Ho, ho, ho! ‘Tis the holiday season! The holidays are just around the corner, and you’ve left Cheryl from Accounting‘s Secret Santa gift to the last minute. You’re racking your brain for the perfect gift for her, but it’s hard. Chances are, you don’t know Cheryl all that well (if you joined the company in 2020 or 2021 you probably only met her on Zoom)—but you want to get her a nice gift anyway. We’re finally able to meet in person again, and taking part in celebrations and events like these is an important part of keeping the company culture alive.
So, how do you go about choosing a great holiday gift that’s thoughtful, fun, and even useful for a colleague? You don’t want to be a bore and buy them more office supplies (what’s merry about a new set of pens?), but you also don’t want to go overboard.
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back—whether you’re exchanging gifts face to face or sharing them digitally. Check out our top 17 timeless Secret Santa gift ideas for coworkers that you won’t find in any other gift guides.
1. A stainless steel reusable water bottle
We all drink water. We all care about the environment. Simple as that! Get your hands on Chilly’s stainless steel water bottle that’s sure to be a great coworker gift for anyone. It’s leak-proof, BPA-free, and comes in a range of sizes and prices. Do the environment and your colleague a favor with this awesome gift they can’t help but get excited about. Not to mention that it comes in a range of colors and materials, if stainless steel just isn’t your thing.
2. A wine set gift box
Feeling particularly festive this year? Or did you get your favorite coworker for your Secret Santa recipient? You don’t need to be a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur to appreciate a good set of high-quality wines. So why not think about getting them The Wine Lover’s Box from Caroo, complete with a wine glass and decanter? You can even get the box totally personalized for your work bestie.
3. A tea leaf gift set
One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year is to give up drinking coffee. So, why not help your coworker achieve their goal by giving them the thoughtful gift of a loose leaf tea set? Go for the Kusmi Originals Gift Set to give them a taste of 5 different teas, including Bouquet of Flowers, Anastasia, Prince Vladimir, Russian Morning, and lemon and orange blossom. You can even get them a nice spoon infuser to go with it!
4. Stylish coffee shot glasses
For the coffee lover in your office life, why not kit them out with some fancy Nespresso coffee shot glasses? They’re definitely a classier and more original option than your classic coffee cup and coasters gifts that will make their coffee drinking experience so much nicer, not to mention he or she will be the only one in the office with stylish coffee drinking equipment.
5. An essential oil diffuser
Now that we’re all working from home more than we used to, a great gift can be an essential pol diffuser to make your colleague’s workspace a little more… aromatherapeutic? Having a pleasing environment can be very conducive to a productive day’s work, so why not show your colleague you care with a wood diffuser from Natura? You’ll help them make their home office a little nicer, and you’ll gift them a really nifty desk accessory to boot!
6. A sassy succulent
Succulents seem to be everywhere these days, with Pinterest and Instagram feeds full of them! Everyone who’s got a great home office up and running has a cute little succulent chilling somewhere in the corner. And there’s actually a good reason for that! According to research conducted at Exeter University, employees are 15% more productive when there are houseplants in their workspace. Help your colleague take their productivity to the next level with a Burro’s Tail or a Paddle Plant from Succulent Market!
7. A trendy travel tote
Not every gift you give an office Secret Santa has to be work-related. Many people jet off to exciting destinations for the holidays, and some might even be flying over to warmer climates to work on their January tans. A trendy canvas tote is one of the best gifts to get a colleague you don’t know all that well because they’ll always be cute and useful. There is a myriad of travel totes you can get at Amazon or Walmart, so take your pick!
8. A sleek wireless phone charger
There’s no going wrong with this one. Everyone has been in a situation where their phones run out of battery at an inconvenient time at least once. Help your colleague keep their most valuable gadget fully charged with a stylish and sleek wireless phone charger, like this one from Burga. It’s fast charging, works with the phone case on, and can work with any QI-enabled device. It’s a hole-in-one kind of gift.
9. A gingerbread and candy cane candle DIY kit
Yes, it’s very specific. But it’s totally worth it. This gingerbread and candy cane candle DIY kit from Uncommon Goods is amazing for anyone really getting into the holiday spirit. Give your colleague the gift of the smell of XMAS! The kit includes 2 candle jars, 2 candle wicks, 2 fragrance oils, 2 jar labels, and an instruction booklet. It’s a great gift for a colleague into arts and crafts.
10. A terrarium planter
Got a colleague with a green thumb for Secret Santa? Then get them an awesome terrarium planter so they can enjoy having a mini indoor garden! You can get them a glass, angled fishbowl terrarium, for example, so they can craft the exotic garden they’ve always imagined. It’s the perfect gift to communicate thoughtfulness and creativity to a colleague you’d like to turn into a friend.
11. A custom cosmetics bag
Got a colleague who travels for business a lot? A really nice and useful gift for them would be a customized cosmetics bag from Etsy! The little pouch features the first initial of their name, with a wintery scene on the inside of the letter and an adorable little animal perched on top of it. It’s a great gift to give to someone right now, as it can be used to store face masks and hand sanitizing gels as well. Not to mention that it’s a very pocket-friendly option!
12. A gourmet goodies hamper
For the office foodie, a gourmet goodies basket is a great way to go if you want to turn them from casual colleague to best friend at work! There is a range of hampers out there, but why not try to do something unique and get them a box full of Greek goodies! This awesome box contains Karteraki Green Mountain Tea, homemade orange marmalade, a lucky charm eye bracelet, and a ceramic handmade bell. It’s an original and thoughtful gift!
13. A 2022 planner
Help your Secret Santa colleague get organized in 2022 with a stylish and useful day planner from Anthropologie! This practical gift will help them sort out their workdays and plan their weeks, months, and even year in detail. Sure, it’s technically an office supply… But it’s way more thoughtful and helpful than humorous sticky notes or paper clips.
14. Holiday-themed cookie molds
If you’re looking to give someone a Christmas gift themed for the occasion itself, then why not buy this set of silicone sugar paste molds? It features familiar characters like Santa Claus, a snowman, Rudolph the reindeer, and a decorated tree. It’s a really fun present for anyone with kids, or who just loves to get into the holiday spirit. They’re ideally used for recipes with sugar paste, chocolate, modeling paste, and marzipan.
15. A funny notebook
Yes, a notebook on its own is a safe present. But, what if you could get a humorous notebook with a funny message inscribed on the cover? WTF Notebooks (yes, that really is their name) offers a selection of cheeky notebooks with titles on the cover like “Meetings that could have been emails”, “My book to write in to appear busy”, or “Evil plans and unicorn drawings”. They can even be funny gag gifts too, with messages like “Things I’d like to tell my boss that would get me fired”. These would probably work pretty well in a game of White Elephant, too!
16. The traditional coffee mug
A coffee mug is a classic Secret Santa gift, especially for colleagues you don’t know all that well. Sometimes playing it safe can be the right way to go, though, especially if you do it with this monogrammed garden party mug! It’s a really nice way to show someone you care this holiday season, and it will certainly spruce up their desk or home office.
17. A travel mug with a handle
As we head into a hybrid working world, it’ll be the little things that make the transition between the office and home office smoother. A travel mug with a handle can be one of those details! Especially one that can maintain the temperature for both hot and cold drinks, like the Rambler Stackable Mug from Yeti! It comes in a range of colors and can be a great gift for anyone—whether that’s the intern or a C-suite manager.