5 Ideas for Your Office Holiday Gift Exchange

Work gift exchanges can be fun, but they can also be stressful. There are several different ways that offices handle gift exchanges. Some offices will allow people to choose to participate in an official exchange and people will draw a name from a hat and buy a gift for one person. Generally, there is a price limit set on those gifts. Other offices do a white elephant gift exchange, with a preset price. Other offices just let coworkers decide when and what to give to each other over the holidays.

It can be stressful to add the additional cost of gifts with your coworkers. Incorporating Christmas savings strategies will help you with your gift exchange and help you stick your holiday budget. It is important to start planning for the holidays early so you can implement these ideas and make Christmas shopping easier. Here are some holiday gift ideas for your co-workers.

Homemade Holiday Treats

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A simple plate of home baked goodies will often go over well if you need to give to everyone in the office. This can be tricky with the rise of food allergies, so you may want to check with people before making treats with nuts. This would work in a white elephant exchange as well since people can trade the gift away if there are allergies involved. If you are not comfortable baking things yourself, you can buy a box of chocolates for around the same price of ingredients for a plate of cookies.

  • Look for deals starting right before Thanksgiving on groceries that you would use for baking.
  • You can often find deals on boxes of chocolate or other holiday related candy starting after Thanksgiving or on Black Friday

Novelty Gifts

Sometimes novelty gifts or fun books are a great choice for an office gift. These books full of tips or funny sayings may be a great fun choice for an office holiday gift. You may want to consider giving a cartoon desk calendar as a gift at your next office party. This idea works well if you know something that your coworker loves. There are sites that cater to almost every interest from the sports fan to the Doctor Who fan.

  • Online stores are a great place to find these types of items at a lower price than many stores you would find at the mall.
  • Look for stores that specialize in the interests to find unique gift ideas.

Movie Fun Kit

Create a miniature themed gift for everyone in your office. Put together a bag of microwave popcorn and a gift certificate for a free movie rental into a popcorn box or bag and give the gift to people in the office. You can add a movie-sized box of candy to round off the gift if you want to. This keeps the costs down while keeping the gift generic enough that everyone will enjoy it. You can do a different theme and include a holiday ornament, a treat and a gift certificate to Starbucks or a nearby coffee shop.

  • Try buying the items in bulk either online or at a discount store.
  • Try different themes like a book lover's option with a gift card to Barnes and Noble or Amazon with packets of tea or hot chocolate.
  • Another option is a chocolate or candy lover's option with a variety of candy in the bag.

Gift Cards

A gift card is a practical gift and it works well when you do not know the person you are giving the gift to very well. Buy a gift card to a restaurant or store that is very popular or practical. A Target gift card or a Barnes and Noble gift card will usually go over well. If you know the person well enough, you can choose a store that matches his interests better such as a sporting goods store or a video game store.

  • You may be able to cash in credit card rewards points to buy the gift cards at a lower rate. Check into this option.
  • Buying the gift cards in bulk may be able to save you money.
  • Some warehouse stores may have options that will save you money.

Gift Baskets

Create a themed gift basket for your co-worker. The gift basket works well if you have a higher spending limit on gifts and if you know the person you are giving to. You can include a gift card to a nearby restaurant that will cover lunch, as well as other things that interest him. Some examples would be a coffee mug featuring his favorite sports team or a candle in her favorite scent. A female coworker may enjoy a gift basket with a scented candle, lotion, and bath salts. A man may like something involving his favorite video game or sports team.

  • Creating one or two major themes for the year can make it easier to buy in bulk.
  • If you just have one person to give to, visiting a novelty store may give you ideas on gifts that would work.
  • Food themed gifts often go over well, but be sure to be aware of any food allergies they may have.