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Published Dec. 3, 2019

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 and Under

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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.

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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. $7.

LoveHandle Universal Grip for Cell Phone and Mini Tablet

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Love the idea of a grip on the back of your phone, but don’t love having to remove part or all of it to use a wireless charger? Try a LoveHandle Universal Grip. It sticks on to the back of any smartphone, allows for wireless charging, and the elastic band makes it pretty tough to drop your phone while using it. Multiple colors, patterns, and even sizes (there’s one for tablets) mean you’ll find a great design for your coworker or yourself. $10.

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Maybe you have a colleague 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. $8.

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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.

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.

Stress Reduction Kit

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This is just a great gift for someone you work with, especially one who handles any administrative duties. $8.

$15 and Under

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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. $12.

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The weather may be miserable, but there are always blue skies overhead with this umbrella. $12.

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As I mentioned earlier, socks are great. So is space. Show off your love for NASA with these cool astronaut socks. $14.

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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.” $14.

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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. $16.

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I appreciate a good pun and, as a video producer, a good movie reference. Gone with the Gin lists 50 cocktail recipes, each paired to the themes of a movie. $12.

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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? $12.

$20 and Under

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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.) $19.

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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. $18.

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I meant it when I said I like puns. Edgar Allen Poe-ka dots. Bravo. $20.

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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.

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Play this classic Atari game wherever you go (or just under your desk, out of sight of your boss). $25.

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

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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. $29.

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