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Gift giving season

The holiday season draws near and as the yuletide sorcerers begin their baleful incantation to awaken Mariah Carey from her unearthly slumber, so to do HR departments far and wide begin to concoct their annual ritual of discomfort and cheer, the holiday gift exchange.

Yes, whether you observe Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ōmisoka, Krampusnacht, Festivus, any other holiday, or no holiday at all in month of December, you’ve likely been coerced into participating in one of these mandatory merrymaking office ordeals. You know the torture of shopping for a gift exchange or even more horrifying, buying a price capped present for a practical stranger!

These holiday harangues can be headaches to say the lease but we’re here to guide you through the gift giving griefs so you can survive the Saturnalia season stress free.

Secret Santa


Nothing spurs team bonding quite like being suddenly faced with the stark reality that you have no idea what to buy Lex from accounting, because you have no idea what they enjoy or do?

They’re in accounting, so they’re probably alright at math. You could try to be coy and get them a calculator. Like as a joke. Or a funny mousepad?

Maybe they like cats? IS theirs the cubicle with the cat poster? You could get them a calendar or a cat-post-it-thing. Then if they’re not a cat person you can be like “Right!? Can you imagine if you liked this junk? Happy Holidays!”

If all else fails, there’s always gift cards but I think you’re better off taking a big swing and then hiding behind a stalwart wall of insincerity and sarcasm if/when it fails to connect.

Just remember the phrase, “It’s ironic!”

Canon TX Calculator

Get it? Cause, math?

Maybe they like Gaming? And if they don’t, maybe you do?

Joint Gift / Group Gift

Nespresso VirtuoLine Evoluo

It’s not that you don’t like your coworkers, it’s just that your ability to like them increases with caffeine

Not all gift giving practices are painful. One tradition gaining traction is the “Joint Gift” or “Group Gift.”

This is where instead of giving everyone a price cap for individual gifts, everyone chips in the same amount of money and you get a gift for the office. Something everyone can enjoy.

There is opportunity here, but you must strike quickly. Fear is the gift-killer. Go big or go home. Casually but firmly suggest that you treat yourselves to a Nespresso-Vertuoline. Someone is bound to look it up and then you just let office chatter do its thing as everyone imagines custom cappuccinos in the break room.

Or go for the gusto and pitch this arcade machine. Think of it as a team bonding investment as well as a tidy, mess-free way to settle disputes between coworkers.

But don’t be insistent. Push too hard and you’ll end up with an office subscription to “Artisanal Flour of the Month Club.”

We have all sorts of Coffee Makers available

Homemade Gifts

Hell. This is hell. This is hell.

It’s less of a gift exchange and more of an arts and crafts talent show where everyone gets a prize they don’t want.

This. Is. Hell.

Use it as an excuse to treat yourself to a new piece of crafting gear like a Creality Ender 3 3D printer, ya know, to make you present. Or try something new like this Totem CNC laser engraving machine. Then just sit back enjoy your hand-knit hat.

Do you have the longest but also narrowest head in human history? Well, I’m sorry. The hat doesn’t fit.

Creality 3 3D Printer

Here you go Jim, I 3D printed you this little figure with the 3D printer I’ve definitely always had

Find lots of other 3D Printer options and accessories


Draw Numbers

Rosewill RW-T52 True Wireless

A Rosewill by any other name would sound as sweet.

This is one of the worst, most ill-begotten gift exchange strategies ever conceived by the office party planning committee. Simply put, this is where everyone buys a gift, puts it on a table next to everyone else’s gifts, then everyone draws a number and, in the order drawn, everyone picks a gift. That’s it.

No trades. No strategy. No Gods. No masters.

You have a couple choices here. If you want to get something almost anyone can enjoy cause literally anyone could end up with your gift you could get a portable-speaker. Or if you’re feeling like a nihilistic St. Nick, get this 400Pcs DIY bells kit, and revel in the disappointment of your colleagues.

My suggestion is to get something you really want, like earbuds or this PRESTO cold brew machine, and then just wrap it badly. No one expects the person who wraps present like an over-caffeinated wolverine to be any good at gift giving.


When in gift giving doubt, look at Toys and Games


Coffee Mug Swap

Is it cool? No.

Is it fun? Also no.

Is it one of the predominantly less painful present presenting practices present in present-day present presenting?


Get something that’s “cubicle funny” like this one, or go more festive with this Grumpy Cat mug.

Or if you’re aiming to impress get a MR.COFFEE Javelin or maybe this cool personal brewer and thermos combo from Black & Decker.

Black & Decker Mug and Brewer

The gift that keeps on caffeinating the whole year long

White Elephant / Cutthroat Christmas / Yankee Swap / Evil Santa

The big show.

This is where holiday heroes are made.

Buy right, and yours will be the gift all others are measured against. Not just this holiday party, but for years to come coworkers will gather round the common room table and reminisce your glory.

“Remember that year they bought the thing? That was awesome,” they’ll say!

Gift-giving grandeur isn’t just given. You’ve got to earn it and the name of the game is playing that price-cap.

If there’s a health fanatic in the office check out our Health and Sports gear

$10 Limit

Low stakes leave a lot of room for surprise.

When you don’t spend much, you don’t expect much and so a perspicaciously purchased penny-pinching present can pack a particularly potent punch.

This Sushi making kit looks great, comes in its own gift case (no wrapping!), and has a great SCR (stuff to cash ratio).

Sushi making dinner kit

A great gift for hard rollers

Stock your own kitchen with cool new Small Appliances

GOAL ZERO Battery Backup

Call for backup!

$25 Limit

What do we all have in common?

We’re all done with Ryan Seacrest, and we all use battery powered devices.

There’s nothing we can do about Seacrest (not for $25 anyway) but when it comes to battery power, $25 can get you this sleek GOAL ZERO battery-backup with an impressive 2600 mAh capacity.

Plus, it has a cool flip-away USB connector for cord-free charging.

$30 Limit

It’s hard to argue with a sequined wireless karaoke microphone. Mostly cause it’s pretty loud.

NEVLERS Wireless Karaoke Mic

Just add Alcohol for instant fun AND embarrassment!

Flurff Homezest Bartending Kit

Give a coworker a cocktail and they drink for half an hour, but TEACH a coworker to cocktail . . .

$50 Limit

Things get tricky here cause you can get some pretty good stuff for half a c-note but you might also just end up spending kind of a lot of money on something no one really wants.

$50 could get you a beautiful home bartending kit, which is great for whoever gets it (especially if it’s you).

Something nice for the desk or office can’t hurt. This diffuser from Sunpentown is functional and nice enough to blend in with other décor and trinkets.

If all else fails, get this fine retro style hot dog toaster. People will talk about it for years.

We can help you build your Home Bar as well

Michael Scott

You don’t care what the flyer says. No arbitrary price limit is going to stop you from showing your officemates that you are the best and you’re not embarrassed to buy their love.

The traditional gift of course would be an iPod Touch (yes they still make them), but it’s not the razzle-dazzle gift it was when once a certain Scranton supervisor surpassed the secret Santa statues and secured one for his tepid temp.

If you REALLY want to bask in the guilt-ridden adulations of an unprepared underling, the modern gift equivalent has got to be a PS5. They’re so darn hot right now.

Perhaps a cool drone? Those are new and everyone wants one, but they’re scared to spend their own money on it! This model from SHIFT RED or this DJI combo both scream “Like me!” pretty clearly.

DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo

Let’s see Toby outdo this!

No matter what how much money, time, thought, or effort you feel like putting into your gift exchange Newegg has you covered. Et voila! (That’s Latin for “Happy Holidays!”)

Stress less this gift giving season with Newegg

Author Ben Tibbels

Forged in the fiery heart of Nebraska, this comedian turned tech writer enjoys video games, tabletop RPGs, board games, fantasy novels, and craft beer. He lives in LA with his bride-to-be and their two corgis, Carl and Fry.

More posts by Ben Tibbels