turkey (from a local farmer) for Thanksgiving. That was incredibly cool, and boy they were yummy!

And employees out there: don’t forget your bosses. They like to be appreciated, too! It’s nice to pool your money and buy a little something for the guy or gal who keeps you undercover, well-fed, and dry!


—Kathy Shertzer is office manager at DuKate Fine Remodeling, in Franklin, Ind.