Shopping for co-workers isn't easy. Our guide will help you find gifts they'll like.
- It can be difficult to find a secret Santa or white elephant gift for a co-worker that fits within your budget and is appropriate for the office.
- You typically can't go wrong with office jokes, holiday treats or books.
- Avoid gifts that are inappropriate or overly expensive.
It's no secret that shopping for co-workers is difficult – you want to give a nice gift that shows your appreciation for their hard work and support, but don't want to break the bank or get something that might be frowned on in your workplace.
Whether you're participating in a secret Santa gift exchange or looking for stocking stuffers to spread some holiday cheer, here are 20 gift ideas for co-workers, all priced at $30 or less.
Fun socks + a donation ($12)
Sky Footwear was created after the founders learned that the No. 1 request from homeless shelters is socks. For every pair of socks purchased, the company donates a pair to a homeless shelter. Besides being socially responsible, Sky Footwear has a lot of whimsical socks to choose from.
Wireless charger and stand ($11.55)
Help your deskmate declutter with this clever charger and stand combo from Anker. The stand supports your phone in both landscape and portrait mode, is case-friendly and is compatible with multiple Android and iPhone models.
WoodWick candle ($17.90)
Everyone loves a good candle, and they're especially cozy during the cold winter months. This WoodWick candle makes a crackling noise just like you're sitting next to a fire. There are three different fragrances – fireside, redwood and sandalwood clove – that change while the candle burns.
Productivity planner ($24.99)
There are only so many hours in a day, and it's easy to lose track of time when you're not organized. Help your co-workers stay on task with this planner, which is designed to help users stay focused and increase their productivity.
Tea by Mood gift set ($18.39)
If your co-worker drinks tea, they'll love this collection from Numi. This set comes with eight flavors – breakfast blend, aged Earl Grey, emperor's pu-erh, jasmine green, mate lemon, rooibos chai, Moroccan mint and chamomile lemon.
Letters for a Year of Gratitude ($10.83)
With emails, text messages and FaceTime, handwritten letters are a rarity. When you receive one, it's special. Give your co-worker this book, which will inspire them to send thoughtful, handwritten notes. All they have to do is tear out a letter, write a message and add a postage stamp.
The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small ($21.20)
Do your co-workers love to travel? Are they always dreaming of far-away places? Inspire them with this book that's full of exciting things to do. In addition to unique activities and destinations ‒ swimming with dolphins in New Zealand ‒ the book offers advice on how to achieve popular goals, such as learning a new language, naming a star and trying new cuisines.
Offices or cubicles can feel dull and lifeless. Spruce them up by giving your work colleague a variety pack of succulent plants. Besides being nice to look at, indoor plants can improve your co-worker's concentration and boost their mood.
French press coffee maker ($29.99)
Help your co-worker's day get started right with this French press coffee maker from Bodum. These elegant coffee makers create a rich cup of coffee, perfect for taking on the workweek. Also, since the coffee maker is dishwasher safe, cleanup is a breeze.
Tile Mate ($15.95)
Early mornings are stressful enough, but misplaced keys can ruin a morning. Help your co-worker keep track of their keys with this key finder. You can sync the Tile with your smartphone. When you can't find your phone, double press the button to make your phone ring (even if it's in silent mode).
Mini tapenade box ($30.00)
Give a gift straight from France. Bon Appetit Box offers authentic food made in the South of France. Perfect for wine tasting, this box includes duck breast pate, an olive tapenade, cornichons, and sea salt and olive oil crackers.
Funny novelty mug ($14.99)
Mornings are hard. Give your co-workers a chuckle to start their day. If you want to give something practical, but still fun, gift this funny mug. Any coffee or tea drinker will appreciate this dishwasher- and microwave-safe mug.
Ninja throwing star magnets ($29.99)
Introduce excitement into your office by giving your co-worker these ninja star magnets. These magnets come in a pack of five and are great for holding up memos and reminding co-workers of important events.
Hydro Flask water bottle ($24.95)
This water bottle is famous for keeping cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. It's perfect for any co-worker who sips beverages at their desk. It comes in a wide variety of colors and sizes, so you're sure to find the perfect bottle for your colleague.
Fred the Daily Mood Desk Flipchart ($9.64)
It can be hard to gauge your co-worker's mood. Sometimes, it would be easier if everyone knew what kind of day they were having. Insert Fred the Daily Mood Desk Flipchart. With this chart, co-workers can express a range of emotions such as fabulous, giddy and neglected.
Tequila Mockingbird recipe book ($10.99)
Whether your co-worker loves books or drinks, this quirky recipe book is sure to impress. Tequila Mockingbird (Running Press, 2013) includes 65 cocktail recipes with literary pun-filled names like "Gin Eyre," "Gone with the Wine," and "Moby Drink."
Truffle tasting set ($17.95)
Everyone can appreciate a good piece of chocolate. The six-piece "holiday truffle flight" from Godiva features truffles in a variety of flavors, including milk chocolate, salted caramel, roasted almond, cranberry, Christmas cookie and tiramisu.
Demotivational calendar ($14.95)
Dinosaur desk organizer ($11.98)
Your co-worker will never miss a memo again with this playful dinosaur desk organizer. Shaped like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, this organizer features a spring-loaded mouth to hold memos. There's even a space to hold pens. The organizer also comes with a notepad, which can be stowed away in the back of the organizer.
Office emergency kit ($19.00)
Headaches, chipped nails and stains happen all the time, but few are prepared to handle these little emergencies. With this "minimergency" kit in her desk, your co-worker will be ready for anything. The pouch includes pain relievers, hairspray, clear nail polish, a sewing kit, lip balm and more. Don't worry, there's a kit for men, too.
All prices are accurate as of the publish date. Additional reporting by Saige Driver.