What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Office Grab Bag Gifts (That Won’t Get You Hauled Into H.R.)


Office gift giving is hard, and finding work-appropriate grab bag gifts is practically impossible. For one thing, you can’t please everyone. For another, it’s so easy for a joke gift to be taken the wrong way, it’s almost not worth trying. But how many generic coffee cups does anyone really need?

Every year, my department does a White Elephant gift exchange. For the exchange, you’re supposed to bring in a wrapped gift which cost $20 or less. But because everyone is so busy, it usually ends up being a steady stream of gift cards and hand cream. So I thought I’d go hunting for some gifts that could shake things up. Because my department is 90% women, the gifts people bring tend to be lady-centric, but I have tried to keep my suggestions fairly gender neutral, out of sympathy for our two male colleagues.

By the way, the grab bag thing is infinitely more fun if some of the items are joke gifts, since it seems like the more ridiculous they are (context is everything), the more likely they are to be fought over. If you’re going to spend $20 anyway, it may as well be on something unexpected and awesome. There are a few tame suggestions below, as well, but I hope you’ll consider going bold.

Sushi pushpin holder

Bath crayons (because why should toddlers have all the fun?)

Pokeball power charger

Fun sticky pads

Unbelievably good caramels

Hilariously terrible desk planter

Pocket pug

Eyeglass stand

Pocket guitar

License plate pencil cup

Desktop bowling alley

Ridiculously good hot chocolate

Snarky hoop art

Storm glass atmospheric pressure gauge

Adulting achievement stickers

Grown-up fidget spinner

Accident free sign

Tiny bottle of sea glass

Trash can basketball hoop wall decal

Easter Island tissue dispenser

Lucky elephant

Golden Girls coloring book

Desk drawer-friendly travel iron 

Palm stone


Colloidal silver soap

Tiny painting and easel

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

26 thoughts on “Office Grab Bag Gifts (That Won’t Get You Hauled Into H.R.)

  1. Wish we had a gift exchange in our office–there are some good possibilities in here! I do wonder how big the market is for those signed prints…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some of these are pretty cool.Like the tiny artist print and stand and the fused glass ,but oh poor cat planter. You must have spent hurs gathering this but thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We did this in the last HS I taught in and I was always one of those doing the joke gifts. We don’t do this in my current workplace (we do a sort of secret Santa thing but did birthdays) but your list has actually given me a few ideas for gifts for my husband, kids, and the colleague whose birthday I drew. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think Len NEEDS that desktop bowling alley….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Donna–I ordered some candles from your last post about Christmas gifts (gifts for your work wife) and had a wonderful conversation with the Etsy shop owner. Candles are enroute and I cannot wait to see them. This list looks wonderful and I cannot wait to see what other treasures I can find. Thanks so much for this.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So many great ideas. 😀 I love the Adult Achievement stickers.


  7. XOXO. That is all.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You always find the best gift items!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the tissue box!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Creative Juice #69 | ARHtistic License

  11. Hello to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit
    of this web site; this blog includes amazing and in fact good information in support of visitors.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks so much for including our caramels in this post! It’s a great list – and your blog is fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

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