During the holiday season, there’s nothing scarier than being the Secret Santa for a co-worker who you know nothing about. Before you wait until the last minute, panic and buy a page-a-day lighthouse calendar or a copy of “Kitten Care for Dummies,” read through our list of office-friendly gifts.
If your co-worker is obsessed with all things Apple, then he’ll love these clever decals which make use of the iconic glowing apple on the back of the MacBook. You can find a variety of decals (including Converse hightops and Yoshi of Mario Bros. fame) on for around $6.
2. Donkey Kong Mouse Pad
Your 8-bit obsessed cube-mate loves all things video game but is forced to spend at least eight hours a day slaving for the man. Help him keep his eye on the prize with this pixelated mouse pad featuring everyone’s favorite barrel-throwing gorilla. $12 on Etsy.com.
3.Fishing Lure Flashdrive
Sure, your boss might be a soul-sucking slave driver Monday through Friday, but on the weekends he loves nothing more than getting back to nature by throwing on a pair of hip waders and casting a line. Help him get back to his happy place at the ol’ 9-5 with this fishing-themed USB drive (and you can gain a few extra vacation points by showing him how to use it). $19.99 on uniqueusbflash.com.
4. Pocket Currency Calculator
Perfect for your co-worker who spends most of her time en route to international business meetings. This dual-screen calculator will allow your resident jet-setter to easily figure out how much she just spent on that nori roll (perfect for expensing!) without a lot of extra bulk. $10 on momastore.org.
5. Anti-theft Lunch Bags
If your gift recipient complains of employee refrigerator thievery on a regular basis, then solve her woes with this sure-fire lunch protection. The reusable plastic bags are painted with green splotches to give the appearance of mold (ewww gross!). Now all but the least-discerning sandwich stealers will abort their missions. $6.40 on thinkofthe.com.
6. Waterproof Shower Notebook
If you work by a super-creative someone who arrives at work each morning saying he lost yet another great idea while washing his hair, then the Waterproof Shower Notebook is the perfect present. It will allow him to capture that great idea before it gets washed down the drain. Sure, you probably don’t want to think about your co-worker in the shower (unless you do, in which case we don’t want to know about it), but wouldn’t you rather he show up to work with a solution to that networking problem you’ve been dealing with? $12.99 on perpetualkid.com.
7. Ticket Stub Diary
If your cube neighbor spends all of Monday and most of Tuesday reviewing the set list from whatever indie rock concert he went to Saturday or calls into sports talk radio shows to talk about the quarterback situation in Denver during breaks, you know he’ll love the Ticket Stub Diary. This notebook comes with clear plastic sleeves that accommodate most ticket sizes and room to write notes in the margins. Rock on. $10 at uncommongoods.com.
8. Workday Recovery Kit
For that whiny … err, over-stressed … co-worker, give the gift of laughter. The kit promises to soothe malaise, restore purpose and relieve that monotonous daily grind. It includes a 16-page remedy book, silicone bracelet, affirmation cards and healing bandages. $8.23 on amazon.com.
9. “We Are Happy to Serve You” Ceramic Coffee Mug
Anyone can give a coffee mug for the holidays, but only you can give your lucky coworker a coffee mug that looks like a cheap, disposable paper cup. This ceramic mug is the perfect gift for the coffee/New York/Law & Order/environment fan in your office.
$11.99 on perpetualkid.com.
10. Dirt Devil Detailer Hand Vacuum
If the mess on your desk has been known to spill on to the desk of your neatnik neighbor, offer an olive branch for Christmas with this small but powerful vacuum. Now, we’re not saying she should clean up your mess – but you can at least give her the option of sprucing up her own space. This li’l Dirt Devil is handy for sucking crumbs out of keyboards and M&Ms off the floor. $13.75 on amazon.com.