Do you have an upcoming holiday party gift exchange? Is your team doing a secret Santa swap? Or maybe you just want to show your appreciation to your boss, office manager, or deskmate.
If you’re drawing a blank on what types of gifts will be well-received (and actually used), here are some creative, affordable, and last-minute-friendly gift ideas almost anyone would enjoy receiving.
But be warned: you just might want to buy them for yourself, too!
The lotion keeps your hands soft and smooth in the dry winter air and keeps your desk area smelling fresh. Lots of my co-workers have amazing-smelling lotion, which was the inspiration for this idea. Bath & Body Works carries lots of little bottles that are on sale this time of year. Just make sure you get a scent you like, too! The Hempz original herbal moisturizer has a floral and banana scent that is appealing, gender-neutral, and not too strong.
Maybe you’ve noticed what your co-worker likes to snack on. Incorporating their favorites into a gift might seem simple, but it demonstrates thoughtfulness. Plus, you don’t need to wonder if your gift will be used! Place the snacks in a confetti bowl and tie the package up with a gold ribbon. If you need office-friendly snack ideas, check out this Kivo article about the stress-relieving and energy-boosting benefits of dark chocolate and other delicious foods.
Lots of people already have a water bottle they love. But if you notice your co-worker downing multiple disposable bottles daily, a sleek water bottle of their own might be the perfect gift. And as a bonus, it will likely help them hydrate better and reduce plastic waste. Shop for a bottle that is durable, spill-proof, and easy-to-clean. Consider filling it up with candy before gifting it.
If your co-worker takes notes during meetings or at conferences, they might appreciate a shiny new notebook for the new year. For example, a writer might enjoy an editorial planner or another niche workbook. If there’s a particular type of note-taking system, book, or another job-related tool you’ve found useful, chances are your co-worker will like it too.
This time of year you can get all sorts of indoor LED string lights in fun shapes and colors. Just the other day I bought a string of pineapple lights and unicorn(!) lights for my kids. Or, look into small desktop Himalayan salt lamps. Lights can brighten any office or home space and help beat winter blues. Just make sure you include batteries if it’s a battery-powered light.
Give a piece of your creativity and your time by making a specialty batch of your favorite recipe as a gift. Homemade rolls, bread with jam, or salsa with chips are not only delicious but also add a personal touch when most of us simply accept consumerism as the default option. Include your personal recipe and add a nice holiday card to complete the presentation.
Who doesn’t love a beautiful, life-giving plant? Succulents, aloe, and other small plants can brighten your co-worker’s home or office space. Try to choose a plant that is hard to kill and make sure you don’t toss the instruction card regarding light and water that’s required! As a general rule, water indoor plants less than you think you should. My fittonia argyroneura or “White Anne” is lovely and has successfully survived several months under my clumsy care.
A gift card leaves room for the receiver to choose what they’ll most enjoy but narrows down the field more than does cash or a Visa gift card. Consider gifting a card to a local restaurant, movie theatre, or sports or arts venue. Look into activity-based businesses like escape rooms, painting galleries, and dance instruction halls if there’s one that suits the interests of your co-worker.
Even though it might seem cliche, office supplies like post-it notes, push pins, folders, and mouse pads can be welcome gifts if they emphasize functionality as well as the personality of the receiver. Does your co-worker like cats, outer space, or The Office (or all three!)? Find the right item and you’ll also be giving them a good laugh — and a good desk muse.
How adorable are those tiny bottles of Martinelli’s? Celebrate the quarter’s end with something special like sparkling cider, gourmet coffee grounds, hot cocoa mix, or another drink of choice. Pair it with a toasty mug of beautiful glass and you’re good to go. Cheers to a year of hard work and to the season of giving!
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