There's nothing worse than assuming that you're not exchanging gifts with your office mates, and then showing up the day before vacation only to receive a bunch of gifts and have nothing to offer. To avoid this awkward encounter, play it safe and get some cool little gift ideas for coworkers. You can just keep a bag of them under your desk in case you anyone surprises you with a gift. You'll be so relieved to have a sweet selection of thoughtful and affordable gifts on hand.
When picking gifts for people you don't know well, it's best to think about what kinds of gifts you would be happy to receive. If the thought of unwrapping a peppermint-flavored tube of chapstick, or ironic T-shirt you'll only wear to bed, or a tin of Christmas-scented potpourri, or a fruit basket really bums you out, don't get those kinds of gifts for others.
Try to think of gifts (that despite their style or appearance) are useful. You can't go wrong with useful, and you'll love getting to see your co-worker actually use your gift all the time. Here are some of my favorite useful gifts, perfect for work friends and all (surprisingly) under $25:
1. Mini Selfie Stick
Most people probably don't have the guts to ask for a selfie stick, but if most people are being real with themselves, they'd be very happy to receive one.
Kikkerland Mini Selfie Stick, $12.90, Forever 21
2. Fringed Infinity Scarf
This is the perfect gift for a co-worker you don't know well; it's a staple winter item and will match any style.
Fringed Infinity Scarf, $16.90, Forever 21
3. Candle In Glass Jar
Surprise you coworkers with a unique candle. They'll be expecting a holiday scent, but this cotton candle will be in season all year.
Cotton-Scented Wax Candle, $14.99, H&M
4. Metal Hook
This beetle-shapaed hook is both rad and random. It's hard to go wrong with a rare gift like this.
Metal Beetle Hook, $9.99, H& M
5. Fleece Throw
This super warm, super soft throw is a great gift for anyone. You coworker can keep it at their desk for cold winter days or take it home to throw on the couch.
Fleece Throw, $9.99, H&M
This ceramic-glazed teapot will match any kitchen. Gift it to the office kitchen or give it to a tea lover.
Ceramic Teapot, $12.99, H&M
7. Paris Cocktail Book
A Parisian cocktail book is both a useful gift and a decorative gift. It's a pretty enough book to leave out on a coffee table and a thoughtful enough book to utilize.
Paris Cocktails, $19.95, Anthropologie
8. Icon Mug
Take a break from dolling out iconic mugs and get your co-worker a beautiful piece of kitchenware that they'll want to keep around.
Ceramic Mug, $14.00, Anthropologie
9. Gleaming Nut Bowl
This gift is automatically awesome because it's called a Gleaming Nut Bowl. But it's also awesome because it makes a great desk snack bowl.
Nut Bowl, $14.00, Anthropologie
10. Jane Austen Classics
These unique, artful cover updates will be a happy addition to anyone's library. They're pretty to look at and I think the word on the street is that Jane Austen's books are pretty OK.
Jane Austen Classics, $18.95, Anthropologie
11. Wild Planter
Indoor planting is really in this year. Get your co-worker a rad planter and reap the benefits from the office plants that will come soon after.
Wild Wanderer Planter, $20.00, Anthropologie
12. Photo Clip String
This is another great gift for anyone. It's totally useful and stylish and can go anywhere.
Metal Photo Clip String Set, $14.00, Urban Outfitters
13. Printed Tin Candles
This beautiful little candles are super versatile and the convenient lid makes they portable and safe.
Printed Tin Candles, $10, Urban Outfitters
14. Fisheye Phone Lens
This is one of those gifts that seems like it would be really expensive but it surprisingly affordable. And like, a SUPER fun gift.
Fisheye Phone Lens, $20.00, Urban Outfitters
15. Spitfire Girl Dino Terrarium Kit
I'm all about creative crafts, and this terrarium kit is so wacky and cool. Plus, it's super easy to assemble.
Terrarium Kit, $16.00, Urban Outfitters
16. Bunny Slippers
Whoever doesn't appreciate the value of a microfiber slipper in the shape of bunny ears is a Grinch. Cute, warm, fuzzy, what else do you need in life?
Nopsey Bunny Ears Slipper Boots, $24.00, ASOS
Images: Courtesy of Brands