Shopping for coworkers can be tricky. You know them well enough to ask about their weekend trip upstate, but not enough to know what they truly need or enjoy. The key is to strike a delicate balance between professional and thoughtful, not only so they’ll feel more inclined to cover your shift when your sick, but to maybe, potentially, score a new work BFF.
Think about the context in which you’re offering them a little something, whether it’s to congratulate them on their promotion, share in the holiday spirit, or just because. Feeling the pressure? Fear not. Certain items are safe bets across the board. Speaking of which….
Food for Thought
Picnic at Ascot Personalized Engraved Bamboo Cheese Board, $29.95 on Amazon
Offering them a cheeseboard is a massive complement, in that you are insinuating they seem sophisticated enough to host a cheese party. Get their appetizing appetizer collection started with organic artisanal Chevoo Holiday Collection goat cheese, $40 (Italian Black Truffle and Tupelo Honey and Lime are particularly bomb on La Brea Bakery Take & Bake French Demi Baguettes, $4.99).
Chocolate Lovers Gift Box, $46 from The Little Market
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Monsters, that’s who. This sleek wooden box contains seven fair-trade chocolate bars ranging from dark chocolate hazelnut truffle to dark chocolate with ginger and orange.
Prairie Organic Vodka, $18.99 from Total Wine
When it doubt, liquor. ‘Tis the season to entertain, and that often means having a proper bottle on hand from Prairie, which starts off as organic corn grown on a pesticide-free family farm (you’ll even have some extra cash left over to pair it with Stirrings Blood Orange Martini Mix, $6.99). Before gifting booze to a coworker, or anyone really, make sure they don’t abstain from alcohol. It’ll save everyone lots of discomfort.
Sachet Tea Wheel, $36 from David's Tea
A wheel of cheese. A wheel of fortune. Everything is better in wheels. Here, you get three of 12 of David’s Tea’s best sellers, from North African Mint to Forever Nuts. Plus, this is perfect for that coworker who is always cold, since what’s the deal with year-long office air conditioning? If they don’t have a designated office mug, well, with the Society6 Pup of Tea mug, $11.99, now they do.
Field Roast: 101 Artisan Vegan Meat Recipes to Cook, Share and Savor, $19.49 on Amazon
Field Roast head chef Tommy McDonald wants you to make each meal a celebration. When you’re not using his cookbook to whip up savory vegan dishes that look and smell like the real thing, it’s stunning on a coffee table with its vivid, mouth-watering imagery.
The size of a salt and pepper shaker but infinitely more rewarding, this mini speaker packs a powerful punch. In either metallic hot pink, gold or silver, it’s delicate enough to display on the mantle without breaking budget.
Out of any of our senses, scent is most strongly linked to memory. Invoke the perfectly pungent aroma of a dimly-lit speakeasy bar with a hand-poured candle that’s equal parts sweet and smoky.
They had us at “spa tower.” For the coworker who’s constantly stressed (AKA all of them), ease them into the dry winter months with a luxurious wellness emergency kit that soothes both the body and mind.
When's Happy Hour?: Work Hard So You Can Hardly Work by the Betches, $16.50 on Amazon
Office culture is such a nebulous concept to navigate. How do you survive when your boss is hard to decode? How do you ask for a raise? And most importantly, when’s happy hour? Authors Aleen Kuperman, Samantha Fishbein, and Jordana Abraham, affectionately known as The Betches, answer all of these tough questions and more in their newest book dedicated to the career-oriented office worker who’s basically just counting down the minutes until wine o’clock.
Duff No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, $4.99 at Target
Sorry to say, but if cookie dough can’t fix your problems, you’re SOL. We all have emergency work snacks for mindless munching while we wait for our MacBook to finish its seemingly unnecessary update. Many of those snacks include the likes of pretzels and trail mix and apples. What do those have in common? They’re too healthy to really quell the stress, and the loud crunching is distracting your coworkers This is all a very elaborate way of saying cookie dough that you can eat with a spoon without the looming fear of salmonella can stop a meltdown in its tracks like an infant’s pacifier.
Agate Bookends, $16.99/each at Target
For the coworker who anxiously rubs blue lace agate crystals before big meetings, agate bookends jazz up—and add a dose of structure—to any chaotic desk.
Moc Crock Day Planner, $49.95 at Zara Home
It reflects well when anyone’s caught taking notes in a proper notebook (complete with a fastener and bookmark, might I add). It’s proof that they’re definitely not on Facebook. Plus, the rich Hunter green color is as au courrant as it is office-appropriate.