22 Gifts for the Co-Workers You Can’t Wait To See

No office party? No problem.

September 28, 2021
Photo by Rocky Luten

Even as we continue to work from home, we’re spending more time on calls with our work families than our real families. And while the past two years have been a rollercoaster to say the least, they’ve also helped us bond in a special way that makes us appreciate our co-workers more. Normally, we would celebrate the holidays with an office party, happy hour, or even an in-person white elephant gift exchange, but since we can’t, a thoughtful gift and a FaceTime call will have to do.

And by thoughtful, we don’t mean another bottle of wine—although we’ll never say no to that. We mean coffee books that transport them around the world, DIY jewelry kits they can use with their kids, and even dog treat makers for their furry BFFs—all under $50 because hey, we love our team, but we still have rent to pay.

Ahead, 22 gifts for your work family that show how much you can’t wait to see (some of) their faces IRL again.

Photo by Brooklinen

1. Brooklinen Scented Candle in Magic Hour, $35 $31.50

If they could use a bit more sleep (and who doesn’t?), they’ll love this rose candle to help them unwind.

Photo by Amazon

2. Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide by Cecily Wong and Dylan Thuras, $31.99

For those with major wanderlust, this book is filled with images and stories about unique foods from all over the world.

Photo by Anthropologie

3. Capri Blue Mini Volcano Capiz Jar Candle, $14

If they love candles, they’ll be smitten with this one—it’s the same exact scent that Anthro uses in its stores. And it’s currently on sale, so you might want to grab one for yourself, too.

Photo by Ty Mecham

4. Signed Copy: Big Little Recipes, by Emma Laperruque, $25

If your co-worker loves easy, delicious meals, they’ll love this cookbook inspired by our popular Big Little Recipes column. It’s full of recipes from our very own food editor Emma Laperruque that pack in all the flavor but have the shortest ingredients lists.

Photo by Uncommon Goods

5. Nevertheless She Persisted Puzzle, $18

Features badass, empowering women, this puzzle can help them smash the patriarchy even on game night.

Photo by Goldbelly

6. The Baked Bear Best Seller Cookie - 12 Pack, $39

A dozen cookies from one of San Diego’s most popular ice cream sandwich shops means they won’t feel pressured to share with the rest of the team.

Photo by Haus

7. Haus The Sampler Kit, $50

Perfect for virtual happy hours, this sampler lets you mix and match aperitifs so there’s no “wrong” combo.

Photo by Uncommon Goods

8. Floral Fizz: DIY Bath Bomb Workshop and Kit, $45

If your work BFF could use a break, this can help. It includes a kit to make 16 organic bath bombs, a one-hour virtual workshop, and a not-so-subtle nudge to chill out and relax.

Photo by Maisonette

9. Atsuyo et Akiko DIY Birthstone Accessories Set, $33

If your co-worker is a parent and could use some alone time (or maybe some more bonding time with their little ones), this jewelry kit can give them a few hours of peace and quiet.

Photo by Otherland

10. Otherland Sriracha Rose, $36

For your co-worker who loves hot sauce: they’ll light this Sriracha-inspired candle immediately after unwrapping it. Yes, candle.

Photo by Goldbelly

11. Tartine Bakery Bread Loaves - Choose Your Own 2 Pack, $39

For anyone who’s given up on homemade bread (read: me), there’s always Tartine.

Photo by Julia Gartland

12. Five Two x All For Farmers Ultimate Apron, $45

A thoughtful gift for your foodie co-worker, 100 percent of proceeds from this special apron goes directly to the All For Farmers Coalition to help farmers in need across the country.

Photo by Amazon

13. Genius Playing Cards: Movies (A Card Deck for cinephiles), $10.42

A new take on “movie night,” these playing cards are printed with famous TV and movie stars like Meryl Streep and Samuel L. Jackson.

Photo by Nordstrom

14. Noshinku Travel Size Hand Sanitizer, $10

If your office mate has started going back into the office, help them stock up on hand sanitizer. This one is super slim so it won’t take up much space in their pocket or bag, and has 70 percent alcohol for an effective hand sani.

Photo by Lula's Garden

15. Lula’s Garden Bliss Garden, $28

For their desk set-up, a cute little succulent to help them think of greener days.

Photo by Uncommon Goods

16. Millennials vs. Boomers Trivia Game, $18

No matter what demographic they fall into, they’ll have a blast playing this fun trivia game.

Photo by MJ Kroeger

17. Cody Foster Vintage-Inspired Food Ornaments, $16-$58

Grab a festive ornament in the shape of their favorite food or something from an inside joke for all the laughs.

Photo by Field + Supply

18. Coloready Potted Snake Plant Modern Paint By Numbers Kit, $34

This paint-by-the-numbers kit is perfect for a plant parent looking for a new hobby (kinda). Once they’re finished, they can hang up the artwork for a twice-as-nice gift.

Photo by Anthropologie

19. Anthropologie Tiled Margot Monogram Mug, $14

Coffee just tastes better in a cute Parisian-inspired mug like this one—expect to see them using it during your next team meeting, too.

Photo by Macy's

20. Mario Badescu 4-Pc. Winter Glow Essentials Gift Set, $20 $12.75

Because offices aren’t the only spaces that suffer from dry air.

Photo by Amazon

21. Dash Dog Treat Maker, $29.49

The best way to a dog parent’s heart is...through their dog, of course. This adorable little gadget comes with a book of recipes for delicious bone-shaped treats.

Photo by Verishop

22. KonMari Yuzen Japanese Origami Papers, $18

If they’ve grown tired of their hobbies, introduce them to Japanese origami with these beautifully printed and dyed sheets.

How are you and your co-workers celebrating the holidays this year? Drop some inspo below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.
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Jada Wong

Written by: Jada Wong

Jada is the market editor at Food52 with a decade of experience writing and editing for online publications such as Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, and Insider.

1 Comment

AntoniaJames September 30, 2021
I'm not buying office gifts any more, but I do have a number of gift recipients on my list for whom many of these ideas are quite helpful. I enjoy, and people seem to appreciate, games. Years ago, a counter-party on a deal i negotiated with a German media company sent me a lovely set of metal pick-up sticks (also called "Mikado"). We play that on New Year's Eve with friends. Such fun! I've received a number of lovely gifts from business associates over the years, but that gift tops the lists of favorites.

My go-to gifts for a wide variety of occasions, especially for people who like to cook and/or entertain, are the food and drink puzzles here on Food52, especially this one - a cheese board: . Gifts that your recipient can enjoy with others are always appreciated. ;o)