4. Avoid items that can be perceived as sexual. Whether you’re trying to make a joke or not, stay away from off-color books, any intimate apparel, videos, or other gifts that the person can interpret as a come-on. Even when you happen to have that kind of relationship with the co-worker you’re gifting, it’s best to buy something less controversial. 5. Be aware of cultural differences. Not everyone in your office will appreciate a little porcelain collectible of a manger, a basket with meats and cheeses or one with perfumed soaps and bath salts. Keep these sensibilities in mind.