Don’t give a lame gift card or another popcorn tin to your coworkers. You spend a good chunk of your life with these people–show a little more effort than that.
These gift ideas won’t break the bank, but are thoughtful ways to show you’ve been paying attention this year.
Giving your assistant a gift is almost like giving one to yourself. When he’s happy and productive, he’ll help you be the same.
(from $25; Tile)
If your assistant is always losing her keys or ID, end the madness and make sure she’s never late to another meeting with a Tile that tracks down whatever you attach it to.
Knotted-up charging cables are the office dweller’s battleground. Clean them up with a set of cable hangs, earbud keeper, and a cord-wrapper. Technology, be tamed!
“Color A Month” Daily Planner/Diary set
There are few more satisfying experiences than opening a fresh notebook. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but it’s pretty fun–and this set gives your lucky assistant a new start every month.
They’re always going on about the latest nutritional trends and the new green juice place you totally need to try.
A beginner’s wearable, the Flash is less, well, flashy, than most activity trackers, but quantifies the bare necessities: calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled, and sleep quality.
SoYoung Lunch Bag
It’s an ancient proverb: Packing lunch is less of a drag when you’re carrying a happy bag. Just don’t make it a sad desk salad.
(from $16.95/month, NatureBox)
Giving food to a picky coworker can be an exercise in futility. Give him something to look forward to each month with a box of snacks even a non-GMO, vegan, gluten free eater can indulge in.
Hopefully, your mentorship is a gift year-round, but give your interns a little more than that for the holidays.
Bubble Pop Calendar
($25; Uncommon Goods)
Just because they’re in the “real world” now, doesn’t mean the fun’s been sucked away.
States of Emergency Kit
($16; Pinch Provisions)
Their parents aren’t here to take care of them, so make sure your protégés are prepared for any eventuality, while giving a nod to their home state.
Letters In The Mail
($60; The Rumpus)
The gift that keeps on giving: Letters (well, copies of letters) written from their literary heroes, delivered once per month. You can also wax nostalgic about the days when letters were the only way you knew what was #trending.
Don’t skip over the first person you see in the office every day.
Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen
($15; Goulet Pens)
Fountain pens and elegant little bottles of ink feel like a luxe gift, but are practical and inexpensive–but if you’re feeling generous, can cost a few hundred dollars. He’s going to be writing all day; might as well be stylish about it.
Dynamic Duo desk set
A pop of color in an otherwise drab office. “Desktop brothers from another mother,” says the description. Enough said.
Unzipped bag glass candy dish
People are constantly after a receptionist for candy handouts and Advil. One of those will be perfect for this fun container.
Show your manager you’re there for her with caffeine and the gift of silence.
EILEEN French press
The office coffee is terrible, and probably making us all sick. Give your boss her own coffee haven that doubles as a gorgeous desk piece, and prepare for the caffeinated bursts of genius.
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC1 QuietPoint headphones
($79.95; multiple retailers)
Nothing says “shut up and leave me alone for five minutes” like a pair of big, puffy, noise canceling headphones. Save your questions about your vacation request for later.
“When Life Gives You Lemons” print
($24; Rifle Paper Co.)
A sweet reminder for her office that on bad days, life isn’t so sour after all.
Bonus: Dammit Doll
($15; Dammit Dolls)
This one’s reserved for a special boss-employee relationship. When she’s wishing for something to beat the stuffing out of (that isn’t an intern), reaching for a voodoo doll of frustration-venting might be the trick.