A Quick Guide to Office Gift-Giving

I begin every year with the best of intentions, promising to make thoughtful, handcrafted gifts for my colleagues in time for the holidays. In my minds’ eye, I begin the process sometime in the early summer when my knitter’s fingers are itching for quick, small projects to fill the hours. Instead, it’s December 1 and I’ve got bupkis.

Working at a nonprofit generally means the office gift exchange doesn’t come with a hefty price tag but at the same time, if I can’t give a quality gift that looks like I put some thought into it, I’d rather not give anything at all. Here are a few of my favorite sources for finding office-appropriate holiday gifts for $20 per person or less:

Office Gifts

For the dignified deskmate

Check out Vera Bradley. The luggage retailer often offers deep discounts on its accessories in select prints: this card case, at the time of publication, was available for $9.00 each. Sign up for emails to act on sales early and get the best selection.

For the quirky co-worker

Find out-of-the box gifts at Uncommon Goods. Whether you think a postcarden (read=postcard garden) or a whisky wedge will tickle their fancy, you’ll find it–and a plethora of other interesting gift ideas–right here.

For the too-cold colleague

Look to Lands’ End to get a wide range of outerwear accessories like gloves, scarves, and hats. There’s almost always a sale on, so there’s little reason to ever pay full price.

For the lunchroom layabout

AllRecipes.com is chock-full of ideas for hand-baked gifts. I’ve been using this quick and easy sugar cookie recipe for over a decade. Use quality ingredients to create a quality product–real butter, please–and dress ’em with icing for a gift-worthy treat.

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