Most people work at a job for a living, and some of those people are bosses at their jobs. This may seem like the plainest fact in the universe and that’s because it is. Bosses, however, need to run the Machiavellian gauntlet of neither being too loved nor too feared. Maybe some bosses don’t view their job as that cut and dry. Or maybe they just want to be a normal person who happens to make more money than their subordinates. In any event, bosses are often tasked with getting their employees something small but thoughtful at Christmas time. It doesn’t have to be a grandiose gesture of goodwill, but it’s nice to know that your boss cares, especially during the Holiday season.

But, as a boss, what do you get everyone that doesn’t reek of absentmindedness and isn’t a dud of a gift? For starters, you don’t want to get everyone something different because you might be accused of playing favorites particularly if one person receives an iPod and the other receives a tea kettle. Perhaps the perfect (and most inoffensive gift) is a pair of socks. But not just any old pair of socks: a pair of funky socks. From a boss to an employee, this is almost an invitation to cut loose. Funky socks are colorful and undeniably fun and they might help cast a certain buoyancy over the workplace.

If work is a drab and dreary affair, a pair of bright yellow socks might liven things up a bit. Of course, bright colored socks on the feet of every employee would certainly be a welcome sight. The gift is also non-confrontational. If people are uncomfortable wearing a pair of striped socks to work or really anywhere, they don’t have to. Even so, it’s hard to resist the draw of such fun colorful socks, even if you’re the most hardline individual.

But that’s the thing about individuals: they stand out. And maybe if everyone in the office wore multi-colored socks the appeal wouldn’t be as strong. The socks, though, are perfect for every facet of life, from work to play to just lounging around the house on a Saturday afternoon. The funkiness cannot be overstated. Truly, if you gift your employees all a pair or two of fun, kaleidoscopic socks, you (and they) won’t be disappointed.

This also works as a gift for a Secret Santa trade-off game. Maybe you’re not the boss, but you want to get something fun for the Secret Santa. Funky socks are always the right choice. Co-workers can be impossible to read sometimes but socks are always a safe and fun bet. You could even buy a pair of socks that feature the colors of a co-worker’s favorite sports team. For instance, for the Toronto Maple Leafs fan in your life, you could gift a pair of classic white and blue socks that they could wear to every home game. Whether employee or employer, funky, fun socks make a simple but effective gift.