11 Cheap Christmas gift ideas for co-workers

Coming up cheap christmas gift ideas is difficult, especially when it has to do with co-workers. I always suggest Secret Santa, that way I only have to buy one present instead of 8-12. We try to put a cap of my much you can spend at work.  This makes it a bit more reasonable for everyone to participate.To be honest, most times I don’t know my co-workers well enough to get them something truly personal. I have recently started to kick my Ebay and Etsy habit, it is a bit harder to think of creative things to get, and I don’t like being that one who got them socks. Believe me, it has happened at work before.  Sometimes you can get away with giving them a card with a nice message inside. The key is to write something genuine, otherwise it is a waste of paper. If you have to get a present, here are some ideas for cheap christmas ideas for co-workers;
  • Fast food gift card: All the large fast food chains have gift cards or coupon books. These make a good gift for kids or parents who are always on the go.
  • A small gift basket: You can find pretty baskets at any dollar store for as low as $1. Fill the basket with a box of tea and a festive mug, or a few dollars worth of Christmas candies and cookies. If it’s a gift for a child, you can create a cute basket with little toys and stickers.
  • Christmas books: You can find holiday classics like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens for as low as $1, either online at stores like Amazon, or at your local bookstore. You can write a nice message to the recipient in the front cover of the book.
  • Holiday ornaments: This is a memorable gift that can be used year after year. You can find boxed ornaments for under $5 at department stores and arts and crafts stores. Did you know you can get ones with sports teams on it them?  Like these.
  • Candles: Most stores carry candles for under $5. Look for holiday scents like gingerbread, pine and vanilla. If you want to go do something fancier try these ones.
  • Guest soaps: Many people display guest soaps in their bathrooms. Wrap in coloured cellophane or tie together with a ribbon. Try these. 
  • A decent coffee mug with coffee. They will thank you for it. My teammate got me this last year and I use it everyday.
  • A brooch. Ladies love this, especially the older, classier ones. It instantly dresses up any outfit. You can usually find “antique” ones fairly cheap.
  • Photo frames. Stores like blacks and walmart usually have these on sale. Find a nice one, print out a nice picture and give it to them as optional art.
  • Wine. Enough said.
  • Cigars. You’d be surprised as to how well this goes over for men. They love it.
  • Earrings. Fairly cheap, yet can be customizable. You can find really nice ones for under $20. Like these.
Please don’t give anyone snowglobes. No one wants them.


  1. says

    Candles? Gak! Fires!!! and Allergies!! More coffee mugs in the office? The whole dishwasher and kitchen are crammed with these “wonderful” (cough, cough) gifts–they rate right up their with workplace logo gifts. Logo-ed xmas ornament anyone? No, I didn’t think so. GUEST SOAPS?? Really? Right up there with “I’ll do your rush copying” gift certificates that no one ever has nerve enough to redeem! Cigars?? That’ll get hr on your back for encouraging smoking! Ditto wine–no drinking here! Xmas ornaments?? Like the aqua glitter nightmare on my desk? Please, no, you shouldn’t have!

    Ok–so that’s my office’s take on it all! lol–not trying to give you a hard time on a nice post! Done with TASTE your suggestions are GREAT!

    Here’s some never fails: CHOCOLATE! Gift cards (which you do mention) for nearby food and coffee places, maybe a nice photo frame? Earrings, scarves etc., depend on the type workplace.

    • Marissa says

      I personally like my co-workers and we have gotten rather close so I feel ok giving them a mug. I know they wont keep it in the office. Also, one of my favorite past presents from a co-worker is a starbucks mug that I take everywhere.

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