Office Kris Kringle gift ideas

By Bree Sharman

Feeling some angst about what to buy your work Kris Kringle recipient this year? You’re not alone. Each year it seems to get harder and is often viewed as a strategic decision that can affect your status in the office. 

No longer can you give chocolates or a bottle of wine - with so many low cost innovative products on the market, these are considered the 'I didn’t put any thought in to it' cop-out gifts. You need to ensure you don’t embarrass or offend - your personal sense of humour may not be shared, and you need to put yourself in their shoes and ask what their reaction is likely to be when they open the present in front of the entire office.

Office Kris Kringle is meant to be a bit of fun, so have fun with it. Be thoughtful or a bit quirky but don’t be mean. It’s not about what you like or think is funny, it’s about the person you are buying for.

Here are a couple of ideas and some do's and don’ts for Kris Kringle gift selections:


  • Research your Kris Kringle, especially if you don’t know them very well. Ask colleagues what their interests are and start noticing what colour they tend to wear, if they accessorise or if they are sporty.
  • Be mindful your Kris Kringle might find out you had them. You need to feel comfortable with the gift and them knowing it came from you.
  • Check online shopping sites. At this time of year they usually have ‘his’ and ‘her’ gift ideas that can you be quite useful.


  • Stay well clear of personal hygiene products as this can infer they smell. And don’t go near anything weight-loss or healthy lifestyle - are you calling them fat?
  • Don’t leave it to the very last minute. This is when you can unravel yourself with an inappropriate gift.
  • One of the biggest no-nos are ‘adult’ gifts - there’s no place for this genre in the office environment.

Kris Kringle gift ideas (budget $25)


  • Sporting team merchandise - find out their favourite team, there’s heaps available.
  • Multi-tool pen - great for Mr Fix-it and Mr Not-so-fix-it.
  • Magic 8-Ball - who doesn’t need a bit of light hearted guidance every now and again?
  • Maglite mini torch - available in a wide range of colours for guys (and girls).


  • Serving spoons or salad servers - French Bull have a great range of funky designs.
  • Cupcake cookbook - for the bakers.
  • Bangles or necklaces - if your Kris Kringle accessorises, check out Sportsgirl and Portmans for something in their favourite colour.
  • Stylish tote bag - for those that carry an extra bag for their lunch or runners.

And if you simply can’t find out anything out about your Kris Kringle, here are some ideas:

  • Rubik’s Cube - have some retro fun.
  • Crabtree & Evelyn travel bag.
  • Moleskine notebook.
  • Japanese serving set for two.
  • A quirky book.
  • Visit a charity shop like Oxfam and select from a range of gifts that support charity.

Published: 11 December 2007

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