Gift Guide: For Your Co-Workers

Dec 10, 2010

I have two rules for holiday giving: 1) No re-gifting. If you didn’t want it, no one else should be forced to take it, and 2) No gifts for co-workers, colleagues or business associates.  You may send a nice note, but once you start giving gifts, you have to decide who’s gift-worthy, who’s cheap gift-worthy and who isn’t.  And no good can come of those calculations.  

Besides, shouldn’t my joyful presence and unfailing professional support be fit enough? 
But as my co-worker, Virginia, pointed out, some people like their office mates (a novel concept, I know 😉 and might actually want to give them a gift (as opposed to feeling obligated to).  So I decided to let her put together a co-worker gift guide for those of you who might be feeling a little inter-office generosity during this yuletide season.  Enjoy!
Yes, they drive you crazy with their loud phone calls and smelly burrito lunches.  But you spend more time with them than your BFF and boyfriend combined, so it makes sense to gift something special to co-workers that helped you out on a big project or just helped you keep your sanity this year.  Here are a few ideas for the office-mates in your life.
Everyone knows that Belle’s favorite tip for staying warm in a frigid office is her trusty heating pad.  I personally like to utilize what is my favorite winter accessory – a colorful wrap.  Wraps are a great gift for co-workers of all ages and you can find them at any price point.  I especially like this cashmere one from Nordstrom in Purple or Red Pepper.
The need for stylish business card holders is universal and another great gift for co-workers of all ages.  If your giftee has been REALLY good this year, this silver Tiffany case is a classic.  
This pretty letterpress calendar would brighten up anyone’s cubicle.  Paper Source is one of my favorite stores (there are multiple DC-area locations) and has a ton of well-priced gifts.  
On some winter days, the 10-minute walk from the Federal Center Metro Station is absolute torture.  While I wouldn’t dare wear Uggs to make that walk more tolerable (what if Belle caught me?), I would love a pair of these Cashmere Hand Warmers in my coat pocket. 
 
What to do when a co-worker gifts you, but you don’t have anything in exchange? Run to your nearest Anthropologie store and pick up this mug.  Pair it with a bag of coffee or hot cocoa mix, stick a Starbucks gift card inside, or fill it with holiday candy and you have a personalized gift that is oh-so-cheap. 
This gift also works for boyfriends’ mothers, hostess gifts, and anyone else that you want to acknowledge without busting your budget.
 
6.  Charity Navigator Gift Card  (not pictured)
Want to give the gift that is truly perfect for everyone on your list?  Check out Charity Navigator’s “the Good Card.  You put an amount on the card, your giftee chooses which charity gets the funds.  Everyone gets that warm and fuzzy feeling. 

Gift Guide

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  1. gingerr says:

    Cookies or home-made treats are perfect.

    Most everybody likes them and they can always be taken home to be eaten by children or guests.

    My gov't office has a bunch of rules about gifts and truthfully it's just as well. Elimnates all one-upsmanship.

  2. gingerr says:

    Cookies or home-made treats are perfect.

    Most everybody likes them and they can always be taken home to be eaten by children or guests.

    My gov't office has a bunch of rules about gifts and truthfully it's just as well. Elimnates all one-upsmanship.

  3. AL says:

    Loving the cashmere hand warmers. Genius. Purchasing them right now.

  4. Amy says:

    It's not fashion-oriented, but I give my coworkers a small gift bag of homemade cookies, tailored to what I know about them (for example, I know that my office manager really likes lemon and hates chocolate, so she doesn't have any of the chocolate peanutbutter balls in her bag and gets extra lemon bars instead) and a holiday card. I otherwise don't expect or want gifts from coworkers, though I don't complain when my boss is generous over the holidays.

    Amy

  5. TA says:

    Ditto on Amy's comment–Since it's my first year in my office (I've only been with my office for 8 months), I'm making everyone a small goodie bag with cookies and a raindeer candy cane. It's very affordable and unbiased–isn't it the thought that counts the most?

  6. gingerr says:

    Cookies or home-made treats are perfect.

    Most everybody likes them and they can always be taken home to be eaten by children or guests.

    My gov't office has a bunch of rules about gifts and truthfully it's just as well. Elimnates all one-upsmanship.

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