What To Buy For Your Office Kris Kringle
Posted October 13, 2011, by Vivien Luu
Coming up with good gift ideas can be difficult at the best of times, but getting Kris Kringle presents for colleagues can be particularly nerve-racking. Here are some gift suggestions that will make sure you stay on your coworkers’ nice list.
Welcome to the silly season, folks!
It’s that special time of year when candy canes become an acceptable food group, a carol is something you sing (not the distant aunt you never see) and drinking creamy, eggy alcohol is a thing (no judgement).
It’s also when the office festivities are cranked up to eleven, and you get to bust out your best stocking stuffers for the office Secret Santa!
Some grinches think this time-honoured work tradition is just another reason to hate on the holidays, but seriously, what’s not to love about an entire office getting secret gifts for each other?
There’s intrigue, detective work, a shoestring budget to wrangle with – let the hilarity ensue!
But we feel your pain. Getting an awesome (and safe for work) gift (especially for a colleague you don’t know too well) for under $40, $30, $20 or $15 can seem downright impossible.
So to help you make your list – and hopefully not have to check it twice – we’ve put together the ultimate office Kris Kringle gift guide. You’ll find a bunch of our best gift ideas for guys and gals that’ll make even your most curmudgeonly coworker smile.
And no, there isn’t a single Coles-Myer Gift Card in sight.
For the (male) colleague you barely know
Let’s be honest, there are some coworkers you barely speak to. Your working relationship consists of polite small talk in the elevator and seeing their name in department emails.
Despite your best sleuthing efforts, all you know about Joe in accounts is his first name and what department he works in. So how do you get him an awesome Kris Kringle gift? By using our guide of course! Here are some fail-safe gift ideas for $40 or less for any male colleague (be it an intern, your manager or even the big boss!)
- USB desk fan, $12 from Kogan
- Wireless speakers, $39 from Dick Smith
- Portable power bank, $13 from Officeworks
- 10-in-1 stainless steel multi-tool, $7 from Yellow Octopus
- Havaianas thongs, $29.99 from General Pants
- Six pack of craft beer, $16 from Dan Murphy’s
For the (female) colleague you barely know
If you drew Nancy from sales for Secret Santa, and the most contact you’ve ever had with her is the time you signed for one of her ASOS parcels and she said ‘Thanks’ and you said ‘No worries!’, then this gift guide is for you. These ideas are also great if your Secret Santa is your #GirlBoss.
- Picnic rug, $25 from Target
- Chocolates, $29.50 from Haigh’s Chocolates
- Wall calendar, $19.95 from kiki.K
- Box of loose leaf tea, $14 from T2
- Desk plant, $15 from Kmart
- Penguin classic, $13 from Dymocks
For the creative maverick
If you’ve got a colleague who eats ideas for breakfast and loves nothing better than brainstorming into the wee hours of the morning, then listen up. Whether they’re a designer, architect, copywriter or simply a creative fiend, here are some Kris Kringle ideas that will stir their creative soul.
- Pantone mug, $19.95 from Zanui
- Smartphone premium lens kit, $19.99 from Typo
- Moleskine notebook, $16 from Book Depository
- Waterproof Aqua Notes (for those shower thoughts!), $24 from Fishpond
- Steal like an Artist creativity book, $20.90 from Booktopia
- Areaware golden section finder (Perfectly proportion your Instagram pics by using this section finder), $19.95 from Until
For the office foodie
How do you spot a foodie coworker? You’ve stopped asking them what they did on the weekend, and instead ask them what they ate. At work lunches they won’t let anybody tuck into the growing-colder-by-the-minute pub grub until they’ve taken an Insta-worthy pic of the entire spread, and no matter what you’re discussing, you guys somehow always end up talking about cheese.
If you drew the foodie coworker for Kris Kringle, here’s what you should buy them.
- Global ceramic sharpening stone K-45, $39.95 from Chef's Hat
- Self-watering herb keeper, $29 from Oz Kitchenware
- Organic Spanish extra virgin olive oil (500ml), $34.95 from David Jones
- Hexagonal marble platter, $15 from Kmart
- Community cookbook, $19.99 from Rakuten Kobo
- Long stem frying thermometer, $14 from Peter’s of Kensington
For the beauty junkie
For the gal in your office who spends more time with the staff at Sephora than her own family, and cried hysterical tears of joy when MAC brought back her favourite shade of lipstick, here are some gifts that are sure to make her annual ‘Christmas Beauty Haul’ Insta post.
- Gift card for Mecca, Sephora, Aesop
- Original Beautyblender sponge (this blending sponge has earned it a cult following), $30 from Sephora
- OPI nail polish, $19.95 from Myer
- 30ml hand cream, $14 from L’Occitane
- 180g bath bomb, $8.95 from Lush
- Make-up bag from Etsy, ASOS, Cotton On
For the healthiest person in the office
Got a chia-seed loving, kale-crunching colleague who swipes their gym card more often than their credit card? If you drew the office fitness nut for Secret Santa, don’t freak out (we know the world of protein powder and acai bowls is expensive, y’all!).
Whatever their addiction – whether it’s yoga, MMA, cycling, surfing or quitting sugar – here are some awesome Kris Kringle ideas for the office health buff.
- Kilner salad on the go 1L jar, $14 from Peter's of Kensington
- Thermolite cycling socks, $10 from Wiggle
- USB mini desk fan (to cool them down after their lunchtime jog), $12 from Kogan
- Tiger balm (for leg day!), $8.95 from Chemist Wharehouse
- Skipping rope, $4.99 from Rebel Sports
- Surfboard wax, $5.95 from SurfStitch
For the crazy cat lover
Because let’s face it, there’s one in every office. (Actually in our office there are five of them!) If your Secret Santa is the type of coworker who only replies in cat memes and loves a good cat pun, then we’ve got some purrrfect gift ideas that are under $25 and are sure to give them a meowy Christmas!
- Pusheen mug, $15 from Zing Pop Culture
- Novelty cat socks, $10 from ASOS
- Cat purse, $16 from Monster Threads
- Cats on Instagram book, $20 from Amazon
- Cat coaster, $5.50 from Etsy
- Hanging cat stud earrings, $20 from Hard To Find
For the ‘beverage’ connoisseur
We know it can be tough to buy a present for the colleague who subconsciously swirls every beverage in sight, and only drinks spirits that are older than they are.
But if you drew the office connoisseur, do not fear! There are plenty of amazing Secret Santa gifts for under $25 that even the most sophisticated palate will appreciate.
- Glencairn whiskey glass (considered the whiskey drinking glass), $11 from Dan Murphy’s
- Bottle opener & corkscrew, $19 from Yellow Octopus
- Whiskey stones, $20 from Barware
- Tequila Mockingbird cocktail recipe book, $15 from Book Depository
- Silicon ice ball mould, $15 from Yellow Octopus
- Bottle of wine, price varies depending on quality
For the man with impeccable taste
For the colleague whose middle name is GQ and appreciates the finer things in life, here are some Kris Kringle ideas that’ll put a spring in his sartorial step.
- Happy Socks, $17 from David Jones
- Jack Black industrial strength hand healer, $27 from Men’s Biz
- Assorted bowties, $20 each from Topman
- Baxter & California beard and moustache comb, $22 from Men’s Biz
- Uppercut pomade, $22 from Beard & Blade
- Crep sneaker cleaning kit, $24 from ASOS
For the colleague who’s a kid at heart
For the coworker whose cubicle looks less like a workspace and more like a toy store, and who likes to send you things before close of play rather than before close of business (because work is play, yo!), here are some killer gift ideas that’ll keep them (and everyone else in the office) young at heart.
- Scrabble magnets, $19.95 Office Works
- Frisbee, $22 from The Frisbee Shop
- Nerf gun, $20 from Target
- Novelty cushion, $24.95 from Cotton On
- Funko pop vinyl, $19 from EB Games or ZiNG Pop Culture
- Sound effects simulator, $17 from Yellow Octopus
For the eco-warrior with a heart of gold
Christmas is all about giving, and this is no different for the colleague who’s got a heart of gold and cares more about helping others and being an eco-champ than getting a hilarious Kris Kringle gift.
If this sounds like your Secret Santa, then honour their verve for giving back with one of these presents.
- Reusable beeswax food wraps, $22 for a set of two from Biome
- Fully biodegradable Wasara wine cups, $16.50 for 6 pieces from Mr Kitly
- 340ml KeepCup, $15.95 from Rushfaster
- Canvas tote, price varies from Etsy
- Oxfam donation or a donation to their charity of choice
- Super eco-friendly notebook (made from elephant dung and rice paddy fibres), $15 or less from zoos or eBay
Know your workmates are also struggling with Kris Kringle this year? Do them a favour and share this article!
Viv is a writer who enjoys researching and writing about creativity, how the human mind works, and neuro processes. She values creativity above all else and admires people who pursue their career dreams, no matter the sacrifice. In her spare time, she binges on HBO shows and epic fantasy novels.