35 gifts for every type of employee on your team

If you’re the boss and want to buy your staff holiday gifts, you might be struggling to decide what to get people.

Last year New York Magazine asked me to create a gift guide for bosses buying gifts for employees — and people liked it, so this year they asked me to update it. Some of the suggestions are the same as last year (a mini desktop vacuum is timeless), and some are new, but you’ll find 35 ideas for everyone on your team.

To be clear, managers don’t have to give their staff members gifts, but it’s a nice gesture if you want to do it – and in some offices it’s expected. (However, here is your obligatory reminder that because of the power dynamics involved, gifts at work should flow down, not up. Managers should never expect or encourage gifts from employees.)

You can check out my gift guide here.

{ 207 comments… read them below }

    1. Just J.*

      Agree! Gift ideas good for more than just co-workers! (And one or two things I wouldn’t mind having either.)

      1. Czhorat*

        What kind of weird person does yoga during their lunch break? Everyone knows that lunchbreaks are for juggling int he park.

  1. OrganizedHRChaos*

    Some of these things I just want to gift to myself. It’s an excellent list of things from various price points.

    1. Catsaber*

      Me too, I knew I needed that mini vacuum the second I saw it (as I sit here eating lunch at my desk). That charging station is also very nice, and I know tons of people that would love one.

      1. Karo*

        I immediately sent the charging station to my husband to get for me for Christmas. And if he doesn’t, I am buying it for myself in the new year!

    2. Ama*

      A lot of these things are under the limit for our office gift swap — I am considering the hand warming gloves because everyone in my office is always freezing.

      1. Llellayena*

        Yup, I jumped on that one. I’ve been a little stuck on what to get this year for the white elephant exchange. My gifts always seem to go over like a lead brick. And I refuse to buy alcohol like a good third to half of the office does!

        1. Jamie*

          I thought white elephant was when people exchanged silly or crappy gifts? I want most of the things on this list.

          1. AnotherAlison*

            Some people do that, but others just do nice non-specific gifts for anyone. You have to be very careful to know what type of white elephant you are in.

            Probably 15 years ago, I went to one for a networking group and most people did stuff like a bottle of wine/alcohol, small electronics, or other nice things under $XX limit. One guy thought it was the other type and brought a used hockey puck.

            1. TootsNYC*

              people should start calling the nice ones “a grab bag.” And officially announcing a dollar-value guideline.

          2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

            Yeah…the definition varies wildly depending on who’s hosting the event.

            Wiki says “The term white elephant refers to an extravagant, but impractical, gift that cannot be easily disposed of.”

            But lots of places use it more like an un-assigned “Secret Santa” instead.

        2. Short Time Lurker Komo*

          I may or may not have a spreadsheet for every year I’ve worked here that breaks down alcoholic based gifts (actual drinks or stuff for said drinks like a giant wine glass) and everything else…

          And I certainly couldn’t tell you that 2014 was QUITE a year with 44.19% of the gifts being alcoholic…

          XD We mostly average between 20-25%.

          1. Jdc*

            Why on earth would you have a spreadsheet of that!? Do you also have one tracking who comes in late?

            1. Short Time Lurker Komo*

              Well, no because that’s A) Rude, B) Not My Job to Care and C) I’d always be on it. XD


              1. Short Time Lurker Komo*

                Whoops, sorry about that!

                We do a Secret Santa/White Elephant for our entire location where everyone participating draws numbers and opens a gift under the tree(or steals). First few years, they emailed the pictures of what was opened, and some coworkers and I wondered how many gifts were alochol related. So I crunched the numbers to see the data.

                It’s just a fun little thing I do that is amusing to track. It’s not meant to judge anyone or anything.

  2. DataGirl*

    Thanks for not putting food or alcohol on the list. Too many people don’t get how loaded those can be.

    1. Bree*

      Tea is a nice consumable option that’s less loaded, especially for small gifts for co-workers. I usually get a couple of special seasonal flavours in those individually wrapped packets and attach them to a card.

      1. DataGirl*

        I am allergic to tea (the plant) and chamomile (which is in most herbal teas), so my choices are basically limited to mint and a few fruit based teas. It’s an unusual allergy so I wouldn’t be mad if I got teas as a gift, but I probably wouldn’t be able to enjoy them either.

  3. Seeking Second Childhood*

    I saw a decorative multi-tool that made me wish for a Secret Santa. Amazon links are stupidly long though, so just search on “snowflake multi-tool.”
    Actually I might buy one for myself for my tree….seems we always lose tools around holidays!

    1. merula*

      Amazon (and other shopping sites) links are crazy long because they include a bunch of tracking information. You can safely take this off and share the shortened link.

      For example, the URL you see on the page might be:
      http:// www. storename. com /Item-Title_Description/code1/code2/ref=blahblahblah_500_characters
      http:// www. storename. com /Item-Title_Description/code1/code2/type?blahblahblah_500_characters

      When you copy/paste it, take off everything after “ref” or “type” or some other similar marker. So this tool would be:

      If you’re not sure where to cut it, try cutting more first, and then if the link is broken, go back and add a piece at a time until it works.

    2. Zoe Karvoupsina*

      Thank you! I will get that for my Secret Santa! (He works in a different office, I usually see him when I’m chasing up on his diary…)

  4. Former Mailroom Clerk*

    Am I the only one that noticed that AAM and Evil HR Lady both published gift giving articles on the same day?

  5. Goya de la Mancha*

    Thanks for this. I really wish we could do away with gift giving all together in my office, but I don’t see that in the foreseeable future.

  6. AnotherAlison*

    So not the same corporate branded leftover tchotchke for everyone? Actually this year we are getting department shirts, but if you are at my level/role it had to be a formal shirt to wear on client visits. (Other people in the company get things like quarter zip pull overs. Hrmph). This will go great with the other 3 I have from 6 years ago when a different boss made me get them for a conference week.

    1. AnotherAlison*

      We also used to get $100 gift cards, which became $50 cards, which became Omaha steaks, which became. . .nothing.

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Argh, the idea of doing branded stuff as a “gift” for the holidays gives me a twitch.

      We do this but it’s usually around midyear and we’re very much aware it’s just a “Here’s some advertising dollars at work!” not a “Thank you so much here you go, you get to be our walking human billboards. HAPPY HOLIDAYS Y’ALL.”

      1. AnotherAlison*

        We have a weird culture, so I don’t think people mind it (kool-aid drinkers). Branded pullovers are something people can wear to work on any regular ol’ Tuesday and be more comfortable than in most of their own clothes that fall within our business casual dress code. (An NFL team pullover wouldn’t be okay, but since it says Company, it’s fine. Otherwise, you better have on a sweater or dress shirt.) I’m just annoyed that my dept. took something that is normally used here as a gift or reward and turned it sideways into something that is not a gift at all.

      2. Marny*

        Ugh, agreed. At the holidays, every year my old law firm would give us hats or polo shirts or denim shirts or fleece vests with the firm logo on them. I gave it all to my dad for when he does yard work. Even if I could wear them to work, I wouldn’t. I wish the firm had just given me the money as a holiday bonus.

      3. SomebodyElse*

        “The Company” will give branded things for everyone, but then bosses will do personalized gifts for their team.

        I’m not going to get worked up about a branded gift that goes to everyone. It’s better than a poke in the nose as the saying goes.

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          That’s really not how it works everywhere. No boss here is giving out individual gifts to their department, it’s unacceptable. The company pays for anything that is given to an employee, unless it’s something like food that someone brings in to share.

          A poke in the nose? That’s a new twist, uh less violent way of putting it?

          1. SomebodyElse*

            Even if it doesn’t work that way in other places (and I know it doesn’t) it’s still a free something. If you are buying for more than one person, I can guarantee there will be X-1 that is unhappy with the gift. It just doesn’t work, which is why I can’t get bent out of shape about it. I’m happy if I get something every couple of years that I’ll use. There’s usually someone that likes that years thing, so I generally give it to them if I don’t want it.

            We’ve had some doozy branded presents in past years… Off the top of my head:

            A water bottle that looked suspiciously like a certain male anatomy bit
            An umbrella with a built in flashlight… All of the flashlights were corroded and didn’t work
            A reusable grocery bag that split at the seems if anything was put in it carry

      4. Jdc*

        I hate it. I get that some people wear whatever but no way I’ll ever wear anything company branded outside of the office or a conference. I think it’s tacky. It’s not really a gift for many people.

    3. Third or Nothing!*

      Every year we get an assortment of company branded items like jackets, pullovers, sweatpants, blankets, shirts, etc. AND a nice crisp $100 bill AND a large year-end bonus. I’m good with it, although I really don’t need a 3rd fleece pullover LOL. Sometimes I give them my husband’s size instead.

      1. Anon for this*

        Are you hiring? :)

        We got fortune cookies one year. One per person. Printed on the fortunes were the company values. That was the year when our (small, but every bit helps) bonuses were canceled. Going anon for this, because “fortune cookie bonuses” might be recognizable.

        OldJob once gave us duffel bags that turned out to be surprisingly good quality. My then teenage (HS/college) son took mine to use for overnight trips to visit his friends and girlfriend. I still miss it. It was company branded, but was so good that I didn’t mind.

        1. Third or Nothing!*

          Actually, we are. Lots and lots of engineers right now.

          Also who in their right mind thinks a fortune cookie is a good gift?? I’ve seen little reusable metal ones that look kind of neat, but something tells me they weren’t metal.

    4. thanks?*

      Yeah… we get borderline useful merch that the company pays somewhere between $1-$5 per item. Frankly, I’d rather have the $5.

  7. Ann O'Nemity*

    I’m curious how much managers generally spend on their employees? I’m sure there’s a huge range but I’m love to hear some examples. I’m guessing I might be at the lower end, with about $25 per employee (nonprofit, Midwest).

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      I think it greatly depends on a couple factors. Are they company purchased items or the manager’s funds? And how big the team is.

      I’ve seen anything from $5 to $50 personally, taking those factors into it.

      As a company funded gift bag, it’s usually in the $50-$75 range for us.

    2. OtterB*

      My boss used to give a box of Godiva chocolates to each team member, the dozen truffles I think. Somewhere along the way as the staff size gradually doubled, he quite reasonably stopped doing that. (Nonprofit, DC area)

    3. Jamie*

      I don’t think they do anything here, but in a previous workplace they gave out $25 gift cards for each holiday and had a raffle where people got to select gifts from the pile that vendors gave us throughout the course of the year we weren’t allowed to keep and supplemented it with some big ticket items. (Don’t get me started on upper management who got their tickets called early and selected big ticket items.)

      Another workplace we’d get $100 in cash and a choice of either a ham or turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        The cash bonus reminds me of one awesome boss who actually paid our Christmas bonus taxes for us! So we got the full $750 each year.

    4. Amber Rose*

      Our company springs for $100 gift cards every year, for every employee. It’s for a major grocery store chain, and they always give it to us and say “dinner’s on us.”

      Our company is pretty generous.

    5. SomebodyElse*

      When I had a larger (5+) team I’d spend somewhere between $10 -$15. Then when I had only 2 direct reports (both managers) I spent $50 ea.

      Now it’s become a little different as we do a “Dirty Santa” swap at our team lunch. I buy all the gifts for that. I think I just spent ~$200 yesterday and ironically got a couple of things on the list in the main post. I’ll also do the $50 for my one remaining manager and since I’ve taken over one of the teams temporarily I’ll also do $10-$15 gifts for that team.

      On average I spend about ~$300 out of pocket a year on holiday gifts for my team

    6. kittymommy*

      I have a few bosses (all on an equal level with the same pay grade) and I’m their only employee and they give separate gifts to me. It’s always gift cards and it’s anywhere from $5 to a local ice cream shop to $100 to a nice steak restaurant. One or two may give a separate gift of a bottle of wine but that tends to be when I go to a holiday party at their homes.

    7. TootsNYC*

      For the last several years, I’ve given $50 gift cards plus a <$10 gadget/useful gift to each of my direct reports (this number has thankfully dropped, though the most I ever had was 3).

      Despite my story above about the different gifting levels, I did make an exception because I had two full-timers, a half-time freelancer, and then freelancers who would work either 10 or 5 evenings each month.
      Full-timers got $50 and a gift; half-timers, $25 and a gift; and part-timers, $10 and a gift, or sometimes just a gift if they worked very few nights.

      I worried it would seem like playing favorites, but honestly, there were tiers already. I ALSO thought, based on knowing them, that some of the part-timers would feel weird with too-extravagant gifts. I gingerly sounded one of them out, and she was adamant that all she'd heard was that the freelancers were touched to be thought of at all. I gave everyone the gift, because that's physical and easily seen. But the gift cards were in the accompanying envelope, so that wasn't as obvious.

      (I used the reward-program gift cards to fund this, so it doesn't hit cash flow.)

      1. Rainy_Day*

        My previous supervisor gave me and my teammates (five of us) each a $10 gift card for Starbucks. We work for a huge company, but I’m assuming it came out of their pocket. No Christmas bonuses or anything.

        I don’t go to Starbucks, so always gave mine to a teammate. :/

    8. ...*

      This is my first year having direct reports and Purchasing them all $25 gifts would not work for me financially! There are six of then. I wouldn’t have to go into debt over it or anything, but it would be more than I’m spending on my family. Do bosses really have to give individual gifts to each employee? I would really appreciate the help or hearing from people! My plan was to bake cookies and bring them in. People seemed jazzed about that.

      1. Short Time Lurker Komo*

        The cookies work! My boss hasn’t given us individual gifts in the entire time I’ve worked here. As a company, other things are done, but I don’t know of any of our managers that give their reports gifts.

    1. Witchy Human*

      Well, holiday bonuses from the employer itself are great, but if we’re talking “here, employee, have a card with some cash in it, Grandma-style!” from your boss then that is a bad, bad idea.

      1. Elenia*

        I just do Amazon gift cards, with a small gift with them. I figure they can buy what they like, and they all have Amazon accounts.

        1. wordswords*

          Plenty of people — and plenty of office cultures — like doing something more personalized than money. Plus, giving $10 or $20 is a “oh, uh, great… thanks so much…” kind of present, especially from your boss, but a $10 or $20 present can be a nice demonstration of appreciation and thought. And often a bonus isn’t entirely in your manager’s control (like if the higher-ups choose not to budget for that), but a small gift or card can be.

          While I’m never going to say no to a bonus, I used to work at an office where some of the people I supported as an admin would give me something small, and with many of them I was really touched by the gift. I also got a yearly bonus around the holidays, and that was awfully nice to have too! But in a different way. That was “yay, I have more cash because of an organized policy thing,” not “awwww, Jane gave me cookies!” (Even when I didn’t like the flavor of cookies, or whatever I was touched by the thought.)

          Obviously, this depends on the people involved — the gift-giver’s skill and thoughtfulness, the giftee’s level of interest, the office culture and expectations, etc. Clearly you don’t have any interest in gifts from coworkers or a manager, and would prefer cold hard cash. Which is fine! I’m not trying to persuade you otherwise. And I certainly don’t think that anyone should feel obligated to give gifts to their subordinates if that doesn’t work for them or their budget. But that doesn’t mean “there is no other reason for anyone at work to be giving gifts,” or that no one appreciates them or sees a point in them. Let’s not paint the entire world with one broad (and rather snappish-sounding) brush and decree them universally pointless.

          1. Jamie*

            (Even when I didn’t like the flavor of cookies, or whatever I was touched by the thought.)

            Opposite experience. I brought in kolachkis once for the office and apparently I made them exactly the way a co-workers late mother made them and he hugged me. Whilst crying.

            Can’t underestimate the power of baked goods.

            1. Jedi Squirrel*

              And now I want the recipe, even though I don’t know what kolachkis are. (Off to google…)

                1. Jamie*

                  I’ll post it in Friday’s Open Thread…it’s work related if we bake for work, right? Otherwise, Saturdays. :)

                2. Elenna*

                  @Jedi Squirrel: I was reading a fanfic where the main character was of Polish descent, and his grandmother was visiting so a lot of traditionally Polish foods were cooked. Halfway through, I informed my sister that apparently I should put Poland on my list of places to visit, as I apparently like all their food…

                  (Especially ironic since the running joke in the fic was that the protagonist’s boyfriend didn’t like any of the food, which turned out to be plot-relevant in that he skipped out on a family dinner and therefore wasn’t there when the antagonist turned up with a gun.)

        2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          I’ve worked at zero places that don’t do annual bonuses, so I’m not going to hem and haw over the fact they then choose to spend an extra $50 on some kind of “gift”. So maybe it’s just coming from that background that never gets the “Give them money, everyone wants money!” responses we get for every single gift thread that comes around this time of year.

          1. Jamie*

            I get that, from your posts you seem to have very warm feelings toward management and your coworkers and you seem to know them pretty well.

            For people where the relationship with their manager is more distant and businesslike I get just wanting cash because it’s not a personal thing. I’ve had both relationships…I’m just a total mercenary who prefers cash and time off :)

            Twice I got holiday gifts from a boss where it really hit the mark. One year she gave everyone expensive candy from a gourmet place (think >$25 per lb box) and because my son loved it so much she ordered one special for him the next year and told me to hide it since it was just for him.

            Another year I was coveting this penguin ceramic cookie jar in the Christmas raffle but I wouldn’t take it because as upper management I always took the lowest cost gifts (think a travel mug with a vendor’s logo on it) so she got me one of my own…kind of as a thank you since it was a pet peeve of hers when management took better gifts leaving crap for lower paid staff.

            She was a very toxic person for the last few years I worked there, but I remember the times she was lovely and it’s kind of sad.

        3. TootsNYC*

          I can give you a gift for $20 or even maybe $10.
          I don’t have the power to get you a bonus, and I don’t think a $20 bonus would feel that generous.

          Same with branded pullovers or mugs: That’s a very low per-person cost.

        4. Spoons please*

          Plenty of people work for places that will never have bonuses. AAM is the first to say librarians are a vocal part of her readership. And if you’re an academic or public librarian, bonuses are way, way outside the purview of managers.

    2. Jamie*

      I agree, although I would expand that to include time off without using PTO – I always welcome that.

      I don’t consider bonuses to be a gift as they are merit based and negotiated and part of my compensation. To me cash gifts are just that…money or gift cards given to everyone regardless of bonus plan.

      1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

        Yup. OldJob offered 2hr chunks of time off as occasional performance rewards (“Hey, you had the best numbers for the month, here’s a ticket” or “Hey, great job staying late to deal with the Widget Spill, here’s a couple tickets plus your OT pay”) and they were adored and hotly vied for. HR made us load up on rules for how/when they could be used, but even so, they rocked.

      2. Joielle*

        Yeah – at one of my previous jobs, bonuses were out of the question (state government) but we always got an email the first week of December giving us an extra day or two off the week of Christmas. It was awesome. We were all reasonably well-paid but overworked, so those days off were honestly more precious than cash, especially because the office was completely closed so it’s not like you had to find time to take PTO sometime later in the year.

    3. Person of Interest*

      I’ve received a nice card and cash/gift card gifts from bosses ranging from $10 to $100 and it is always appreciated. (I work in a place where there is no such thing as bonuses.) Can’t go wrong with cash.

    4. Sleve McDichael*

      Look, I get you, and personally I agree but some people don’t. Have you ever heard of the 5 love languages? There are some people (like a relative of mine) for whom even small gifts make them feel appreciated in a way money never could. I think it’s about the thought/effort that goes into it? I don’t really know as I’m not a gifts person myself. But especially in a place where employees are financially secure and $20 is neither here or there I think gifts can make a big difference to certain people, so maybe don’t write them off in all circumstances.

  8. Nanobots*

    The absolute best gift I ever received from a boss was a (off-brand) Yeti tumbler. I still use it daily, and it encourages us to drink more water which has far-reaching health benefits.

    1. corporate engineering layoff woo*

      They’ve very nice and I make sure to keep at least one around. Definitely would recommend for staying hydrated and having an excuse to walk over to the drink machine/ice dispenser/water fountain.

  9. Eshrai*

    I have the groot pen holder! I wanted to replant my desk bamboo in it, but its not water proof. It has a hole in the bottom. Once I solve that problem though, my little bamboo gets a new lease in life lol. Also…I want several of these. Love the vacuum!

    1. Just Like Bart*

      That hole is for drainage and aeration. If you’re concerned about water spilling out you can place a saucer underneath the planter.

      1. Eshrai*

        Unfortunately bamboo plants are a bit different. You just use small rocks (like in an aquarium), not dirt, and keep it in standing water at all times. So Bamboo planters can’t have the holes in them. :) Super easy to keep alive though…hard to over-water lol.

    2. TootsNYC*

      hot glue? Silicone caulk?
      A cork or rubber stopper? Go to Home Depot’s website and search on “rubber stopper”
      They have lots of assorted sizes for less than $1.50, including as small as:
      Everbilt 3/4 in. x 9/16 in. Black Rubber Stopper
      Everbilt 1/2 in. x 5/16 in. Black Rubber Stopper

      National Art Craft website has piggy-bank stoppers that fits holes as small as 3/8″/

      You could combine one of those stoppers with silicone caulk, perhaps.

  10. TootsNYC*

    I like to give small, practical gadgets.

    Like Sugru, or the GripStic (for closing potato-chip bags), or once I splurged on a Tile (I’d bought a big batch for my family, which brought the price-per down).

    I also once made stationery for everyone by printing their names across the top of some blank correspondence cards and pairing them with blank envelopes; I think that’s my favorite “to a big crew” kind of gift. It wasn’t expensive (so my team didn’t feel awkward; it’s not like I make a shitload more than they do), it felt personal in a professional way (everybody got a different font and color), and it has the highest chance of being actually useful of any gift I’ve ever given.

    Once, I decided that everybody needed a toy for Christmas, so I got them all Lego Pods (back when they were…), so they had something to put together; it was only $5, I think. (Lego is seriously missing a sales opportunity by not explicitly marketing to office gift-giving.)

    1. Mimi Me*

      If Lego ever did an Office themed set (or poly-bags) I’d go nuts!!! My son loves Lego and he knows I love all those little toys for my desk so he gives me the blind bags that he’s opened but already has so I can put them together and display at my desk. They’re fun!

    2. Joielle*

      GripStics are such a good gift! They’re small and inexpensive, but SO useful. And even if you already have some, you can always use a few more, or they’re perfect for regifting. My family frequently gives them as stocking stuffers, so we all have a bunch, but nobody seems to mind.

    1. anon24*

      I LOVE that infuser. I don’t often take my tea to work but sometimes on cold snowy days I do. I can make it in that, throw it in my bag or car (like, I’ve literally tossed it across the car onto the passenger seat), it doesn’t leak, and it stays hot for hours.

  11. JustKnope*

    For next year’s gift guide, it would be cool to do a gift for “the employee who doesn’t get an assigned desk” (because of hot desking/integrated work spaces). My team is spread out over a few spots and we don’t get to sit in the same desk every day, so I’m brainstorming something clever for the always-moving factor (haven’t thought of anything yet!)

    1. Yvette*

      Monogrammed pouches for pens, chargers and other accessories. Really nice (as in leather or tapestry) lanyards for ID and access cards. Lunch totes.

    2. Seeking Second Childhood*

      Retractable USB cord on the low end… a wheeled laptop bag with office supply storage on the high end.

  12. My name is actually Brielle*

    So apparently I am an exclusive home textiles brand…and I own that blanket.

  13. cmcinnyc*

    At my office gift-giving is discouraged for lots of good reasons (we have strict COIB rules and various other factors that make the whole thing a potential nightmare). It’s not forbidden, it’s just messy enough that the general consensus is “Let’s Not” which suits me fine. I have a co-worker who refuses to take this stuff seriously though! She gave me a gift one year while telling me her boss told her not to but she felt like doing it anyway. I tried not to accept it but it ended up back on my desk! It was small, and thoughtful, but yikes. I felt obligated to reciprocate but also felt obligated not to (see: reasons). She backed off for a couple of years but we have new leadership (that doesn’t know to sit on her) and I have a bad feeling…

    1. TimeTravlR*

      The first time I didn’t reciprocate when co-workers and bosses gave gifts, it felt awkward. But the more i do it (don’t do it?) the easier it is. I really don’t like to feed into that kind of thing at work.

      1. cmcinnyc*

        Very true. I never did reciprocate and lived. Proving that one can, in fact, shut this stuff down. If only it would stay shut…

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Next time it ends up back on your desk, take it to someone else and ask them to dispose of it for you. Or stick it in a public area.

      It seems ice cold but it’s no worse than being a jerk and demanding someone accept whatever they want to give you at any given time.

  14. WantonSeedStitch*

    I’ve often taken my team out to lunch during December as a thank-you. I get input from them and pick a restaurant where everyone can find something good to eat.

    1. Victoria, Please*

      We did that just yesterday on my team. The second most senior person insisted upon splitting the bill with me so it was our treat. I want to find a little something for the two people who were out sick though.

      1. Yvette*

        Some sort of edible? Since it is only two people you can tailor it to preferences and dietary restrictions and it will be in line with your “thank you” to the others.

  15. MOAS*

    I’m getting one of mine a mug that says something funny about accountants on it.

    The other one is getting a pin of Smudge the cat, since we both love htat meme so much.

    My boss is getting a “world’s Okayest boss” mug.

    1. cleo*

      Funny mugs are good. The design director at my current gig has a mug that says “Silently judging your font choices” that was a gift from his boss / the communications director one year. It’s funny and it’s completely true.

  16. Hiya*

    My biggest peeve for work gifts is giving branded stuff. Sure that leather bag is great but not with a huge company logo on it. Just give a gift not an advertising opportunity

    1. Jamie*

      I agree most of the time, but they have these really high quality backpacks here for the sales team that have cushioned pocket for laptop, internal charger, wheels, and look really nice.

      I don’t travel and have no use for one, but brand or not they are really nice.

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Designer bags in general tend to have a logo of some kind anyways, so you’re advertising either for whomever you work for or Coach or whatever, so as long as it’s good quality, such is life in that aspect. But I do agree, as stated prior that it shouldn’t be presented as a holiday gift, it should be a standard issue thing that’s clearly part of their marketing plan.

  17. Eponymous*

    Word of caution against the salt lamps: In humid environments, the salt attracts moisture and the lamp will begin to “melt”, leaking salty water all over your desk and cube wall (or, in my friends’ cases [yes, this has happened multiple times], nightstand, bedroom wall, and power outlet).

    (I’d also question the “air-purifying properties” but the muted light is pleasant to look at.)

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      They’re also dangerous if you have pets because they lick them…not that big of deal if they do keep it at work but if they take it home, they can kill a cat if they’re prone to licking at salty things.

    2. DyneinWalking*

      And even if the humidity is moderate, the salt will absorb some of the moisture (it’s hygroscopic!) and develop a sticky surface that’s hard to clean. I used to have a salt stone lying about as decoration, and it got disgusting over the years, dust gathered on it and stuck tight. You’ll have to use water to get rid of (some of) of the dust and slowly wear away the “stone” in the process. There’s a reason salt isn’t generally used for household items…

  18. Eeyore's Missing Tail*

    Is a gift certificate to nail salon appropriate? I have my first student worker (the first person I’ve ever officially managed) and she’s told me how she likes to get pedicures and raves about the place she goes. If it helps, we’re both women.

    1. Lance*

      As personalized gifts go, I’d think a gift card for such a place she’s specifically said she enjoys would be perfectly appropriate.

    2. Jedi Squirrel*

      I think that would be totally appropriate. You know she loves it and will use it, and she knows you listen to her.

    3. Goya de la Mancha*

      I don’t think it would be weird unless you were like stalking her or her conversations ;)

  19. TimeTravlR*

    I’d love to receive that pen! I really appreciate a nice pen. But we are pretty good about not doing gifts at my office, thank goodness.
    Although, I do like some of these ideas for some of my neighbors to thank them for the help they give me all year! Nice list.

  20. Hei Hei the Chicken from Moana*

    The employee who goes to the new Marvel movie on opening night: IT ME. And I have that Groot planter. I also found some other fun items that would be good for office mates:
    For the always cold: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TXXNMQK/ref=twister_B07TSLR53Z

    Cat + coffee/tea person: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GSL4NF6/ref=sspa_dk_detail_1?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07GSL4NF6&pd_rd_w=PmbXK&pf_rd_p=45a72588-80f7-4414-9851-786f6c16d42b&pd_rd_wg=YoJBg&pf_rd_r=45ZZM5PQE0XGDSB9BJ8Q&pd_rd_r=2ea05032-5e57-4fa8-8ad6-2befabdfe29c&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExMUFLUUlUOVYwOVg5JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTk2NTE5MjEyVkUzN1VXUlJTRyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjEwMTc3M0pPTUk3V0RGQjY2VCZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbCZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

    For your work BFF I Adulted Stickers: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0789332906/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_3?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    For your extra extraverts a desk disco ball: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0762461594/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_8?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    For your 80s movie fan, desktop Zoltar: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0762464852/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_9?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    For your sales reps/conventioneers literally pounding the pavement, foot soak: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H7KTEZ8/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_9?smid=A1VLKOO4YBGA1U&psc=1

  21. PennyLane*

    The first gift guide I’ve seen with actually useful items. I would love those usb heated gloves! Fun and thoughtful selection Alison!

  22. Amber Rose*

    I just bake. It’s easiest. Cookies are pretty inoffensive and cheap, and I don’t hand them out, just leave them where anyone can grab.

    1. Jamie*

      I do that every year, because I love Christmas baking and have to do something with the leftovers.

      Couple of cheap festive trays, load them up with cookies, and done. And now I want a cookie.

    2. Mirve*

      I’m doing my annual baking this upcoming weekend. It goes to my spouse’s office first for his direct reports and then I take what’s left to my office and leave it out for people to grab. Anything left over we eat at home for a while. Besides cookies I also do fudge and caramels (there’s a super easy microwave caramel recipe I use).

    3. AnotherAlison*

      You’ve been on this site how long & you think cookies are inoffensive!?!?

      I’m half-joking and would be more than happy to have your team’s leftover cookies if they don’t want them, but we have some gluten-free, vegan, and keto types in my department. It would be tough to please everyone here with some cookies. I certainly don’t try to please everyone and will not be baking or giving gifts at work!

  23. Third or Nothing!*

    I would LOVE to get a tea related gift. :D We’re doing Secret Santa this year at our office and I’m hoping for a nice tisane. I think I know who has me, since I got a message asking what my favorite tea is. So sneaky. So subtle.

  24. Slow Gin Lizz*

    The mini vacuum cleaner is cute but I’d be pretty disappointed if someone gave it to me for a gift. Unless I asked for it, of course.

    1. TootsNYC*

      it might be good for, not the messy person, but the one who fusses over cleaning their desk a little. Because those are an office character.

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        This is where I land as well.

        Just like most people would be bummed AF if they got some cute desk organizers whereas I would be thrilled [I buy my own because boo standard issue boo.]

  25. Lalaith*

    Do fingerless gloves actually help? My fingers are the part that get cold :-P I feel like those would just give me sweaty palms…

    1. Slow Gin Lizz*

      They usually do for me but I’m wearing some right now and my fingers are still cold so now I have less faith in them than I used to. Anyway, I think the idea is that if the rest of your hands are warmer that’ll increase circulation and heat to your fingers. They usually do work for me but I think I’m in a cooler environment than usual so that’s probably why they’re not working as well as usual.

    2. wordswords*

      For me, they do help, but it depends on how cold it is and what your circulation is like. If my palms and wrists are warm, my fingers will be correspondingly somewhat warmer, even if they’re still kind of chilly. So I’ve definitely used fingerless gloves to type in a chilly room, or to keep my wrists warm on a chilly-but-not-bitter day when I expect to have my hands jammed in my coat pockets but don’t want the wind sliding in at the cuffs, and so on.

      I’ve never tried the plug-in kind, though! Just regular knitted wool ones.

    3. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      The idea is that the warmth of your palms will then radiate up towards your finger tips more so, instead of your body trying to heat up the whole hand. But it will depend on each person and their circulation!

    4. fhqwhgads*

      They do if the glove part is heated. Although I have Raynaud’s so my experience may not be normal.

  26. Mandatory reporter*

    The last Christmas gift I received from work was a Fossil watch that ran $70-80 (mid-sized credit union with 20-25 total employees); the men got a certain style, and the women another. I’m glad I wasn’t at the holiday party where these were handed out, as I would have cringed. I appreciated the gesture, but I never wore a watch until I received a Fitbit.

    It’s still in the box collecting dust in my basement.

  27. Donkey Hotey*

    I’m a little surprised! My assumptions about the commentariat have been up-ended!
    I fully expected an entire thread on Waterman vs. other types of fountain pens that are remarkably pleasurable but not $85.

    There I go ass-uming.

    1. Carlie*

      I have a Noodler’s Ink fountain pen that I got for about $20. Perfectly serviceable to scratch that pen itch, although I’ve migrated to Pilot Frixion extra-fine pens for everything after getting a Rocketbook notebook (which requires them).

      I feel… cheap? My family has never been really into gifts. Some of the things on this list cost more than what I spend on my parents!

    2. Just Like Bart*

      Uh. Well, I’m gonna take this opportunity to recommend the Platinum Procyon. It’s a little over $50 and comes in multiple colors. I got one a while ago and it’s been a joy to write with.

    3. Third or Nothing!*

      I have a purple Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen and matching Noodler brand ink that I was given as a graduation gift by a college friend. 10 years later and it’s still my favorite pen. I use it to write entries in my daughter’s baby journal, love notes to my husband, and letters to my pen pals.

    4. Mandatory reporter*

      I have a Cross desk set (wood holder with gold nameplate, gold pen, gold pen holder) that was gifted to me at graduation. I loved using it at OldJob where it was a good conversation piece when I met with older clients.

      Since then, it hasn’t really jived with the offices I’ve been in, so it’s stayed in storage at home.

  28. TootsNYC*

    Don’t play favorites; people will notice if one person gets an iPad and another gets a scented candle.

    This happened to me!

    My boss bought both of her other two direct reports a really nice present–a shirt one of them had been drooling over, and a nice set of earrings. Then it was mentioned that she bought funky socks for everyone on our team who didn’t report directly to her; it came up at an end-of-semester goodbye party for the intern, who wore her pair that day.

    A week later, on the day before Christmas break, she shows up at the door to my office with a small Christmas votive candle, which had a strong whiff of “regift” with undertones of “drugstore stocking-stuffer table.”

    It was just really, really clear.

    I was talking about it with HR later, when her uneven treatment of the guy who worked for me caused him to resign and mention the clique-iness in his exit interview. There were other personal-antipathy signals (like entering a room, and speaking to and looking at ONLY the other person and not me; or inviting the whole staff except for me over to see her newly renovated kitchen, which I found out when the art director said, “Oh, but you’ve seen her kitchen, remember when she invited us over?”)

    The HR person asked if I felt this influenced how she treated me or viewed me professionally, and the truth is, no. It didn’t feel professional; it felt only personal.

    1. Carlie*

      That is like a real-life version of the NewsRadio episode where everyone got a car from Mr. James except Matyhew, who got a box set of cassettes of an old radio show.

  29. Anónimimita*

    Got some great ides for family members from this list – those heated fingerless gloves! – and I’ve somehow just bought myself a fountain pen???

    Anyway – I’m laughing myself silly at the idea that my boss would buy anyone in the office anything for xmas, other than maybe some chocs for us to share in the office, which some of us can’t eat.
    Oh well.

  30. Wherehouse Politics*

    For the employee that insists on coming in sick- slight upgrade suggestion: how about a humidifier/climate-controlled hazmat suit with its own oxygen supply and purifying filter?

      1. Seeking Second Childhood*

        My daughter is into kpop and we’re looking at a set of cotton face masks all around.

  31. (Mr.) Cajun2core*

    Also for the employee who is always hot:


    I am one of those employees. I have a few of these and I love them.

  32. Bee*

    Hah, those Sony headphones are in fact the kind we used at the radio station I worked for! They’re great quality, and also way cheaper than so many similar ones. Plus, the cord is like six feet long, which means if your trash can is just out of reach – like mine – you don’t have to take off the headphones to get there.

    1. Llellayena*

      Ooo, long cord! This is why I hung on to the falling apart headphones I have now. The ear covers are worn down to almost nothing and the sound is touchy (there’s a volume control on the cord that you have to set VERY carefully or you don’t get sound in both ears), but the cord is about 5-6 feet long, which lets me stand up to look at a set of drawings. I also need very loose headphones that fit a small head because I wear glasses and the pressure on the ears hurts (I can’t comfortably wear earbuds either). I haven’t even tried to find a replacement because of all that.

  33. Didi*

    The best I have received (and also give) at work is a half-day off – to be taken whenever the employee wants.

  34. BB*

    My organization made it way harder a couple of years ago when they came out and said we couldn’t give staff any kind of gift cards any more because it counted as taxable income (we do have a budget for gifts, so that’s nice at least). Now I hunt high and low for something that works for everybody (I definitely don’t have the time to do individual gifts for my whole team). A couple of years ago it was a nice set of spice mixes, last year it was specialty jams from a local bakery, this year I’m not sure…leaning towards nice infused olive oils?

    Personally, I like giving consumable gifts so I know they aren’t just going to sit around gathering dust for years, and if they hate them they’re pretty easy to re-gift.

    1. Llellayena*

      Infused olive oils are great, pair them with balsamic vinegar flavors for a real treat. Some specialty olive oil stores have taster sized bottles specifically for gift combinations (and wedding favors…). Other options: Local honey and/or flavored honey sticks, Coffee/Tea, Baking-in-a-jar mixes, popcorn and popcorn flavorings, unusual candy/chocolate flavors (I found rosemary lemon lollipops!), fruit syrups (blueberry pancake syrup is fun)…

      No, I haven’t used edible items as gifts for nearly everyone I know, what makes you think that?

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Consumables are really good, for exactly the reason you have behind them!

      I like that you’re also getting ones that aren’t immediate consumption necessary either, then you don’t feel like you need to stuff your face with an entire basket of cookies or even fruits.

  35. Heidi*

    I normally don’t like to give books as presents unless the recipient clearly states that they want a specific book. That being said, I stayed up until 4am reading Bad Blood and went into work to find that one of my colleagues had also just finished reading it and we could not stop talking about how insane it was.

  36. MsChanandlerBong*

    Awesome list! I got my coworker the half-finger gloves with the USB heater, and I also added them to my wishlist so I can buy them on Christmas (my mom always gets me an Amazon gift card, so why spend my own money now when I know I have a gift card coming?). I also added the slim desk fan–I am always hot!

    I hope it’s okay to ask this here, but can anyone suggest a foot rest of some sort for a short person? I am 4’10”, and there is literally not a single chair in existence that I can sit in comfortably. If I sit all the way back in the chair for good lumbar support, my feet dangle a few inches above the floor, which makes my feet swell and puts extra stress on my legs. If I scooch forward so my feet are on the floor, I don’t get any lumbar support, and the edge of the chair also cuts into the middle of my thighs and cuts off my circulation–very uncomfortable. Is there any solution out there that I might be able to add to my Amazon wishlist to buy when I get my Christmas gift card?

    1. Carlie*

      I’ve had one for several years that I like. If you search for half cylinder foam footrest a couple of types will come up. They’re tall enough to actually work (at least for 5’2″ people with space to spare), you can brace your feet on it at any angle or stretch them out on top, and you can flip it over to have a calf-stretching rocker.

    2. SomebodyElse*

      I’m taller than you, but always need a foot rest. I got tired of the crappy plastic ones that the office supply places seem to like and went with a small (like really short) ottoman/foot rest.

      It’s not available at the moment but to give you an idea. Depending on your needs, you could also probably find different legs that you could use.


    3. Third or Nothing!*

      IDK if this will be helpful or not, but I’ve found an overturned trash can has been the best foot rest at my desk. I have the same problem you do and it’s very annoying. Do you also sit with your legs tucked under you whenever possible? I feel kind of awkward putting my feet up on another person’s couch when I go visit someone’s house but it’s either that or be really uncomfortable.

      1. MsChanandlerBong*

        Yes! I sit cross-legged, and it’s having a terrible effect on my lower back and left hip/leg (I work from home, so I can sit on the couch or bed if needed). I have been trying to work from my office more so there is more of a separation between “home” and work/school, but it’s so uncomfortable to sit in a chair.

        1. Third or Nothing!*

          I’ve found getting up regularly to stretch and spending my lunch break moving (lift weights, go for a run, go grocery shopping) helps a lot with stiffness in the legs, which I get even with a foot rest.

  37. Earthwalker*

    Love the gift selections! But am I the only one who feels that office gift giving is awkward whether up, down, or sideways? Its uncomfortable for me to get a personal gift from the boss when it’s not appropriate for me to reciprocate. I feel awkward when in the next meeting I need to say, “Boss, I disagree,” as if the one-way gift ought to have paid for a certain amount of unquestioning support. Company branded gewgaws of absolutely equal value bypass all that, but then, they’re more like company PR than presents. I’d much rather receive warm wishes for the holiday from bosses and coworkers with no dollars spent or landfill fillers bought.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      As a gift giver, I hate hearing about the guilt associated with receiving but I know it’s a thing, you’re certainly not alone!

      I’ll put it this way, I don’t give anyone anything out of the idea of “Oh and now I get a gift!”. I squashed it over the years with my family members even. My mom and I get everyone presents and once in awhile, others get us things if they have the means and they feel like it.

      My parents grew up in poor, large-ish families. So they were very frugal. We always had what we needed and a few treats here and there. But yeah, it spearheaded my desire to gift to people whenever I could because I like it. I like shopping for others. I like the thought process. It’s my way of showing appreciation. BUT I in return want nothing.

      Just like when I say “I love you”, I’m not doing it to hear it returned to me. I’m saying it because I want to and feel it right then. But I know people feel like they’re required to respond. Again, goes back to those family roots of doing something differently because I want to and it feels right. My dad only returns an “I love you” once every 76 times or so [unless it’s my mother, since he’s still hearing his parents voices saying love is only romantic emotion and therefore you only love your spouse, rme.]

      1. Earthwalker*

        This makes loads of sense in the family context. But in the boss/subordinate context the idea of “giving” feels a little stretched out of shape, unless the boss and subordinate are really close out-of-work friends.

  38. Senor Montoya*

    The popcorn burner should get a fire extinguisher. Or a one-way ticket to Tristan da Cunha.

  39. Ree*

    Allison, I have the BabyGroot head, can confim, it is awesome, people love it and the plant growing in it is also weirdly happy in my not-much-light part of the office!

  40. Anonya*

    So I’m a new-ish boss, and I feel really uncomfortable with gift-giving. Mainly, it’s the fear of missing the mark completely, having to come up with something new every year, trying to strike the balance between generous and weird. It’s such a landmine. Any gift will be paid for out of pocket, and giving straight-up cash would be flat-out inappropriate (public sector).

    My predecessor gave out bottles of wine every year, which I loved receiving, but feel uncomfortable giving for a number of reasons.

    I have four direct reports. Budget is about $20-25 each. Amazon gift card? Nice lunch out? Bring in a plate of cookies? (I love to bake, but I don’t want them to feel obligated to eat my stuff.) I seriously don’t want to do this at all, not because they don’t deserve it, but because I’m completely anxious about the whole thing. (Those USB gloves and charging port are pretty awesome, though!)

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      I would do something that you’ll feel good doing year after year, that should fit your budget even if you suddenly need to do a cutback somewhere for some reason.

      So I would do something like a tower of treats, especially since y’all don’t get free food in the public sector. Do you have a coffee club or anything like that? You could grab a Costco sized kcup stash for your department as well if you all drink coffee [or get a mix of hot chocolate and coffee if you have non coffee drinkers!]

      I would try to get out of your head about them feeling obligated to eat something and such. Everyone is entitled to feel the way they do but rarely do people really start thinking that deeply about it. Just say “I brought this tower of goodies, feel free to graze, I hope there’s something you like, if not, give me hints for next year ;)” kind of nonchalant “I’m up for suggestions or whatever if you don’t like it.” but really…most people are just going to deep dive into that cookie tray happily.

      1. Anonya*

        About paragraph 3: I think I’ve spent maybe too much time in the comments section here because this (feeling obligated to eat) literally never would’ve occurred to me until I read it here a few times. Yes, I do need to get out of my head. :)

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          Try to work on taking the stories as just data to file away but in reality, lots of us here are very particular in our own special ways. [I cannot think of a better way to word that, without sounding shady, I appreciate our diverse personalities but some of the nitpicky stuff is very much a “know your audience” thing!]

          I say this as someone with somewhat severe eating disorders and am currently in recovery regarding the part of that weird disorder that makes me shun food/public eating. I’m an odd ball, I appreciate people understanding I exist and that way you don’t put frigging cookies on my desk or do the “OH WHY DONT YOU EAT MY COOKIES, Y U HATE ME SO MUCH?” kind of drama ;)

          But in reality, food is a center point of our society and bring it is not awful or worthy of beating yourself up. Be mindful, remember if you have any food allergies or food restrictions among your crew. Like don’t break out those special porkchops when you have known Muslims on your team, right?

          Just respect people if they speak up and don’t push things.

          In the end you can only worry about discomfort from a very wide range and be understanding. Don’t fear being corrected, don’t let people think they can’t say something to you and “correct” you if you do misstep accidentally. It’s the nature of the beast with lots of different personalities and preferences. Just be aware whenever possible and be welcome to change when necessary =)

  41. Amethystmoon*

    We don’t do gift-giving, but in previous years, employees have been given gift cards, and not always to company-owned stores. I’m not sure what we’re getting this year, since we are under new ownership. There is usually also a free lunch at some point during the holiday season, and many departments do potlucks.

  42. RB*

    Wow, these are really nice but they all seem a little upscale compared to things I usually get. Now I’m jealous. We usually just get chocolate bars (albeit nice chocolate bars) or cookies in a tin or something along those lines.

    1. LisaWorks*

      Chocolate, cookies, pretty notepads, stuff around $5 is normal for me. The list feels above my budget, but there are lots of cool items to buy for family! Every workplace is different, though.

  43. Retail not Retail*

    What are recommendations when you don’t have an office? Our manager has one but he’s never in it. Any outdoor gear falls into work purchases. We lost our MINDS over new golf carts that came the same week the road got paved.

    Also, at what type of jobs and to what employees does this happen? This all seems way way way too much for any of the jobs I’ve had but I’ve just done retail and now this.

  44. Miranda Priestly’s Assistant*

    I’m sure people mentioned this already, but I recommend against a alcohol (like bottles of wine etc.) My last manager did this even though half our team didn’t drink due to a combination of religious/lifestyle reasons.)

  45. Team Manager*

    What do you all think of a donation to a neutral (non political) nonprofit organization instead of individual gifts?

    1. Team Manager*

      I should add that we work remotely, so besides it being hard to know what everyone would want, we’re also not in an office to do a team meal or gift swap and gift cards for local grocery stores or restaurants are tough.

    2. Shadowbelle*

      I wouldn’t do it. It’s not a gift.

      Time off is nice … or if you really want to give something, give a generic VISA/Mastercard/AMEX that can be used anywhere.

      1. Rena*

        I agree. Unless the giftee specifically asked for donations in lieu of gifts, it reads to me as, “I thought about putting effort into a gift for you, but I decided it was easier to give these other people money instead. You don’t mind, right?”

    3. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      This is rarely a good idea unless you know someone would appreciate the thought behind it [which I’m learning is very few people…]

      Giftcards can be done digitally now for a lot of places! If the problem is that you want to keep funds local, that’s going to be an issue but it’s the nature of the beast when you’re dealing with remote workers.

    4. Seeking Second Childhood*

      No. Who could imagine the Nature Conservancy upsetting anyone, but they pissed off a beekeeper I know a decade ago. There’s an island off California they’re restoring to all native, so the European honeybees had to go. Except it HAD been a place with no varroa mites before they were introduced to kill off the honeybees. (I’m hoping someone will tell me this is a legend, because it’s heartbreaking.)

  46. Seeking Second Childhood*

    Now to navigate the minefield of a small department that gives gifts to each other at year-end, but I’m not into the holidays lately!
    I used to be the first with a mini-tree up and the last with it down, but the new cube has no room to stash it so home it went.

  47. SecretSanta*

    I just got the grand boss in my secret santa. Have only worked here about 6 weeks! Luckily the limit is small but I will be regifting anyway.

  48. Put the Blame on Edamame*

    We don’t really do gifts in our office but I’m getting my direct reports coffee vouchers (£5-£10) as most of them are not from the area and I know first hand how Christmas can be a bit isolating when you have no family/friends about. So I figured it’d be a nice gesture. My manager can whistle for a gift though…!

  49. Ellen N.*

    I am an avid home baker. I would advise against buying equipment for the bakers in your life. We tend to be particular and quirky about our equipment. I wouldn’t want the marble rolling pin. I like a non-stick rolling pin.

    The gifts I believe almost any home baker would appreciate are quality ingredients:

    Vanilla extract or paste (real, not imitation). Bonus points for vanilla beans.
    Chocolate. Quality chocolate is pricey. Mediocre chocolate is a waste of money and your time when you bake with it.
    Freeze dried fruit (not regular dried fruit). Freeze dried fruit is miraculous in that you can add fruit flavor without adding moisture. It’s also expensive.
    A gift certificate for King Arthur Flour (kingarthurflour.com).

Comments are closed.