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  • Writer's pictureKay Still

7 Work-Appropriate Gifts Your Colleagues will Love

Updated: Feb 3, 2019

Take a deep breath... *inhales and exhales slowly*.

That’s the smell of the holiday season, and I for one, couldn’t be more excited. From decorating my home and entertaining guests to shopping for everyone on my list, I love everything about the holiday season. Not much can put a wrinkle in my stocking this time of year. Nothing, that is, except for the dreaded “Secret Santa” or “White Elephant” gift swap at work.

Finding the right gift for someone can often times be stressful. Not that I don’t love my co-workers, but to be honest, I had no clue what to get people half the time. How on earth would I know what Kevin from accounting wants in his stalking???

Over the years, I’ve perfected the art of gift-giving for people I barely know, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it! Take a look at seven of my go-to gift ideas for co-workers.

1. Have a Holly, Jolly, Boozy Christmas.

If your office is anything like mine, people are highly motivated by happy hour. That’s why these mini cocktail mixers are such a fun and cute idea. Put together a few popular options like a mini Rum or Whiskey & Coke, vodka and orange juice to make a Screwdriver or grapefruit juice and tequila for a fun Tequila Spritzer. The “mini” combinations you can make are endless and they’re all such a fun surprise to open!

You can also go the more traditional route and grab a bottle of wine! Never in the history of gift giving did anyone say ever, “oh no, not Chardonnay!” It’s a more traditional spin on the boozy, office Christmas gift, but is still sure to delight the masses. Cheers, my friend!

QUICK TIP: Check with HR to ensure this type of gift is acceptable for your workplace, first. If you get the green light, everyone will be swapping out those mittens for your boozy gift during the white elephant exchange.

2. He’s Making a List, and “Scratching” it Twice!

I’m talking about lottery ticket scratch-offs, of course! The excitement of scratching off a lottery ticket is always fun and the anticipation of winning is even more exhilarating. If your co-worker doesn’t win anything, he/she at least had a fun experience. If they do win, then they’ll be SO grateful to you – even if it’s just $5 dollars. The thrill of scratching off the winning numbers on a lottery ticket is a fun, silly and exciting way to delight your co-workers. Who knows? You may be their lucky charm!

3. Tis the Season to… Shop!

Ok… I know what you’re thinking (Florals for spring…? Groundbreaking.) But, yes! A gift card for a co-worker may not be a novel idea but it’s still a good one! My all-time favorite is a digital gift card from good ole’ Amazon. But, if you happen to know Jim in IT or Christin in marketing’s favorite store or restaurant, a gift card to their favorite place could be super special and show that you’re paying attention.

4. All I Want for Christmas is… More Time Off!

This gift idea is more for managers than employees but is still a great idea! Everyone loves a fun trinket but if you’re a supervisor, the one thing your team members can always use is more time off. If you’re in a position to grant a “free day” or “half day” (without using personal or sick time) your employees will love you even more than they already do!

5. These are a Few of My Favorite Electronics.

We all have that co-worker we’d wish would stop taking conference calls on speaker phone at her desk. Or, that other colleague who talks to himself out loud for everyone in the office to hear. And, what about that work BFF that always needs to borrow your phone charger. This gift idea is for that person.

Often, when we think about electronics, we think about major gifts like TV’s, stereos, computers, etc. But, sometimes the smallest thing like a USB cord, wireless earbuds or a power squid can make an enormous difference – both for your co-worker, and for their office mates who deal with their antics every day.

6. Santa Clause is Comin' to Town... with Personalized Swag.

I actually really love this idea. It might even be my favorite! This gift idea is all about finding something small, yet personalized that could mean a lot to your co-workers. Think monogrammed mugs (like this adorable mug from Pottery Barn) with their initials or funny sayings that your team can relate to. You could also go the cutesy, decorative route with fun, personalized items from online favorites like

Regardless, your co-workers will love the thought and care that went into something that’s especially for them. Ideas in this category could range from stationary and monogrammed mugs/water bottles to items like high-end pens or office swag.

7. Santa, Baby, Slip a "Putter" Under the Tree, for Me.

And, last but not least, we come to adult toys! Wait… get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about little toys, games and brain teasers that keep your hands busy when you’re on a long conference call or that help facilitate creative thinking when you’re in a brainstorm. As a marketer, I literally have ALL these items in or around my desk.

basketball set for quick work breaks

I really hope these gift ideas have inspired you! If you have other amazing co-worker friendly present ideas, share them with me in the comments section below! Until next time, happy holidays and good luck shopping!

With Love, From Kay

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