50 Holiday Gift Ideas
Updated August 16, 2022
Published October 9, 2020
Jennifer Herrity is a seasoned career services professional with 12+ years of experience in career coaching, recruiting and leadership roles with the purpose of helping others to find their best-fit jobs. She helps people navigate the job search process through one-on-one career coaching, webinars, workshops, articles and career advice videos on Indeed's YouTube channel.
Participating in or hosting a holiday event with your team is a great way to celebrate the holiday season, build relationships and support a healthy workplace culture. When selecting a holiday gift for a workplace event, remember that it should be professional, and ideally, personally suited to the person to whom you are assigned.
In this article, we offer 50 holiday gift ideas for your next office gift exchange that you might use for inspiration.
What is an anonymous holiday gift exchange?
An anonymous gift exchange is a type of game where a group of friends or colleagues swap presents anonymously. Each person is pre-assigned to a friend or colleague and buys them a small gift. Typically, the gift costs no more than an amount, say $10 to $20, set by the group. Everyone takes turns exchanging gifts, but the identity of the gift-giver remains a secret until the end of the exchange or until the gift receiver correctly guesses who gave them the gift.
Related: What Is Employee Bonding?
Holiday gift exchange ideas
When it comes to buying your gift for the exchange, you can select gifts to match your budget, the agreed limit and your coworkers' various personalities. Trends come and go, so the best gift combines thoughtfulness and usefulness. Consider the following popular holiday gift ideas for your next gift exchange at work. They’re divided into two categories: for use at work and for use at home.
Related: How To Plan an Office Party
25 gifts for use at work
1. Pencil or pen set
Since everyone uses writing utensils, a pencil or pen set makes for a practical gift. Consider purchasing a high-quality pencil or pen set they can use throughout their workday.
2. Insulated stainless steel water bottle
Make sure your coworkers stay hydrated with an insulated stainless steel water bottle. Not only is it an affordable holiday gift idea, but it's also something they're bound to use at work, the gym or home.
3. Coffee mug
A great gift for all coffee drinkers, you can find coffee mugs in a variety of colors, styles and shapes. You can also consider purchasing a travel coffee mug for them to take their caffeine on the go. Equipped with a secure travel lid, these coffee mugs help avoid spills on their way to and from the office.
4. Planter pots
Help your coworker add some greenery to their workspace with a set of planter pots. A succulent planter, for example, can bring a little life to their desk and add some color to their workspace.
5. Cord keeper
Even though many people have gone wireless, some of your coworkers might still have standard headphones lying on their desks. For these team members, a useful holiday gift idea is a stylish cord keeper to keep their cords from getting tangled. You can use a cord keeper for your headphones, USB cords and other technology accessories.
6. Leather mouse pad
Give your coworker's desk an upgrade with a sleek leather mouse pad. This practical, yet sophisticated gift gives their mouse a smooth surface to work on.
7. Wireless earbuds
If your coworkers still use standard headphones, buy them a pair of wireless earbuds. Even if they already have wireless earbuds, they can always use your holiday gift as a backup.
8. Laptop sleeve
This accessory prevents a laptop from getting damaged. Not only that, but a laptop sleeve also looks chic and makes carrying a laptop that much easier.
9. Charging hub
Opt for a charging hub that allows the user to keep their batteries at 100%. Many charging hubs have slots for various devices and tech essentials.
10. Letter board
This fun holiday gift idea lets your coworker spell out messages, phrases or quotes. It also gives them something to decorate their workspace or home with.
Related: 120 Coworker Appreciation Messages
11. Portable heater
If you work in an environment that's cold year-round, help your coworker stay warm with a portable heater. You can find portable heaters in a variety of colors to suit their style or desk decor. Check first to make sure heaters are allowed at your particular office.
12. Phone grip or stand
A phone grip or stand helps your coworkers prop up their tablet, phone or other devices. Phone grips, in particular, help them hold their phone more comfortably.
13. Desk organizer
A desk organizer can help keep your team member’s work area tidy and free from clutter. Opt for a desk organizer that matches their decor or style.
Related: 20 Simple Ways To Organize a Desk
If your coworker is a fan of caffeine, buy them some quality coffee beans as a holiday gift. You can even buy a bag and pair it with a nice coffee cup. They can brew these beans either in the workplace or at home—wherever and whenever they need an extra boost of energy. If they prefer coffee pods, buy an assortment or their favorite flavor.
If your coworker is more of a tea drinker, opt for some loose leaf tea, sachets or bags. Full of antioxidants, tea can help them feel rejuvenated and give them the energy they need to make it through the workday. If they aren’t a fan of caffeine, there are a variety of herbal flavors to consider.
16. Pencil or pen holder
If their job requires the use of various writing utensils, you can't go wrong with a pencil or pen holder. Not only is it useful, but it also helps keep their desk organized.
With the new year approaching, get your coworker a planner they can use to schedule out their day. This holiday gift idea helps them stay organized and helps them better manage their time.
Related: How To Stay Organized at Work
18. Planner pad
Apart from a traditional planner, you can buy a planner pad for their desk. Like a standard planner, a planner pad lets you jot down meeting times, deadlines and other important notes.
19. Mini humidifier
Help your coworker combat dry air with a mini humidifier. Desktop-friendly humidifiers can also add some color to their space, all while making their environment feel warmer.
20. Mini fan
No one wants to be in a stuffy, hot office space, so help your coworker keep cool with this holiday gift idea: a mini fan. Models vary from small desktop styles to USB-powered fans to connect to their computer.
21. Office emergency kit
You can expect the unexpected whether it’s at the office or elsewhere. Prepare an emergency kit with aspirin, safety pins, breath mints, spare batteries, needle and thread or anything else that might come in handy.
22. Noise-canceling headphones
An open office space can be noisy. Consider a set of noise-canceling headphones to help your coworker cut out the background noise clutter.
23. Seat cushion
Sitting for long hours can be quite uncomfortable, so help ease the situation with a comfy seat cushion. There are a variety of shapes, sizes and materials to best suit their seated needs.
24. Power banks
No one wants to run out of cell phone power, especially during an important call. A portable power bank is a handy holiday gift idea and accessory, whether your co-work is on a long call or taking notes on their laptop.
25. WFH lunch
With the recent economic shift, more coworkers are working from home on a full- or part-time basis. Consider inviting your work-from-home coworker to be your guest for lunch or coffee. Just as employees enjoy getting away from the office, they may enjoy a change of scenery from their home office.
25 gifts for use at home
1. Gift card
If you can't decide on a holiday gift, a go-to idea is to opt for a gift card. Consider your coworkers’ favorite shops or restaurants and select a gift card that you think they'd get the most use out of. They can use it for a workday lunch or to buy groceries.
If you have a coworker with a sweet tooth, buy them some of their favorite candy. You can even buy a box of their favorite candy and tie it up with a nice bow.
Not only does everyone use socks, but they also come in a variety of options for you to choose from. This allows you to buy a pair that fits a wide variety of personalities. Consider the person you're shopping for and buy socks that fit their particular style and interests.
4. Wireless speaker
Whether your coworker likes to listen to podcasts while they cook or while they're on their next vacation, a wireless speaker allows them to take their tunes with them no matter where they go.
5. Scented candle
Buy your coworker a candle in their favorite scent. Not only do candles smell nice, they’re a reliable holiday gift idea that adds a decorative touch to your home and creates a warm, inviting atmosphere.
Consider buying your coworker a scarf that they can wear throughout the winter season. Make sure to consider their style and the level of coziness the scarf provides.
7. Wooden cutting board
If your coworker enjoys cooking, give them a wooden cutting board to help them chop their food. If it's within the budget, you can opt for a personalized wooden cutting board and add their name or a quote.
8. Bath salts or bombs
Give your coworker a spa night at home with a set of bath salts or bombs. They work to cleanse, detox and hydrate skin. When poured or placed into a bathtub, they can help promote relaxation.
Whether you're at home or in the office, a set of coasters both decorates and helps prevent rings on your table or desk. This holiday gift idea comes in various designs and colors, ensuring you find something to suit your coworkers' style.
10. Reusable shopping bags
Give your coworker an eco-friendly gift in the form of reusable shopping bags. You can find this holiday gift idea in sets and in an assortment of styles, colors and prints.
If you live somewhere with a colder climate, help your coworker stay cozy with a warm beanie. While you can find these in a variety of colors, you can also make a beanie if you knit or crochet.
Everyone needs to write things down. Buy your coworker a notepad to help them remember things for later. They can use this practical gift either at home, in the office or on the go.
13. Reusable straws
If you have an eco-conscious coworker, opt for a set of stainless steel reusable straws for their holiday gift. This ensures they don't have to rely on plastic straws.
14. Face or sheet mask
Consider buying your coworker a refreshing face or sheet mask to help hydrate their skin. Not only does it give their face the moisture it needs, but it also keeps them feeling refreshed.
15. Diffuser and essential oils
If you think they'd prefer something more holistic than a candle, opt for an affordable diffuser and therapeutic essential oils. Your coworker can use this holiday gift idea to relieve work-related stress.
16. Throw blanket
Give your coworker a gift of a cozy, warm throw. If you opt for this holiday gift idea, buy a neutral color or print unless you know what your coworker’s home decor looks like.
17. Adult coloring book
If you have a coworker with a creative streak, consider buying them an adult coloring book. Not only does it help them embrace their inner child, but it also helps them relieve stress.
18. Hot sauce set
If your coworker likes spicy food, consider buying them a holiday gift set of hot sauce bottles. Aim to get a set that includes bottles of various levels of spiciness and flavors. To add a touch of humor, throw in a roll of antacids.
19. Self-care set
Help your coworker relax with their very own self-care set. This gift encourages them to pamper themselves and gives them a variety of self-care products to try.
Keep your coworker from having a worn-down wallet and give them this classic and practical holiday gift idea. Consider their particular style and buy them a durable wallet that can stand the test of time.
Related: 32 Thank-You Gifts for Your Boss
21. Touchscreen gloves
Touchscreen gloves keep your hands warm while still allowing you to type, scroll and click on a phone screen or tablet. Find some touchscreen gloves in their favorite color.
22. Mini waffle maker
Not only can a mini waffle maker help your coworker make a delicious breakfast, but its small size makes it a cute addition to any kitchen counter. Depending on the brand, you may be able to find mini waffle makers that make specific shapes.
23. Wall print
A wall print like a vase of bright orange flowers or perhaps one depicting the zodiac wheel, is another holiday gift idea your coworker can use to decorate their workspace, whether at home or in the office.
Journals allow you to jot down your thoughts, ideas and dreams. Not only is it a useful gift, but it ensures they have something to use when inspiration strikes.
Read more: Learn How To Journal in 9 Steps
If you have a bookworm on staff, consider a copy of the latest bestseller. With this go-to holiday gift idea, they can spend the holiday season reading by the fire.
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