In honor of the holiday season, we’d like to share this funky list of gift ideas for your work family (read: coworkers).
Surely one of the best parts of the holiday season (heck, of the whole year) is the white elephant office gift exchange — if for no other reason than watching your colleagues struggle to come up with ideas that don’t involve socks or gift cards. Even if your office doesn’t participate in such an exchange, you’re likely attending some kind of holiday party or function for work this year — and you won’t want to show up empty-handed.
Exchanging gifts with coworkers can be tricky. After all, you spend a crazy amount of time with these people — but what do you really know about them? Unless you’re close with your coworkers outside of the workplace, it’s always better to stay on the safe side when it comes to gift-giving. And there’s nothing safer than quirky, funny or useful office decor.
Here are a few ideas to ensure that you aren’t dubbed “The [One] Who Gave a Toaster” for yet another calendar year.
1. Bubble Wrap Calendar
If everyone at your workplace loves bubble wrap (a given), and everyone is looking forward to counting down the days until next year’s holiday vacation (also a given), this bubble wrap calendar is the perfect gift for anybody in the office. Pop down the days until New Year’s Eve in style, all the while tapping into your inner 4-year-old. Price: $29.99.
2. The Pivot Power Genius
A more practical gift option, the Pivot Power Genius is an office essential. It’s about time somebody brought power strips into the 21st century, and this innovative, app-powered product does just that. The power strip is fully adjustable, so it curves around desk or chair legs and corners with ease and enables you to plug in any awkwardly shaped adapters (without wasting any outlets). Two of the outlets can be synced to and controlled by your mobile device, giving you wireless power from your fingertips. Price: $79.99.
3. Briefcase Business Card Holder
This adorable mini briefcase means business; never be caught without a business card on-hand again. Store 20-25 business cards in this miniature aluminum case — a great gift for a coworker. The case is roomy enough to hold credit cards, cash and a driver’s license, too. Price: $12.
4. Tiny Functional Cannons
This tiny cannon looks like something straight out of the Jim versus Dwight feud on The Office. These little guys actually work, too, firing.177” cannonballs. User reviews claim the tiny weapons pack a surprisingly powerful punch, so use caution — and perhaps consider using them only as paperweights. Price: $34.
5. “Smart” Magnetic Putty
This "magnetic thinking putty" is nothing short of amazing, and it’s a great office accessory. For your messier coworkers, this cleaning putty can be extremely useful for keyboards and other office tech. Better yet, an entire “office or desk cleaning kit” might not be a bad idea. Price: $14.99 (smart putty), $8.50 (cleaning).
6. Minimergency Kits
These little kits have everything you need to take care of minor office emergencies, such as Monday morning bed head. The kits come in “his” and “hers” versions (as well as kits for special occasions), and include everything from mini sewing kits to breath spray to earring backs — even a miniature bottle of hairspray for the ladies. Most of the items in the kits can be refilled or reordered on the Pinch Provisions website, in case you run out. The best part is that this tiny little kit easily fits in a purse, briefcase or desk drawer. Price: $13-16.
7. Breaking Bad Cuff Links
Business casual has never looked so Bad. (Or good, in all honesty.) With the final season over, a little daily dose of Heisenberg is just what your coworkers need to keep them on their toes. A perfect gift for any serious fans of the show, or for anyone who needs a reminder that their current day job could be worse (and illegal). Price: $29.95.
8. Tetris Stress Blocks
When stress levels rise at work, it’s important to have an outlet to take the pressure off. These Tetris stress blocks are just what your coworkers need to keep calm and carry on. There are five different stress blocks (sold separately) that can be used to play your own desktop game of Tetris, or you can collect multiple sets with coworkers for an office-wide competition. These stress blocks are officially licensed Tetris collectibles. Price: $5.99-$9.99.
Originally published on Mashable, November 21, 2013.