21 Thoughtful And Useful Gifts For Secret Santa Parties

Updated 30 September 2022

Participating in or hosting a secret Santa event with your team is a great way to celebrate the year-end holiday season, build relationships and support a healthy workplace culture. When selecting a gift for a workplace event, try to remain professional, and ideally, take inspiration from the personality and interests of the receiver. Reading a list of popular gifts for workplace events can help you decide what to get your colleagues for a work party. In this article, we list 22 gift ideas for an office holiday party.

21 thoughtful gifts for secret Santa parties

When you select gifts for secret Santa parties at your workplace, consider your budget, any prevailing office norms and the possible interests and preferences of the receiver of the gift. Choosing an appropriate gift for a colleague indicates that you have made an effort to understand their personality, needs and interests. You can choose between gift items that the receiver can use at home, at work or in both settings. These are some presents you can consider gifting a colleague:

1. Pencil or pen set

Since many people use writing tools, a pencil or pen set makes for a practical gift. Consider purchasing a high-quality pencil or pen set they can use throughout their workday. Similarly, you can also gift a set of bold markers or coloured highlighters that employees can use at work.

Related: Thank You Message For Colleagues: Writing Tips And Examples

2. Water bottle

Water bottles are highly utilitarian products and many people bring their own water bottles to work. Not only is this an affordable gift, but it is also something they can use outside of work, like at the gym or at home. Consider getting a sturdy, high-quality product so that your colleague can use it over an extended period.

3. Coffee mug

You can find coffee mugs in a variety of colours, styles and shapes. You can also get personalised coffee mugs with the name, designation or initials of the receiver. You may also consider purchasing a travel coffee mug or beverage container for the employee's office commute. Equipped with a secure travel lid, travel coffee mugs may also help avoid spills on their way to and from the office.

4. Cord keeper

Even though many people have gone wireless, some of your coworkers might still have standard headphones lying on their desks. Purchase a cord keeper to help them with wire management. You can use a cord keeper for headphones, USB cords and other technology accessories.

5. Wireless earbuds

If your coworkers still use standard headphones, consider buying them a pair of wireless earbuds. If they already have wireless earbuds, they can always use your gift as a backup. If they enjoy jogging, hiking or cycling, consider getting water and sweat-resistant earbuds. You can also gift them noise-cancelling earbuds to help them focus or relax at work.

6. Laptop sleeve

This accessory prevents a laptop from sustaining scratches on its body, during storage. Using a laptop sleeve makes it easier to carry a laptop and helps with wire and accessory management. Select a professional-looking, functional one that they can carry to work meetings.

7. Charging hub

Most professionals carry one or more devices that require charging periodically, sometimes multiple times a day. Premium charging hubs have slots for a wide variety of devices and tech essentials. Identify the range of devices that your colleague uses to gift them an appropriate charging hub for their workspace.

8. Coffee

If your coworker drinks coffee at work, buy them some quality coffee beans or powder. You can buy a bag and pair it with a utility mug. You can also consider adding a french presser to help them process the powder or beans. Your coworker can use this gift at home or use it in the office.

9. Tea

If your coworker is a tea drinker, opt for packets of loose tea leaves, sachets or tea bags. Full of antioxidants, tea can help them rejuvenate and give them the energy they require to work productively. Try to identify how they take their tea. This helps you to pick a variety that suits the employee's taste and preferences.

10. Planner

Consider getting your coworker a planner they can use to schedule out their day. This gift helps them stay organised and enables them to manage their time efficiently. Apart from a traditional planner, you can buy a planner pad for their desk. Like a standard planner, a planner pad lets you jot down meeting times, deadlines and other important notes.

Related: How To Stay Focused When You Work From Home

11. Seat cushion

Office jobs may require professionals to sit on chairs and work with screens for extended durations of time. Doing this routinely over an extended period without exercise can cause stress on back and neck muscles and sometimes result in chronic pain. Consider getting a seat cushion for your colleague to help correct their posture or alleviate stress on their physique.

Related: How To Work From Home Online

12. Power banks

If your colleague uses multiple electronic devices throughout the day, consider getting them a power bank to help them keep their devices charged at all times. Power banks are especially useful when you are running out of battery while on a phone call, in a meeting or while commuting. Power banks come in many sizes, shapes, colours and capacities. You can identify the range and number of devices they use to select one that best suits their purpose.

13. Gift card

A gift card is a safe gifting option for situations where you are unsure of what to get for a colleague. Many people prefer gift cards because they allow the receiver to purchase products of their choice from a store. You can use a gift card to introduce a colleague to a new store or restaurant. You can also identify the brands that they subscribe to and give them a gift card to their favourite brand's store.

14. Scented candle

This is a gift that you can give a colleague to help them enhance the ambience of their domestic spaces. Identify the type of fragrances and scents your colleague prefers, to gift them a scented candle of similar taste. In addition to stimulating your olfactory senses, candles also function as accessories in your domestic living spaces.

15. Wooden cutting board

If your colleague enjoys cooking, you can give them a wooden cutting board to help them chop their food. If it is within the accepted budget, you can opt for a personalised wooden cutting board and add their name or initials. A thick wooden cutting board is a durable kitchen accessory that they may use frequently and over an extended period of time.

16. Coasters

In an office or home setting, using coasters helps keep tabletops clean. They often become an accessory to the counter or other surface and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the tabletop. Coasters come in a wide variety of colours, shapes, sizes and materials. Pick a set that complements the general aesthetic preferences of your colleague.

17. Reusable shopping bags

This is an eco-friendly and thoughtful gift to give a colleague who is invested in conservation and conscious of the ecological impact of their day-to-day activities. Reusable shopping bags are an excellent way to reduce plastic usage and you can find these bags in a wide variety of colours, sizes and styles. Consider picking a set of bags that complements or matches their dressing style and colour preferences.

18. Face or sheet mask

Face or sheet masks help hydrate your skin and allow your face muscles to more effectively relax and rejuvenate. Sheet masks come in different varieties, with various specifications, properties and fragrances. If your colleague is new to sheet masks, consider buying them an assorted bunch so that they can explore and find their preferences. If they use sheet masks regularly, find out what varieties they use and buy them a set of those masks.

19. Sketchpad

Sketching can be an engaging and rewarding activity for beginners and experts alike. If your colleague likes sketching or has similar creative pursuits like digital illustration, graphic design or painting, consider getting them a sketchbook. They can use it to engage creatively in their free time and develop their competency in illustration, caricature and rendering.

20. Wallet

Most people carry wallets to keep their money, cards and loose change organised. This is a utilitarian gift that comes in many varieties, sizes, materials and styles. Pick one that matches their general dressing sense and complements their aesthetic.

21. Book

A book can be an effective gift to give a colleague who enjoys reading. Use a book to introduce them to a new writer, genre or literary movement. If they particularly enjoy reading books of a certain type, conduct some research to identify new and upcoming titles in their preferred literary domain.

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