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Corporate Holiday Gift Ideas That Don't Suck

Posted by Lyssa Test on Nov 29, 2016 12:00:00 PM
Lyssa Test

As much as I love the holiday season, there is one thing I loathe: gift giving. Every year, I tell myself to be proactive and buy gifts throughout the year, yet here I am with no gifts or gift ideas this close to December 1st. Between family, friend, and coworker gift exchanges, it’s time to get my act together! Here are some suggestions I put together that will hopefully inspire you and fulfill all your office holiday gift-giving needs:

1. Corkcicle Products

Hop on the insulated waterbottle trend and nab one of these for a colleague. The canteens come in four sizes ( 9, 16, 25, and 60 oz) and can keep any cold beverage cold for up to 25 hours and a hot drink hot for up to 12 hours. Bonus tip: the 25 oz canteen can hold a bottle of wine--great for anyone on the go! They also sell tumblers (16 and 24 oz)--perfect for work friends--and awesome accessories for wine, beer and whiskey lovers! $19.95 +    

Tumblers and Canteens by

2. Ring Candles

Recently, I’ve become obsessed with candles and these take the cake because they smell great and have a bonus surprise! Hidden in each candle is a $10 ring and a chance to win another worth up to $5,000! Now odds are you’ll just end up with the $10 ring, but still it’s a cool idea and it makes me look forward to finishing candles. Right now, they have a huge collection of seasonal scents, perfect for any ladies on your list! $24.99

Diamond Candle's cinnamon pinecone scented candle containing a secret

3. Monthly Subscription Boxes

There are so many of these subscription boxes popping up that you’ll be sure to find something for every niche. There’s Ipsy or BirchBox for makeup fans, Dollar Shave Club for those who enjoy a great shave, BarkBox for canine lovers like myself, Graze for friends who never stop eating, SprezzaBox for the style-conscious man in your life, and Bestowed for on-the-go health nuts. That list could go on and on, so do some digging to find one that would be perfect for whoever you have in mind. $10/month +

4. Desk Signs with Personality

These are great for company gift exchanges or secret santas. Whether it’s for the company hot-shot or the quiet HR girl, these quirky signs have enough sass and humour to liven up any drab office desk or cubicle. Here are a few I’ve found: “I’m not bossy, I AM the boss”, “I’m kind of a big deal”, “Ask me about my cats”, “Get it, Girl.” $28.00 +

Old desk signs with sass and

5. Alcohol

When in doubt, buy someone something you’d want! This is a great way to thank your hostess, boss, secretary--you name it! Try to do some reconnaissance to figure out their preferences, but a nice bottle of wine or champagne is always a great option if you’re unsure. Stop on by your local liquor store where there’s options for every budget. Plus, you can do all your shopping in one store--talk about a holiday season life hack! 

6. The Fake Out

This one takes a little bit of effort but is perfect for Yankee Swap, White Elephant, or whatever you want to call it. Watch as people fumble over who will get stuck with your crumby gift. Little do they know there’s more than just candy in that jar because you’ve carefully hidden money or a gift card in the middle! Just sit back and enjoy the chaos ensue. You can find a tutorial here!

A candy filled jar with a hollow center containing money

7. A Book

There’s something really intimate about sharing one of your favorite books with someone else. Books are a great gift for trying to convert a colleague to your favorite fandom (OMG how have you never read Harry Potter) or just sharing a compelling story. Just no spoilers, please! Make your gift extra special by including a letter that explains why you like this book and why you think they will like it--or mark specific passages that you think they will like!

Best selling books: A Man Called Ove, The Girl on the Train, and Milk and

8. Coffee or Tea

While most people are pretty particular about what they drink in the morning, it’s also fun to try new things. Help your boss or coworkers out of their caffeine rut by gifting them some bold new flavors. If nothing comes to mind, I recommend checking out Teavana and Starbucks’ best-selling items. Or support a local coffee shop and buy your gifts there! Pair the caffeine with a cute or quirky mug and you’ve got yourself an awesome gift set! $8.98+

Macha Green Tea fro Teavana and Seasonal Coffee Blend from /

9. Something Interactive

They say millennials value experiences over material objects, so why not gift a work friend an unforgettable experience. You could surprise them with a cooking class, Escape the Room excursion, skydiving, spa day, food tour, helicopter tour, museum trip, dinner cruise, etc. You can get them something to do solo, with a friend, or with you if you're that close--that way its a gift for you too! Have them pick a date and it can give you an excuse to hang-out together and give you both something to look forward to after the hectic holiday season settles down.

10. A Donation

Every year, my grandfather donates to Heifer International in honor of every member of my family. It’s a great way to skip the commercial nonsense and give a gift that will make a difference in someone else's life. Heifer International is great because you can pick specific animals to buy (I get a llama every year!) or specify how the money should be used. Wherever you decide to donate, be sure to do your research so you know your money will be well spent. Use Charity Navigator and Charity Watch to look up specific non-profits and find top-rated charities!


So there you have it, my list of 10 corporate gift ideas for the upcoming holiday season.

Just remember this time of year is about spending time with your loved ones and showing others how much you appreciate them. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to find the perfect gift and don’t go overboard spending. Sometimes a handwritten note or a handmade gift are the best ways to show just how much you care!

Topics: Life