Bring some holiday cheer to the office with these gifts

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so spread some holiday cheer throughout the office.

Shopping for your colleagues isn’t always easy, but there’s a thoughtful, affordable gift for every personality type. From the resident Scrooge to messy, hardworking and even hilarious co-workers, we’ve got you covered with gift ideas that won’t break the bank.


1. The Grumpy Co-Worker

Gift ideas: A practical gift card, such as a pet or bookstore gift card

Estimated price: About $20

This co-worker might be about as cuddly as a cactus. But even the grouchiest of Grinches deserves a holiday gift.

Your office Scrooge has likely, on occasion, uttered something other than “Bah Humbug,” and the holidays offer the perfect opportunity to show you’ve been listening — and that you care.

For example, does your co-worker light up when they talk about their beloved pooch? Purchase a gift card to a local pet store. Or, do they get in heated debates about books? Opt for a newly released book by a favorite author.

A practical, personal gift is the ideal option for a seemingly unhappy colleague. But be prepared: You could witness a holiday miracle if your present prompts a Dickens-worthy transformation.

2. The Office Jokester

Gift ideas: Stand-up comedy CD or DVD

Estimated price: Less than $20

Sure, this prankster turned the clock back an hour during lunch to make your day longer and replaced a framed picture of your kids with his or her own head shot. But, deep down, you appreciate the office jokester.

Harmless jokes keep morale up and entertain the office throughout the year. Return the “favor” with some clean comedy, such as an hour of nonstop laughs from Jim Gaffigan. Each track of his “Mr. Universe” CD offers hilarious commentary about everything from working out to the challenges of parenting four kids.

If you’re not sure if your co-worker will find Gaffigan funny, you can always find a recently released comedy DVD — like “Bad Moms” or “Sausage Party.”

3. The Messy Co-Worker

Gift ideas: Desk organizer or office tackle box

Estimated price: $15-$25

It’s hard not to notice the volcano of papers piled high on your cubemate’s desk. On occasion, the debris has even drifted into your own work space, affecting both your mood and productivity.

Give this less-than-organized individual a mutually beneficial gift, such as a set of stackable letter trays to store everything from receipts to office supplies. You can also get them containers where they can store rubber bands, paperclip, thumbtacks and more.

The new year is the perfect time to get organized, and there’s no kinder way to effect change than to offer a thoughtful solution. For a more subtle hint, purchase a set for yourself, too.

couple buying movie tickets at the theater

4. The Reliable Co-Worker

Gift ideas: Movie or show tickets

Estimated price: $15-$30

This colleague is the one you can always count on. They’re the first to turn in important projects or reports, and they’re always willing to stay late and help get stuff done. Chances are you have great respect for this stand-out individual.

Demonstrate your appreciation with a gift that can be used outside the office. For example, free movie tickets let your co-worker enjoy a much-deserved break at a time when the year’s most-anticipated blockbusters are set to hit theaters.

Or, does your co-worker have a favorite indie band or singer? If the tickets aren’t too expensive, grab a few so they can check out a live show in their area with a friend or significant other.

5. The Tardy/Absent Co-Worker

Gift ideas: Calendar or planner

Estimated price: $5-$20

Whether this person is perpetually late to meetings or has missed important office gatherings, a new calendar or planner will help a tardy co-worker keep track of important events.

Choose something fun, such as’s “I Am Very Busy.” 12-month planner, featuring stickers and artwork. If your company has already sent out important dates for the upcoming year, fill in the planner where applicable. To personalize this gift even further, add birthdays and game dates and times for a favorite sports team.

Also, browse Target’s offerings of desktop calendars. Many have simple themes and colors, but others have more intricate designs and borders that might fit your colleague’s personality.

6. The Always-Sick Co-Worker

Gift idea: “Stay healthy” kit

Estimated price: Less than $40

If a co-worker has suffered more than a few illnesses this year, create a thoughtful “stay healthy” gift basket or kit.

Purchase some sanitizing wipes to help this person stay germ-free throughout the holidays, as well as the remainder of flu season. Also include cold-recovery staples, such as herbal tea (and a mug to go with it), tissues, cough drops and lip balm. You can find all of these items at Walmart.

Not only will this affordable gift arm sickly colleagues against illnesses, but it can help them preserve their coveted vacation days. After all, no one likes having to use a day off to nurse a cold.

7. The Intern

Gift idea: Gas or Uber gift card

Estimated price: $25 to $50

While internships help glam up a resume and provide invaluable learning opportunities, the people who hold them often aren’t paid for their time and effort. Even if they are paid, it’s usually not that much.

And when you factor in the cost of gas or subway fare in major cities, these internships can actually be quite costly — especially for students who are already struggling to pay for tuition, board and books.

If your department has five to 10 employees who work directly with an intern, ask each of them to chip in $5 to $10 for a gas gift card. You can even get the intern an Uber gift card. Your intern is going places, and he or she will surely appreciate some help getting there.

8. The Tired Co-Worker

Gift ideas: Holiday blend coffee or coffee gift basket

Estimated price: $15-$50

A bag of gourmet java is the perfect gift for a coffee-loving co-worker who constantly seems sleep deprived. Whether this individual has a new baby at home or a long commute, give the gift of some extra energy.

Consider a limited-edition release, such as Coffee Bean’s Holiday Blend with notes of dark chocolate and spice. A 1-pound bag will help put your colleague in the holiday spirit, even when he or she can’t settle in for a long winter’s nap.

If you’re feeling a little more generous and creative, make a coffee gift basket and include two or three blends, a mug or tumbler and perhaps a gift card to their favorite coffee shop.

9. The Overworked Co-Worker

Gift idea: A trip to the spa

Estimated price: $50-$100

Every office has one. A little similar to the Reliable Co-Worker, this colleague always comes to work early and leaves late, puts in major overtime and never complains. You’re typically left wondering, “How the heck do they do it?” To show your appreciation — and admiration — give that hard worker a trip to the spa for the holidays.

Yes, the spa is expensive — but it doesn’t have to be. Rally up your team or department to donate a few dollars for a spa gift card. Then, purchase the card from a site like SpaFinder. Your co-worker can search SpaFinder’s locations and book an appointment for a facial, massage or more.

Just make sure the recipient actually leaves the office one of these days so they can put the card to good use.

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