5 Creative Ways to Celebrate National Boss’s Day

Kathleen O'Donnell
March 19, 2024
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You’re fortunate if you have a good manager—one that makes your work days better and helps you create a career path you love. Great bosses have a huge impact on how you feel about your company as a whole, your career, and even your life outside of work. 

How can you thank your awesome boss and let them know how much you appreciate them? You might want to celebrate National Boss’s Day. But knowing exactly how to acknowledge the day can feel complicated. Is getting them a gift appropriate? Is a card just enough, or not enough? Should you take them out to lunch, or bring them their favorite coffee?

There’s no one answer: it depends on your boss’s personality, your company culture, and how close of a relationship you have, among other variables. But understanding a little more about what National Boss’s Day means, and what to know about how to celebrate it effectively, will help you find the way to put your appreciation into words (or a little treat). 

The history of national boss day 

National Boss’s Day was started by Patricia Bays Haroski, an employee at State Farm Insurance. Her boss was also her father (cute!), and so to honor him, she registered his birthday, October 16, with the US Chamber of Commerce in 1958 as an official holiday. 

The holiday became popular across the U.S. by 1979 and spread across the globe too; it’s now celebrated in India, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, and the UK. It’s a great way to direct some appreciation upward if you have a good relationship with your manager. 

National Boss’s Day 2024 falls on Monday, October 16 (good timing because you can start their week off in a spirit of recognition and appreciation!). 

Meaningful ways to celebrate national boss day 2024 

It can be tricky to acknowledge National Boss Day because of the power differentials in the manager-employee relationship. You shouldn’t feel obligated or pressured to get your manager a gift or use it as an opportunity to score career points. 

The best way to truly embrace the spirit of this holiday is by celebrating your manager in an authentic way that reflects your existing relationship, whatever that means to you. Here are a few of the best ideas to get you started. 

1. Send a National Boss Day card 

A card is a simple but meaningful way to celebrate the day—and you can send it from just yourself or get the whole team to sign it. Writing a meaningful message of appreciation, especially if you do it by hand, is a wonderful and simple way to thank your manager for everything they do.

Recognizing managers thoughtfully can be extra-meaningful because it typically flows the other way, from managers to employees. While this is valued and necessary, sometimes managers deserve to share the love too, and they can treasure these moments of recognition all the more. 

2. Give your manager some social recognition 

You can also show a little public love for your manager by giving them some social recognition—it’s shared more broadly than just signing a card. You could post a note of thanks and gratitude, a memory from the past year, or just a hilarious, relevant meme. 

If your company uses a recognition solution like Bonusly, you can give them a shoutout on there, or in a Slack channel for the team or department. Knowing your manager is key here—some love social recognition, and others prefer a private thank you—so you can appreciate and recognize them in the way that resonates most with them.

3. Bring in their favorite treat 

Maybe you know your boss stops for a latte at a specific coffee shop every Friday, or they run on Dunkin and can’t get enough Munchkins (always a safe bet if you’re a Bostonian like me!), or have a specific food that reminds them of a place they used to live. Bringing in a special treat can be a lovely way to show them that you see and value them as a person and a manager. 

You can even bring enough for your whole team, if that’s feasible, and have a little break to connect with everyone while you enjoy them. And if you and your manager don’t work in the same location, or they’re remote, you can get it delivered to their home.

4. Get them a little gift 

National Boss’s Day isn’t the time to go all out with lavish gifts. But that doesn’t rule out getting your boss anything—a small, inexpensive, thoughtful gift can make their day. 

This could mean a little plant for their desk, something else to brighten up their workspace like a fun mousepad, or something to enjoy in their non-work life. Bosses need appreciation too, and a little thoughtful gift is a great way to show it if that’s something they would enjoy. If your boss is remote, you can get a gift shipped, or even send them a small gift card to their favorite cafe.

5. Make a donation in their name 

If your boss is involved with a charity or community organization, donating in their honor can be a lovely way to celebrate them. The donation doesn’t need to, and quite frankly shouldn’t be big. But, it’s a great way to show them that you appreciate them and know them, while also supporting a good cause. Get the whole team to pitch in to make an even bigger impact, if they feel inclined. 


There are as many ways to celebrate National Boss’s Day in 2024 as there are bosses worth celebrating. Taking a moment to recognize and appreciate your manager for everything they do, and the terrific person they are can make everyone feel great (the benefits of recognition and appreciation go both ways, after all!). Just be sure to approach this holiday with authenticity and an understanding of what would make your manager grin, and you’re sure to give them a memorable day. 

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