Gift This… Not that.

If there is one thing internet blogging outlets have become increasingly good at, it is telling you what to buy. Once the holidays roll around nearly every, single business blog begins to look like a Sky Mall catalog. Did you know that your boss wants a personalized business card case? Or that CEOs everywhere are clamoring for the fancy vinegars and expensive laptop stands?

Neither did we! But, judging from what we’ve been reading online on holiday office shopping, your best bet is to just walk into your closest Brookstone and just grab a handful of the shiniest gadgets. Since Christmas is getting closer, we thought we’d help everyone out by giving our suggestions on what you can get your favorite CEO or entrepreneur. While our suggestions aren’t as cute or whimsical as others, we feel that, at the very least, they can be used without causing any embarrassment.

Don’t buy them a tie/a skirt/a pair of shoes. Offer inspiration instead!

Every year people all across the world are given ugly ties, ill-fitting skirts or some other awful piece of clothing that’d they never, ever wear. People don’t really like to be dressed once they get past the age of three, so clothes are often a risky purchase to make during the holidays. Even if you pin the receipt to the gift bag and assure them that you understand if you don’t like it, really, just go back and return it… clothes still aren’t the best gift idea. Instead, give them something to inspire their style. The Sartorialist, one of our Social Media department’s favorite style blogs, released an awesome book back in 2009 of the top fashion photos from the blog. It is only $16.50 at Amazon, and is a great alternative to another sweater. Not only is it a cool book to have, but it can give some great ideas to more fashion-forward entrepreneurs.

Go for something practical, not gaudy.

A CEO’s office has to breath a certain air of personality. It doesn’t necessarily have to be rigid, stiff and regal, but it should allow for the maintenance of mutual respect when other people come in for meetings or conferences.

If there is a Family Guy calendar of Peter Griffin telling a fart joke on the wall, then that maintenance is pretty difficult.

People love to give others gifts that they can use, but sometimes you have to step away from the more… personal ones and opt for practicality and style. So instead of a Fireman’s calendar or a book of kitten pictures, give them something that they will both use AND look good while using it. Moleskin, just as an example, sells a very minimalistic desk calendar that is practical, easily movable and stylish. It won’t tell your boss what the various qualities of being a redneck are, but it will do its job and look good while doing it.

Instead of the latest business book, maybe get them something a little more… hot.

Now don’t misunderstand us on this one; we love business books as much as the next person. However, business books have a habit of flaring in and out of existence. The must have book of the year in January may be completely forgotten by March, and it is pretty difficult to gauge the lasting potential of a book when you first buy it. So instead of adding yet another tome to clog up desk space, think about something with a bit more lasting potential.

Something like the new Kindle Fire. Now this is a bit more expensive, but could work well as an office gift – everyone pitches in a little bit of money and the entire office can give an awesome gift without breaking the bank. Or, if the entrepreneur in your life is someone you wouldn’t mind spending a little more money on, the Kindle Fire may be right up your alley.

Of course, you could also enter our contest for a free Kindle Fire by liking our Facebook page. It couldn’t hurt, right?

Whatever you decide to get, remember our advice on style. Edge away from overly personal (unless you’re already very close to the person you are gifting to) and instead try to find something practical and stylish. Finding a gift should be a bit more involved than running into Target and grabbing the first thing you see labelled with a “PERFECT FOR CHRISTMAS!” sign.

Of course, you could always just ask them what they want. But where’s the fun in that?

About Deborah Sweeney

is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best.