12 Budget-Friendly Employee Holiday Gift Ideas

Nov 09, 2021
employee gift ideas

It’s that time of year again – the holidays!

Since your employees are vital to the success of your small business, finding the right, work-appropriate gifts for your employees is vital to creating a happy workplace. It also makes your employees feel valued and appreciated – especially around the holidays when you want to thank them for a great year of hard work!

Before I share a list of 12 holiday gift ideas, here are a few quick “Do’s and Don’ts” to keep top-of-mind when gift giving this holiday…


  • Consider gender-neutral gifts
  • Decide on a budget and stick to it. Set your budget appropriate to your size business. You want to give your gifts and feel good – and not feel stressed come the end of the year because you spent more than you had budgeted!
  • Be thoughtful - take the time to think if this gift will be something employees will use. Generic gifts will fall flat!


  • Don’t forget remote staff when gift giving – ensure you have their mailing addresses at the ready for easy online ordering!
  • Don’t procrastinate. Carve out time early instead of waiting to the last minute and risking not having what you order arrive on time. Your employees will be able to tell if you were scrambling to find gifts at the last minute. If you are reading this blog and haven’t started yet – it’s time to get going!
  • While it is important to be thoughtful, don’t overthink your gifts. If you are struggling, go with something more classic instead of spending too much time trying to be creative. 

Stumped on where to begin? I’ve got you covered! Enclosed is a list of 13 holiday gift ideas to get you moving in the right direction TODAY!

  1. Gift Cards 

Instead of a tangible item, many people prefer gift cards for a meal or other experience. For the workers who are in the office for long hours, grabbing a gift card to pay for their lunch can be a special treat especially over the holidays when we are all busy.

  1. Heated Blanket

This is an often overlooked but awesome gift. Heated blankets are perfect gifts for employees who like to stay warm in chilly offices! You can get one as little as $25 at Walmart. Your employees will love wrapping up in this soft and warm blanket at home or in the office while they work during the chilly winter months.

  1. Fun Lunch Bag 

Lunch bags aren’t just for kids! An insulated lunch bag makes it easy to bring a meal to work every day and can help employees differentiate their lunch from others in your office fridge. These are a great, versatile, and fun gift.

  1. Coffee Mug 

Treat your coffee or tea loving employees to an elevated cup of coffee in a great mug – perhaps you want to spend a little extra for a stainless steel mug or go the traditional route with a quality ceramic mug. Either is a great option for any budget with loads of options!

  1. Chocolate Covered Strawberries 

Ok, let’s be honest – who would not smile when handed or delivered chocolate covered strawberries?! They are a classic and delicious gift for employees sure to make anyone’s day better. They can easily be ordered online and delivered to your office or employee’s home. 

  1. Fleece or Sherpa Jacket or Vest 

Offices and remote workspaces can get chilly, so why not consider a warm fleece or sherpa jacket or vest? These make great gifts for employees to keep on hand in the office. You can give with or without your logo and there are hundreds of great options out there to choose from. (Remember, don’t go too cheap since quality really does matter on this one.)

  1. Succulents 

Consider fresh and easy-to-care-for succulents! These small plants require little care and water, perfect for office spaces. These are also especially great because you can get a small succulent arrangement for under $10.

  1. Stainless Steel Water Bottle 

Instead of having them running to the water cooler multiple times a day (and losing valuable work time!), gift your employees a stainless steel water bottle. They are a versatile gift since they are easy to clean and keep water tasting fresher and colder than your average bottle. They are also healthier than drinking from plastic water bottles every day.

  1. Fun/Wild Socks 

This is one of my favorites! With all sorts of colors and patterns, you are sure to please just about anyone and brighten their day.

  1. Reusable Tote Bag 

Remote employees may be working in multiple locations so a nice quality reusable tote bag/laptop bag can make an excellent gift for a low price tag.

  1. Headsets

A good pair of padded over ear or Bluetooth headsets can help drown out background noise and make a quality useful gift for employees who work at home and in the office when their co-worker’s banter is getting a bit too rowdy in the next cubicle!

  1. Coffee Mug Warmer 

Another favorite of mine - get the perfectly continuously hot cup of tea or coffee with the gift of a coffee mug warmer!  This is another super versatile gift. A Mr. Coffee mug warmer with terrific reviews can be found on Amazon for just $9.99. 

Now get going!

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