Unique office gift ideas for the holiday season

Unique office gift ideas for the holiday season

The holiday season will soon be upon us and with that, office gift ideas will be the conundrum for coworkers, staff and managers alike.

Creating unique office gift ideas is not at the top of every employee’s list, but you should make a thoughtful effort to present personalized and individualized gifts for your coworkers. It adds at least a little bit of holiday cheer to the workplace when others know and are shown that they are appreciated for the work that they do on a daily basis.

These gifts don’t have to be elaborate, expensive, or extensive. Just giving enough of a personal touch for each recipient is a great way to brighten someone’s day, especially when the holidays can be a stressful time for others.

These unique office gift ideas are also great office Christmas gifts for her and office Christmas gifts for him. Each are able to be personalized or generic depending on the gift and can be as gender neutral as you wish.

Here are some of the best unique office gift ideas that I’ve received or heard of throughout the years.

Gift in a Mug

Gift in a Mug are great gifts, even if members of your staff don’t like coffee. This is a perfect way to provide some hot chocolate mugs or tea mugs for your staff depending on their preferences. If your office is small enough, you might provide them with storage to hold the mugs at the office so that they always have a spare when they come in to work.

While mugs are great on their own, adding in some hot chocolate packets, coffee packets, cinnamon sticks, marshmallows, etc. into the mug and make it a gift package. You can also add other items like a tea dispenser or bags of candy in festive tissue paper. Each office is different and each gift, whether individual or the same, should be too.

You can make the mugs personal, holiday theme related, or an inside joke inside your department. Make them all the same or different for each person, it doesn’t matter. Putting some thought into this unique office gift idea doesn’t have to be very time consuming or very expensive.

Gift Card Trees

These don’t have to be fully loaded gift cards, more like $5-10, or even gift cards at all. Add some gift certificates or deals, maybe a good coupon or two if the recipient would receive it well.

Some of you might not think much of this unique office gift idea, but even an extra cup or two of Starbucks goes a long way for employee appreciation. Add that to holiday shopping and eating out a lot and its a relief to know you have an extra gift card to use rather than money out of your wallet.

Again, this office gift idea doesn’t have to be elaborate. Getting everyone a Starbucks or Chick-fil-A gift card or various options, allowing employees to swap gift cards at their leisure, doesn’t have to take a bunch of time but can add a personal touch to anyone who receives the gift card tree.

If you want to jazz it up a little, find fun ways to present them. Put them in little stockings, make a game out of the selection process, or add a candy selection. There are many ways to present a simple Christmas gift.


Taking everyone out to lunch

The phrase ‘free lunch’ causes much deliberation in my office. Offering to treat everyone to lunch is a great office gift idea. There comes a time when packing lunch and buying lunch for yourself at the office are both inconvenient options. Treating everyone to lunch on a predetermined weekday takes the stress off everyone’s shoulders.

You have a few options for this. You can either have lunch catered, order some delivery like pizza or Chinese, or take them out to a reasonably priced restaurant. Everyone can get a personalized lunch, somewhat at least, and you get one payment compared to the price of individualized gifts.

Want to take it a step further? Take each of you coworkers, employees, or staff members for a one-on-one lunch with you. You can pick each other’s brain about things going on in the office, talk about holiday plans, or goals for the upcoming year. This is also a great networking opportunity!

Handmade items

Once, for the holiday season, an organization leader made everyone in the group hand-knitted scarves. It was personal without too much of a price tag or time on their part. Receiving a handmade gift provides a personal and unique touch to the gift giving process.

This doesn’t have to mean you need to learn how to knit or do anything too strenuous. Everyone has individual talents that they can offer as a gift. Whether you offer them an IOU favor for the future or a physical gift, they’d be able to utilize your talents without you having to break the bank either.

It’s a bit difficult to go a step further with a handmade gift. It’s much easier to make a handmade or homemade gift individualized to the recipient than a generic gift. If you are able, you might try to utilize their name with the gift or providing a small note for each of your coworkers with their gift.


Journals and Pocketbooks come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on what your profession is, everyone can use a small notebook to keep track of their daily thoughts. You might grab a blank notebook, a lined pocketbook or maybe even a travel-sized calendar for your co-workers to utilize throughout the year.

These can make these as personal as you want or as generic as you want as well. To avoid favoritism, you might choose the same type of pocketbook but choose different colors or styles. You could also choose completely different styles for each office gift or all the exact same. It’s up to the giver to determine how unique the gift can be for the recipient.

As a personal touch, you might include a note, drawing or important dates, depending on which journal or calendar you choose. That way you include a one-on-one gift for each of your coworkers without having to do too much in addition to the pocketbook. Plus it gives a nice unique touch to each individual’s gift.


Unique office gift ideas can be hard to come by, but with a bit of effort, creativity, and thoughtfulness, everyone should find something that they are able to contribute to raising the office cheer.

Are you struggling to find unique office gift ideas? Join my e-newsletter to find out more office tips throughout the holiday season. If you don’t want another e-newsletter coming to your inbox, follow my Pinterest profile for a compilation of gift ideas, event merchandise or networking tips for your next office throwdown!

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