29 fail-safe present ideas for your office gift exchange | Popular Science
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29 fail-safe present ideas for your office gift exchange

You're sure to please with these.

The annual office gift exchange is here, and you have no clue what to buy that silent guy in the other department. Don't freak out. These gifts are sure to please your coworker (and maybe even get you a laugh)—and you don't even have to secretly go over the spending limit. Here are some of our favorite items, categorized for three typical spending limits: $10, $15, and $20.

$10 spending limit

Release Your Anger coloring book

Release Your Anger adult coloring book

Color your anger away


The adult coloring book trend may be winding down, but that doesn't make the activity any less therapeutic. Help your peers de-stress and relive their childhood, with the addition of some ahem colorful language. $5.

Eight stickers

Adulting achievement stickers

You did it! Great job!


Give your coworker the "just voted" self-satisfaction every day of the year with a sticker set themed around accomplishing the basics of being alive. Sometimes it's nice to be recognized for your accomplishments, even if they're as small as paying your bills on time. That's the idea behind these "adulting" stickers—do something good and then brag about yourself. $9.

Squirrel Tea Infuser

Squirrel Tea Infuser

Tea is for tail


Maybe you have a colleagues who loves squirrels (or tea?) or maybe this thing is just really cute. In any event, this squirrel's tail flips around to make a fine cuppa. $9.

Black Bang Head Here Sign

Stress Reduction Kit

Bang head here.


This is just a great gift for someone you work with, especially one who handles any administrative duties. $10

Need I say more? $10.

Field Notes Notebook

Field Notes 3-pack

Take notes—even if you're not in the field.


Field Notes are great notebooks. They're lightweight, super durable, small enough to fit in your pocket, and have a variety of tools within them, including a ruler printed inside the cover. PopSci commerce editor Billy Cadden pointed out earlier this year that Field Notes can come with ruled, gridded, or plain paper, but they also now come in a special-made (read: "reversed") version for those who are left-handed. $10.

Gray socks with avocadoes

Avocado socks

Or, sock-vocado, if you will.


Remember: millennials love avocados. In fact, if you believe pundits, we love putting them on toast with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil so much, we can't afford to buy a house. Millennials also love cool socks. These socks have avocados on them and they are very good. Available in men’s and women’s sizes for $10.

Beach ball with an eyeball design

Eyeball Beach Ball

I see what you did there.


Just imagine: you're off to a day at the beach with your coworkers. You tell them all you'll bring a beach ball. Pretty soon you'll see them all laugh or be horrified by this—and so will the ball. $8.

Purple Voice Changer

Voice Changer

Can you here me now?


What's more fun than a voice changer? Pass it around the office and let everyone have a go to see how different than can sound. $10.

Sloth with crown and scepter printed on a dictionary page

The Sloth King

All hail the Sloth King!


Of the 29 items on this list, this is easily my favorite one. Look how freaking regal his majesty the sloth king is—the crown, the armor, the scepter. That's a creature I would be gladly follow (very slowly). $10.

$15 spending limit

Black umbrella with sky printed on the inside

ColorDrip Unisex Adult's Blue Sky White Clouds Folding Travel Umbrella

Stay dry while singing in the rain.


The weather may be miserable, but there are always blue skies overhead with this umbrella. $13.

Codenames board game


Bring your spies home.


I love Codenames. I've played it a handful of times, and each occasion has been so much fun. Wil Wheaton and the good folks at TableTop did an excellent review of it, wherein they explain the rules and play the game. 11/10, highly recommend. (PS: Wil, if you're looking for new TableTop guests, I will gladly fly out to California to be on an episode.) $13.

Yellow-toed and heeled socks with astronauts on the moon

Astronaut socks

You may not step on the moon, but you can step on a print of an astronaut of the moon.


As I mentioned earlier, socks are great. So is space. Show off your love for NASA with these cool astronaut socks. $12.

Yellow and blue blah button

Blah Button

For the person in your life who doesn't know when to stop talking.


Remember how much fun (and definitely not annoying) the Staples "That Was Easy" button was? This is just like that, but it can say more things than "That Was Easy." $11.

Sigmund Freud mug

Sigmund Freud mug

Have a Freudian sip.


The Unemployed Philosophers Guild makes excellent mugs, and I've bought many as gifts for friends and family. Take a look through their store—you'll find one your coworker will love. $15.

Christmas Tree Scented Candle

Christmas tree scented candle

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.


Why can it only smell like pine between Thanksgiving and New Year's? This candle will let your coworker's home smell like the holidays year round, plus its wick crackles. $14.

Wine Sippy Cups

Wine sippy cups

Put a lid on it.


One of the best parts about seeing a Broadway show: drinking wine like you're a toddler. These cups have lids, so you have take them on the go. And they're shaped like wine glasses on the inside, so they're classy. $14.

Yellow book with red text

Gone with the Gin

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a daiquiri.


I appreciate a good pun and, as a video producer, a good movie reference (please send puns to jason@popsci.com). Gone with the Gin lists 50 cocktail recipes, each paired to the themes of a movie. $12.



Doo good by your coworker.


Yes, this is a genuinely hilarious concept that makes for great discussion during your team holiday party. But also: it's a quality product. Your coworkers will all laugh when someone opens their white elephant gift and see the word "poo." But at the end of the night, your coworker will come to understand the true powers of this smell-hiding spray. Then who's the joke on? $13.

Mini-arcade Pacman

Pac-Man Mini Arcade Game

Blinky, Inky, Pinky, and Clyde in the palm of your hands.


Pac-Man in the palm of your hand. $14.

$20 spending limit

Stuffed Bigfoot

Stuffed Bigfoot

The real Bigfoot may not exist, but this one does.


Look at this Sasquatch. Really look at it. It's so gosh darn cute. Anyone would be happy to open up a package to find this little friend. $18.

Gray tote bag with Poe's face

Edgar Allen Poe-ka Dot Tote Bag

Missing something to carry your items? Never more.


I meant it when I said I like puns. Edgar Allen Poe-ka dots. Bravo. $18.

Hand holding folding blanket

Matador Mini Pocket Blanket

A blanket that can fit in your pocket.


Folded up, this water-resistant blanket is small enough to hang from a belt loop. But once opened, it's nearly 4' x 2'. It's a great gift for the outdoorsy type. $20.

Brownie mix in a mason jar

Mason jar baked goods

All the ingredients, pre-measured and ready to bake.


Who doesn't love brownies? The Mason Jar Cookie Company will send you ingredients all measured out, and your coworker gets to keep the mason jar. The brownies come in peppermint and peanut butter varieties. $16.

Red Exploding Kittens box

Exploding Kittens

The best part of the game? Shouting "NOPE!" at friends.


Exploding Kittens is a great card game that only takes a few minutes to learn. In fact, there's an official tutorial video narrated by Lucky Yates. Multiple PopSci staffers are fans as well. $20.

Asteroids Mini Arcade Game

Asteroids Mini-Arcade Game

An Atari classic, available to play any time.


Play this classic Atari game wherever you go (or just under your desk, out of sight of your boss). $18.

Feet in foot hammock

Foot Hammock

Put your feet up.


PopSci assistant editor Sara Chodosh swears by this thing. She has one under her desk and tells me "it's just so nice" to be able to put her feet up when she gets uncomfortable. $16.

Love Letters: Batman pouch

Love Letters: Batman

Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg...


Love Letters is a pretty classic party card game. In it, each card has an action, and the goal is to eliminate all other players. This version swaps in characters from the original game for Batman, Robin, and a crew of classic villains. The game can be played with 2-4 players. $20.

Man wearing beard beanie

Beard Beanie

Keep your head and face warm.


Help your coworkers keep their heads (and faces) warm this winter. $20.

Lenses on smartphone

Smartphone Camera Lenses

Be the smartphone photographer you've always wanted to be.


Get a leg up on your Instagram game with these lenses for your device. Note: this won't work on phones with dual cameras, so be sure to get a look at your coworker's phone! $20.

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