It’s that time of year again when we all have to get our thinking caps on and come up with gift ideas for friends and family alike. The ‘Secret Santa’ tradition has become more commonplace in many companies, and it’s a great way to bring a little excitement into the workplace – but it often causes a bit of stress when it comes to finding the right gift for someone you might not know particularly well!
To make the process fair, most companies set a limit as to what you’re allowed to spend on a gift, which frequently means getting a bit more creative with your gifting. Let’s take a look at some ideas to spark your imagination – and as an added bonus, you’re sure to find a few gift options for the other special people in your life too!
Finding a gift that fits the recipient
Because Secret Santa is more about finding a gift that shows you put in a bit of thought and effort than splashed out on something expensive, the most important consideration is finding something that will make the recipient smile! This means taking their personality, interests, and their life situation into account. If you’re given a recipient that you don’t know much about, approach some of their colleagues that they’re closer to for some sneaky advice.
Are they an ardent supporter of a particular sports team? Are they planning on getting married soon? Do they have kids, and if so, what ages? In the digital age, there’s nothing wrong with having a quick look at their public Facebook or Twitter pages to get an idea of the things they’re passionate about!
Once you have a general idea, here are some examples of potential gifts for different personalities!
For many people, their family is the single biggest passion in their lives – so use that as your inspiration. Ask someone close to them for digital photos of their loved ones and have them printed out into physical keepsakes that they can display. Moms and dads tend to have hundreds of photos of their kids proudly placed on their Facebook page which can grab!
You can go as big as your budget allows – from full color printed towels, large, framed *canvas prints*, or just small prints from the local print shop in a simple photo frame. Having the image printed onto a coffee mug, mouse pad, puzzle or t-shirt are often surprisingly affordable ways of creating a gift your co-worker will cherish for years to come!
Corporate gifts are often a good source of inspiration when it comes to gifts that can be personalized – simply replace the corporate logo or slogan with an image of the recipient’s family, favorite sports team, or even pets!
If your recipient shows an interest in protecting the environment, then there’s an enormous variety of ‘green’ gifts to consider. Bamboo products are all the rage these days, as they last for ages and can be grown sustainably too. A bamboo kitchen board, diary, toothbrush, DIY Christmas tree, cellphone stand or desk clock are just a few options. Solar gifts are also a nice idea for your ‘green’ co-workers, and can be as simple as a solar light jar or mini flashlight.
Don’t forget that potted plants can be a thoughtful and long-lasting gift option. Think potted herbs for cooking enthusiasts, cacti for those who live in small apartments, or indigenous flowering plants for keen gardeners. Gifts made from recycled materials are also a good choice – and you can even make some of them yourself if you’re good with crafts!
If your co-worker spends more time at the gym than they do at home, then make your gift something they’ll find useful. A personalized towel, water bottle or even a big jar of their favorite energy bars or smoothie powder could all be items they’d appreciate. If your budget is a bit more generous, then a fitness gadget might make their day.
Time of life gifts
If your co-worker is about to get married, have their first child, move into their own home or celebrate a big birthday, then these can all serve as pointers for finding an appropriate gift. If you’re worried about getting them something they already have, then you can never go wrong with a gift voucher for a home ware or clothing shop that you know they frequent in any case.
Remember that personal touches are the ones that are appreciated most, so take the time to put a little extra effort in to brighten your co-workers day with a gift that really suits them. The smile you get in response will make it more than worth it!