Christmas Gifts for Coworkers: Gift Exchange Ideas

Updated on November 23, 2016
Buying Christmas gifts for coworkers can be confusing and frustrating.
Buying Christmas gifts for coworkers can be confusing and frustrating. | Source

Ho-Ho-Ho! Merry Christmas! If you are hearing this everywhere you go and are seeing those bell ringers in Santa hats, it’s time to start your Christmas shopping if you haven’t yet.

Family and friends tend to be the easier crowd to shop for, but if you have a job, it’s likely that you are a target for Secret Santa or maybe even Dirty Santa swap. Yikes!

Now you have to add yet more people to your shopping list, and buying Christmas gifts for coworkers is difficult!

But have no fear! In case you are poking around for ideas for Christmas gifts for coworkers, you’ve come to the right place. Have a small budget? We’ve got you covered! Have an unlimited budget? Even better, but unlikely. The list of gift ideas below is categorized by price range for easy reference.

You might also like: Fun Office Christmas Party Ideas.


Gifts Under $20

We are all on a budget, and it’s completely understandable if you don’t want to spend a fortune on a coworker. Try some of these gifts that cost under $20.

  • Charlie Brown Christmas tree: We are all familiar with this one. If you are crafty, make one, if not, you can pick up an “official” one for under $20. Perfect to decorate your office with!

  • Candy: Everyone loves candy once in a while and for a 20 dollar bill, you can afford the good stuff!
  • Coal: For the coworkers who have been extra naughty! No, I'm not meaning real coal. Check out this yummy chocolate coal, perfect for stocking stuffers or low-budget gift exchanges!
  • Christmas ornaments: Ornaments are simple, affordable gifts, ideal for coworkers and employees.

  • Novelty coffee mug: Got the #1 Boss? Why not let them know with a mug that says it! You can also get a personalized mug made with some office inside jokes on it!

  • Gift cards: Clueless about what to get your Secret Santa recipient? Give the Christmas gift that never fails! Pick from practical places, like Walmart or Target, or invest in some tasty treats like Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks.


Gifts Under $50

Have a friendlier budget? These exciting Christmas gifts are sure to make you some friends around the office!

  • Gourmet edibles: Forget the fruit cake. If you are great in the kitchen, whip up a bunch of sweet treats and make a nice gift basket out of it! Not much of a chef? Don't worry about it! Check out a local bakery or candy shop for some yummy gourmet Christmas treats!
  • Cashmere scarf, and gloves set: It’s a very chilly time of year, so this calls for something that will keep the recipient toasty warm! Everyone needs a luxurious scarf and glove set.

  • Footed pajamas: They might laugh a bit and even act like they’ll never wear them, but they will. They will.

  • Bluetooth earpiece: Especially ideal for the gabber in the office! Plus, it can be used at work; win-win!
  • Monogrammed goods: Who doesn't love a nice monogrammed silver money clip or a personalized embossed leather wallet?
  • Digital photo frame: A great Christmas gift idea for coworkers. since it can sit right on their desk in the office! Take a bunch of pictures of the Christmas party and load them on right then and there!


Gifts Under $100

Don’t wind up on your boss’s naughty list for buying them a gift from the Dollar Tree. Try some of these finer gifts for a well-liked boss:

  • Chair heater and massager: If you're going to be sitting at a desk all day, it might be nice to relax with a nice chair heater/massager combo!
  • Fine liquor: A nice, big bottle of fine wine or top-shelf liquor normally makes a great gift! Don’t forget the appropriate glass to go with it!
  • Keurig coffee maker: Yes, you can find these for under $100! A mini Keurig is just the thing for the coffee lover in the office!

  • Teacup and Teapot Set: Your secret santa recipient not a coffee drinker? Try a cast iron teapot set and some gourmet loose-leaf tea to steep along with it. Check stores that specialize in this area, such as Teavana!


Last Minute Gift Ideas

Sure, you work with these people and likely have for a while, but getting down on a more personal level and buying gifts can be one Scrooge of a task! Forget the “bah humbugs” and the fancy staplers and utilize these tips when thinking about what to buy:

  • Fancy office supplies: Okay, if you work in an office, there might be someone who would appreciate that fancy stapler or tape dispenser.

  • Think “novelty”: What workplace can’t use a little extra humor? If you have a strict place employment, this may be one of the only times you can get away with gag gifts. Choose carefully and play by the rules!

  • Gift cards: When all else fails, gift cards. This is one of the least personal gifts you can buy for someone, but works well when you really don’t know much about who you are buying for!

  • Christmas décor: During this wonderful time of the year is really the only time people receive Christmas-related gifts, and they are normally very welcomed. Whether it’s a musical snow globe or a nice ornament, it is sure to put a smile on their face.

Easy DIY Christmas Gifts

When it comes to buying Christmas gifts for coworkers, it can be very daunting, wondering if the gift you purchase is going to be good enough for the recipient; relax! Christmas comes but once a year, and surely the gift you buy will be taken with grace and appreciation.

Using the tips above, you are shopping safely and wisely, especially if you do not know the person well. If you are lucky and know the person very well, great, your life just got a little easier!

Which Christmas gift game is your favorite?

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Questions & Answers


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      • shrutikamyskar profile image

        shrutikamyskar 4 years ago

        Ideas are really very good..thanks for sharing it with all of us..

      • Nicole S profile image

        Nicole S Hanson 4 years ago from Minnesota

        I've never done a yankee swap. But secret santa I've done hundreds of times growing up in Minnesota! Great hub!

      • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

        Ruchi Urvashi 4 years ago from Singapore

        Great ideas..Merry Xmas! Ornaments are my favorite..

      • amiebutchko profile image

        Amie Butchko 4 years ago from Warwick, NY

        Thanks for the ideas, tutta. I do tend to cringe when the secret santa or yankee swap gets thrown out there, requiring another gift to be added to the list. It is definitely easier to take with a whispering in my ear of what might be acceptable. One less thing to mull over! Merry Christmas!

      • Hugo Furst profile image

        Hugo Furst 4 years ago from Australia

        You, ma'am, have just given me plenty of gift ideas -- so, thanks heaps for that! This list will definitely come in handy this Christmas. Voted up!

      • idigwebsites profile image

        idigwebsites 4 years ago from United States

        These ideas are really nice and clever. Now I know what to give to my co-worker in our holiday exchange gift. Something useful and humorous, lol. Thanks for sharing! :)

      • torrilynn profile image

        torrilynn 4 years ago

        I think giving a gift to a coworker should be based on how close you are to them, the number of coworkers, and what you can avoid. Thanks for the ideas and the different gifts you can give coworkers. I can't wait to read more hubs. Voted up.