The holidays are coming up, so in between planning for some well-deserved time off and finalizing your 2019 budget, you might also be gearing up for your office party. And whether your team is doing a secret Santa gift exchange or is playing a rousing game of White Elephant, you might find yourself in need of a gift for a coworker.
And it can be tough to find a gift for a coworker that’s affordable, appropriate, and actually useful. Over the course of our careers, we’ve all probably received our fair share of well-intentioned gifts from colleagues that ultimately go on to clutter up our desks before a respectable amount of time has passed to throw it away -- which is where our gift guide comes in handy.
In this blog post, you’ll find a list of unique gifts at various price points (all under $50) that your coworkers will actually love -- and won’t just collect dust until spring cleaning rolls around.
30 Secret Santa Gift Ideas Your Coworkers Will Love
Holiday Gifts Under $10
For your coworker who loves their morning iced coffee (or any cold beverage), JavaSok will keep their hands and desk safe from annoying condensation and unsightly water stains.
To give your coworker a laugh, pick them up an irreverent (and profane) adult coloring book. These books aren’t just for kids anymore -- in fact, coloring books can be an effective method for relieving stress and mindful self-care for people of any age.
Between charging cables, USB cords, and headphones, your coworker’s desk is probably completely cluttered. This cable organizer is easily attached to the back of a desk with double-sided adhesive tape that keeps your cables organized and on-hand so your coworkers don’t need to go crawling on the floor when their laptop is running low in juice anymore.
Most office kitchens have a toaster, but not many have a toaster oven employees can use. So for your coworker who loves a melty, gooey grilled cheese sandwich, get them these bags so they can prepare their favorite lunch in a regular toaster. The bags prevent burning, are washable and reusable, and work to prevent cross-contamination if your coworker likes gluten-free toast, too.
For your coworker for whom “extra spicy” is never spicy enough, snag them this keychain they can fill up with their favorite hot sauce from home and always have on hand for lunch at the office. Whether their favorite is Sriracha or Cholula, your gift will make bland desk lunches a thing of the past.
Price: Varies between $2-$4
Help your coworker dress up their laptop with these funny, whimsical stickers. Pick them up a couple from Redbubble, where the catalogue of options includes quotes from TV shows, memes, and words of wisdom from historical figures, like Alexander Hamilton.
Price: Varies between $2-$5
Since the holidays are around the corner, help your coworker spread holiday cheer by picking them up some ironic holiday and thank you cards to send to their friends and loved ones. This card below is my personal favorite:
At the beginning of every year, I like to start off on the right foot with a fresh, clean planner that I document fastidiously. I usually abandon the planner by February, but hey, maybe your coworkers are better-organized than I am. If so, pick them up this back of multicolored fine-tip pens they can use to plan out their weeks ahead.6
If your coworker spends a lot of time printing hard-copies, pick them up a pack of these paper clip animals. You can’t make paperwork fun, but you can make it a little more fun for them.
10. Bullet Journal
If you haven’t heard of bullet journaling, your colleagues probably have. It’s a way of laying out and documenting in a planner-journal hybrid that you can customize according to your preferences. For example, you can track different lists, calendars, and notes in the layout and order you want, because you have to build the pages you write in. Pick this up for your organized, creative coworker’s gift (and maybe the colored pens above, too).
Holiday Gifts Under $20
Help your coworker dress up their desk by getting them these ceramic hedgehog planters that they can fill with low-maintenance succulents or air plants, or they can just use as adorable decor.
Grab this lightbox for your coworker who loves a good motivational quote to make their desk a snazzier. They can change the message to bring inspiration to themselves and other coworkers walking by.
13. Desk Calendar
For inspirational quotes on a more traditional medium, get your coworker this 2019 desk calendar that they can flip over each month for an extra dose of motivation. It doesn’t take up much space on a desk and features beautiful illustrations, too.
For the coworker who wants to lessen their environmental footprint, consider getting them a reusable tumbler and straw they can keep at the office for staying hydrated throughout the day. It’s insulated to keep drinks hot or cold and is small enough to fit in a cupholder if your coworker takes it to and from work.
There’s nothing more annoying -- or risky -- than trying to bring a bottle of salad dressing to work. Even if it doesn’t spill all over whatever is in your bag, it will definitely ooze a little oil-based dressing that will make your stuff stink to high heaven. Instead, grab them these portable dressing containers that are leak-proof, space-saving, and free of BPA.
If your office communicates via Slack, get the emoji-lover on your team this Party Parrot t-shirt so they can show their love walking around the office. :party-parrot:
Does your coworker love a good Sunday night meal prep session? Pick them up a stylish, compact lunch bag, available in a variety of colors and patterns, to keep their lunch cool during their commute to the office that won’t take up too much room in the shared fridge.
18. Avocado Socks
Socks are guaranteed to be a useful gift for anyone you buy them for because we all have to wear shoes. You can make the gift more personalized by buying socks that look like your coworker’s favorite food -- like these avocado socks.
It’s hard to keep track of the eight glasses of water you’re supposed to drink every day -- especially at work, where it’s easy to get wrapped up in a task for hours without taking a single sip. This water bottle tracks your water intake every time you refill it to make you’re not too parched.
This beeswax food wrap is an environmentally-friendly alternative to disposable plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It sticks to itself to contain your sandwich or leftovers, and then you can wash and reuse it. And when it starts to wear out, you can compost it instead of throwing it away, too.
Holiday Gifts Under $40
Got a coworker who spends a lot of time on the road? Pick them up this stylish infinity scarf to keep them warm in freezing airports and train stations -- that also conceals an inflatable travel neck pillow they can easily blow up and deflate on the go.
For your coworker who’s a transplant wherever you live, pick them up a nice candle that’s unique to their home state. Each state’s candle smells unique -- my Maine candle, for example, smells like an evergreen tree.
23. Smartphone Vase
This sleek vase will let your coworker dress up their desk or bedside table with a bunch of flowers, and it includes a perch for a smartphone with room for the charging cord so they can display their phone while they talk on the phone or crank some tunes.
For your coworker’s best friend at home (or in the office if you allow dogs), get them this personalized dog treat jar with their furry friend’s name and a paw print on it.
25. Kitty Coasters
If your coworker is more of a cat person, grab them these kitty coasters for beverages -- at home or at the office -- that will dress up their surfaces with cute, furry faces. The coasters are easy to clean and won’t break if they get knocked off the table by a cat because, let’s face it, they like doing that.
This eye-catching and hilarious planner from ban.do will help your coworker stay organized and on top of their to-do list in 2019. It includes fun stickers and illustrations that manage to make calendars fun.
Pick up one of these mugs for your coworker who loves or is a strong woman that feature facts and beautiful illustrations of powerful women in history, like Frida Kahlo and Katherine Johnson to keep them motivated while drinking their morning coffee.
28. Portable Charger
A powerful, portable charger will serve your coworker for years to come. Whether they’re traveling away from an outlet or bringing it to an event with them, this light and compact charger will let them charge their devices quickly and effectively. It’s compatible with a variety of different devices that can be charged using a USB cable.
29. Desk Buddies
These adorable critters will brighten up your coworker’s desk and help them keep track of sticky notes, memos, and photos in the process.
Most offices have coffee makers on hand, but not many have iced coffee makers. For your coworker who loves to drink iced coffee, this handy device can turn hot coffee into iced coffee in less than 60 seconds -- without diluting it by adding ice. Your coworker can fill it up with water, leave it in the office freezer, and bring it to the coffee machine every morning for a delicious iced coffee, made with minimal effort.
And whether you end up getting your coworker a Starbucks gift card or an iced coffee maker to make their morning java themselves, don’t forget to pick them up a JavaSok iced coffee sleeve to keep their coffee cold and their hands dry. We hope you have a warm and happy holiday season with your coworkers and loved ones!