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It is that time of year again—Christmas at the office. With it, comes the annual White Elephant gift exchange. This can come in many shapes and sizes. At my office, the past two years, it has required four days of giving (three small gifts leading up to a big reveal on the fourth day). People take it very seriously using other coworkers to deliver the gifts and provide insight into what to buy. Still, it is always difficult—what do you give that co-worker you only see twice a month, the one you see every day and don’t want to disappoint, or worse yet your boss? Here are 20 White Elephant gifts that are safe for the office Christmas party:
People drink lots of hot beverages on their way to work, at work, and returning home. It is important that it has a strong seal for the journey.
Chances are you will want something to add to the travel mug. Tea is always a nice gift because there are hundreds of flavors with decaffeinated options.
This Christmas SNL did a sketch picking on the timeless tradition of giving a candle for Christmas. Still, this is a useful choice that spells—safe.
Hanging lanterns come in many shapes and sizes and work well for both indoor and outdoor occasions.
When not drinking hot beverages, most people carry around a water bottle. It is perfect for making runs to the water cooler to chat with coworkers.
Do a little research into your co-workers favorite type of pen. A nice pen holds value way beyond working hours.
Themed sticky notes can brighten up the office and be fun around the home. From apples to Finding Nemo, there are lots of options.
Sports Photo Frame
If your colleague is outspoken about their favorite sport or sports team, a photo frame may be in order. They can take it home or put a picture of their family in it for their desk at work.
Scented or unscented lotion can always be in order no matter the time of year.
Hand sanitizer is great for keeping in an office drawer or purse for a quick lunch break. You can customize the scents and holders for your co-worker.
Heading into the holidays, many people enjoy a relaxing over a puzzle. It can be a fun thing to do with families and friends of all ages. Be sure to pick one that is appropriate in terms of difficulty.
Wizard Card Game
If puzzles are too slow, a fun card game like Wizard can mix things up. It is a great game to have on hand for a games night.
For many people, you can never go wrong with chocolate.
Hot Sauce Collection
A tour of American hot sauces can take them around the American South and spice up a cold winter meal.
A neutral-colored scarf can work for both men and women and is a great accessory.
Classic Films DVD
If you don’t know the specific interests of your co-worker, find a themed collection of classic films. At the very least, it will be an educational gift.
An ebook or ebook credit can be a great gift before the holidays. How Full Is Your Bucket? is an interesting read on interpersonal relationships and the benefits of being positive.
It is the office Christmas party, so what could be safer than a cute tree ornament. From small and simple, like a star, to a larger stuffed animal, there are tons of options to choose from.
Dog or Cat Toy
Chances are your co-worker has made it abundantly clear if they are an animal person. If so, it is probably safe to get something for their furry friend.
Perhaps the safest option is a gift card to a store or restaurant. Amazon gift cards are easy to customize and provide many different options for redemption from music to household items.
The best office White Elephant advice seems to be know your audience (a little research goes a long way) and combinations of different items often cover your bases if you are really stuck.