Gift Ideas for Co-Workers

gift ideasYour co-workers have toiled and celebrated alongside you. You've all been through thick and thin together. You will want to make sure that you take the opportunity to show them that you have appreciated their teamwork and support over the past year. The way to do that is by presenting them with a thoughtful gift this holiday season.

Avoid anything too expensive or too intimate, especially for any one co-worker. You don't want to make it obvious that you're playing favorites, or that you're crossing any borderlines you shouldn't be crossing. Keep it classy, but still thoughtful. Gift something that will have HR nodding in approval. Even if you don't know the employee that well (because you're their Secret Santa), one of these ideas should hit the spot!

1. Books

Maybe you know their favorite, author, genre or their general interests and hobbies. You can get a feel for what someone might enjoy reading in their free time. By getting everyone a book they might like, you make everyone feel included and equally-considered.

Here are some ideas to get you rolling:

  • Get a comedic book for the soon-to-be, new or seasoned mother in your bunch. Try Jenny McCarthy's 'Belly Laughs,' 'Baby Laughs,' or 'Life Laughs' (for each stage of motherhood).
  • Get a best-selling or newly-published cookbook for the chef in your group.
  • Get a biography or autobiography for the person who idolizes a historical figure, celebrity, professional athlete, or artist/musician, for example.
  • Get your style-obsessed co-worker a magazine subscription to InStyle or Lucky Magazine. Magazine subscriptions are also great for golf, photography, wine, literary or other hobby enthusiasts.

2. Picture frames

Like books, there are so many different types of picture frames out there that you easily can find one for everybody. Not only can you be thoughtful by opting for picture frames, you can save yourself quite a bit of time and frustration. Plus, these are great for helping your co-worker feel more at-home in their cold or drab cubicle.

Here are some ideas to kick-off:

3. Baked goods

Are you a wizard in the kitchen? Consider baking everyone a batch of Christmas or winter-themed cookies and other dessert treats, and then wrapping them up in festive papers, ribbons and baggies or containers.

Here are some appliances and materials to help you get started and inspire ideas:

Holiday-Themed Cookie Cutters

Of course there are so many to choose from, but here are some favorites:

Holiday-Themed Packaging

Package your cookies and baked goodies in one of these festive ways:

4. Purse hook

For your female co-workers, buy them each a purse hook according to their tastes. They will love being able to turn any table or ledge into a place to hang their precious handbag.

You can easily find purse hooks for under $50. Actually, these purse hooks start at just $7.

5. Samplers

If you have just a few co-workers that you are really close with, you might want to get them a sampler gift of a certain category. Some of these will cost you a bit more than $20, but the prices are reasonable, and if it's someone you have a close working relationship with, it should be worth it! Some of these sampler kits are also pretty darn unique.

Here are some sampler gift packs to consider:

6. TV and movie gifts

Chances are you and your co-workers discuss the prior night's newest episode of 'Glee' or 'The Office,' or will quote blockbusters from time to time. Everyone likes TV and movies; get them a fun reminder of their favorites that they can display on their desk to brighten up their mood on down days or that they can enjoy on their off days.

Here are some popular picks to give you ideas:

-- More TV show T-shirts on AOLShopping

-- Pop culture t-shirts on

7. Party games for adults

We don't mean inappropriate when we say "for adults," but more like good, clean fun-type party games that adults can enjoy with other adults. This makes a great gift for co-workers who like to socialize and have guests over to hang out.

  • Taste for Wine and Murder Mystery Party Game ($21.99) This complete dinner party game has all your co-worker needs to serve up a night of murder, mystery and fun. It comes with dinner menus and recipes, a detailed shopping list, invitations, a CD depicting the scene of the crime, and then it's up to everyone to solve the dinner murder mystery!
  • IndieFlix: Film Festival in a Box ($14.99) New this season, it's perfect for the person who has "everything!" After watching four short movies, your co-worker and their friends will discuss and award Best Picture, Best Performance, and Best Original Story. Registering online allows you to vote for these real indie films, and the independent filmmaker of the film with the most votes will win a cash prize to support their trade.
  • Taboo (from $27) Here's a challenging, but fun party game of words. Your co-worker will have a blast trying to describe a word or phrase without using the five related words on the card. And, they'll have to mind the timer, too! It's definitely a favorite among adults.

Also try Outburst, Pictionary, and Imaginiff!

8. Massagers

A long day working at the desk will wreak havoc on our backs and cause aches all over our body. Get your co-workers something that will alleviate some of their pain. They'll thank you for it!

9. Beverage Cup Cooler/Warmer $24.99

Here's another practical, but useful gift that people don't usually think of. Your co-worker will enjoy not having their coffee go cold or their soda go warm as the day wears on.

10. iPhone Accessories

At least one, if not all, of your co-workers have an iPhone that they love dearly, so they will probably enjoy a fun or quirky accessory for their smartphone.

  • iPlunge Apple iPhone/iPod Stand ($8.89)
  • Covers and Cases. Help them protect their iPhone, and keep them looking stylish at the same time: GelaSkins Covers, iFrogz Cases, Otterboxm, Gumdrop, iLuv, and more
  • GriffinAirCurve Acoustic Amplifier ($14.99) It's a no-power-drain way for you to turn your iPhone into an audible alarm clock or a mini sound system. The technology of this simple product makes it sound like your iPhone is projecting from full-size speakers.

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