Doing Secret Santa again this year? As fun as it is, it can also be stressful. You may hardly know the co-worker’s whose name you pulled. And you probably haven’t spent much time with him outside of work, so figuring out a good gift can be a struggle. You’re best bet is to stick with gender-neutral, tech-oriented gifts that most people are sure to appreciate.
When buying a Christmas gift for a co-worker ask yourself some very basic questions: Is this person religious? We don’t want to offend. Is this person very techy? If so, they probably have every tech gadget they could ever want. Is this person very materialistic? If so, you’ve got your work cut out for you because they probably turn up their nose to most things. Take some time to observe your co-worker for a week. Figure out what they like to eat, what coffee they enjoy, and what they seem to admire.
Now here are my recommendations for buying a Christmas gift for a co-worker:
Cards Against Humanity (or Any Naughty Adult Card Game)
I feel in love with this game during a get together at a co-worker’s home. This is the ultimate, naughty grown-up game, that is sure to have everyone laughing. Warning – this game is not suitable for conservative or religious co-workers, it contains naughty language and seems to make quite a few references to penises. But I promise you it is the funniest game on the market, and a great gift for a co-worker with a sense of humor.
Starbucks Gift Card
Easy one if your co-worker loves Starbucks. If they are a Pete’s or other coffee shop fan, give them a gift card to that particular coffee bistro. Coffee cards are appreciated since coffee drinking can be a very expensive, daily habit. It’s almost as bad a crack.
This is great for the device-happy co-worker. If they have lots of cords on their desk, you can just imagine what their home looks like.
Well one thing you know about your co-worker for sure is that they come to work. So why not help them accessorize their workstation. Custom mouse pads with family or their favorite celebrity is a good gift. Even better is to fulfill a need. Is your co-worker a bit messy? Find some organizational solutions for their desk.
Pet GPS Collar
Does your co-worker complain of their dog running away? This is a pretty thoughtful way to help them track down Fido via phone.
Many people love sporting events or concerts. Tickets to an event gives you’re co-worker an experience rather than some more junk to store in their home. Not sure what event or concert would be suitable? Buy a gift card from StubHub or Ticketmaster.
Most people appreciate a good drink every now and then. There are some many great, affordable wines to choose from – red, white, dessert. Do a little digging to find out her favorite wine? If you aren’t sure, get her a gift card to BevMo.
Again, I learned about this from another co-worker. He brought it to our team BBQ, and was able to take awesome group selfies with it. It’s a pretty practical but fun gift. And if you’re buying it for a co-worker who is also a parent, it will give her the ability to snap great selfies with her kids. This is also a great gift for that materialistic co-worker since they probably love snapping selfies. Also younger and funny co-workers will get a kick out of this gift.
Restaurant Gift Certificate
Who doesn’t love to eat?! Find out some of your co-worker’s favorite eateries and get him a gift card for that particular place. Very thoughtful and useful.
Give your co-worker the ability to make someone else do his work. Provide him with 3-5 cards that he can cash-in for services like ‘trade parking spaces’ (if you have a reserved one and he doesn’t), ‘do my spreadsheet’ or ‘lunch is on you.’ You may want to avoid a cash-in card for services he wouldn’t feel comfortable trading in such as ‘do my Q4 presentation.’ Stick to easy things like ‘make 1000 copies for me’ etc.
Adopt an orphan, shelter dog, a tree, or cause on your co-worker’s behalf. This is an especially nice gift if she is very involved with charities, and cares deeply about specific causes.