Holiday gift exchanges at work can be a minefield. Here’s a map.

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You’d think your job would be one area of life that’s exempt from holiday excess, but many workplaces allow for — even encourage — gift exchanges. Some limit it to between co-workers. Some organize a “Secret Santa” program. Some even green-light gifting from staff members to superiors and vice versa.

However, as you know, the act of giving gifts poses major pitfalls. It seems no other aspect of human interaction is more prone to result in hurt feelings, disappointment, jealousy, suspicion or resentment. None of which you want at work.

But fear not! You can become a gifter extraordinaire simply by observing these basic do’s and don’ts:

Do not give expensive gifts. People do not like you the more you spend on them. In fact, overspending makes some feel uncomfortable. Also, be equable. Don’t, say, give one person a pricy stainless steel commuter mug and everyone else a $5 gift card to Starbucks.

Do consider peoples’ interests, phobias, religions and food allergies. A Christmas tree ornament can be a lovely gift, but only if your giftee celebrates Christmas. You would never give a box of candy to someone who has just been diagnosed with diabetes. And so on.

Do not give anything too intimate. Perfume or cologne falls under this category. So do most items of apparel. A good rule of thumb is to keep your gifts on the professional side. Think calendar, stapler, umbrella, thumb drive or a coffee cup to keep at work.

Do know your company’s policy on gift-giving. The larger the employer, the more likely it will have written guidelines. These could help you considerably.

Do not give cash. Gift certificates are OK, though. Extra points for “personalizing” your gift cards by choosing your recipients’ favorite stores, websites or coffee shops.

Do consider giving a “group gift.” A big basket of gourmet food items (with plenty of variety) can be enjoyed by everyone in the workplace.

Don’t play politics. Do not use donations to political parties or controversial charities as a gift. This is not the time to make a statement.

Finally, do be positive. Don’t let the fear of making a faux pas turn you into Ebenezer Scrooge. The holidays are a great time to strengthen relationships at work, and show colleagues that you appreciate them.

Still stuck? Check out these 10 fun, affordable gifts that will spread a little office cheer.