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Top Four Last-Minute Workplace Holiday Gift Ideas

Posted On12/14/2016

ContributorTracy Fischer

It’s mid-December. You’ve hung your holiday decorations and wrapped incredibly thoughtful gifts for your loved ones. Your car’s default radio station plays all holiday music, all the time. You even spearheaded your company’s holiday toy drive, collecting dozens of toys for kids in need. You are rocking your end-of-year game.

But suddenly, it all comes crashing down when you receive an email reminder about your upcoming office celebration. Lurking at the bottom of the email, the dreaded line appears: “Don’t forget to bring a gift for the gift exchange!” What gift exchange? You don’t remember hearing about a gift exchange! The party is tomorrow, and there’s no time to scour the mall or the internet looking for the perfect gift.

Instead of entering panic mode and calling in sick, never fear. You have the workplace experts at Nelson on your side, ready to save the day with last-minute gift ideas. This year, knock your workplace gifting efforts out of the park (even if it is the last-minute!) by giving:

  1. A gift card to the recipient’s favorite lunch or coffee spot.
    Gift cards are always a popular last-minute gift, but giving one can imply that you don’t know the recipient well or didn’t take the time to think of a unique gift.To personalize your gift card by including a related item. Coffee gift card? Place it inside a mug the recipient would love. Gift card to your team’s favorite ramen place? Present it with a festive set of chopsticks. Home improvement store gift card? “Plant” it in a flowerpot with some gardening supplies. Suddenly, the standard gift card is transformed into a memorable gift package.
  2. Snowman soup.
    Like the idea of giving something homemade, but don’t have hours to spend over a hot oven baking and decorating holiday cookies? Need a small gift that won’t break to bank but will let coworkers know you’re thinking of them? Try this recipe for Snowman Soup that’s sure to bring smiles to your coworkers’ faces – no cooking required.Tip: get creative! Try using white hot chocolate powder or adding powdered milk and powdered sugar to your hot chocolate mix to make the base more snowman-like, or adding candy-coated chocolates instead of chocolate kisses for more color. And don’t skimp on the marshmallows!
  3. Unique office accessories.
    Coworkers have a sense of humor? Give a fun decision maker spitball dartboard or paperweight. Have a colleague who is obsessed with organization? Try a geometric-inspired file holder.Looking for a team gift that will foster team bonding? Create an office puzzle or coloring station, and stock it with goodies – or provide a ping-pong set to transform your conference table into a legendary athletic venue worthy of epic ping pong battles. You can even check local tourist spots for locally-specific gifts to adorn your coworkers’ offices in style.
  4. And for the REALLY last-minute gift: personalized subscriptions.
    Whether you need a last-minute gift or a prize for your office’s ugly sweater contest, subscription gifts are the gifts that keep on giving. Nearly anything you can think of is available in subscription form now: snacks, coffee, spices, wines, beauty products, and more.Tip: check your selected subscription gift’s website for a certificate you can print and give immediately. Top with a mini bow for the full holiday effect.

Even if you need a gift right now (darn that overly generous woman in accounting who got you an unexpected gift despite talking to you twice all year!), you’ll find something just right on this list. Happy workplace gift giving – and happy holidays from the entire Nelson team!


Have your holiday gift giving under control but need some help with your workforce or your job search? Nelson can help with those, too! Contact us to learn more about our services, or browse the positions we currently have available.