The Ultimate Gift Guide: Top Gifts for Your Employees This Holiday Season

With Halloween officially behind us, we are a mere blink away from the slew of holidays that December brings. We find ourselves anticipating the flurry of activity – from winter storms to holiday light competitions, there’s no denying how busy we’ll all be from now until the new year.

In fact, it’s just a mere few weeks until Christmas. While 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas, there are large groups of the population that celebrate another seasonal holiday like, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, or Kwanzaa in addition to (or as an alternative to) Christmas. One custom that crosses holiday traditions is the concept of giving or exchanging gifts to strengthen relationships and show appreciation. For the same reasons, this tradition has extended into the workplace.

Over the past few years, a trend of employers gifting their staff with nontraditional presents – like a bonus, extra paid day off, or even a monthly subscription box that arrives at the recipient’s home – has taken hold in some business communities. Some business leaders, though, are looking to add a tangible something to their corporate Christmas gifting by leaving a wrapped present on employees’ desks or giving personalized gifts at the company Christmas dinner. Then there are other bosses and business owners with small holiday budgets or huge staffs. Luckily, we have something for everyone.

We’ve rounded up some of the best holiday finds of the year to make this year’s corporate gift giving easy. To make your employee’s warm winter wishes come true, we’ve broken down our gift ideas into three popular categories.

Winter Wearables

Christma-Blog-internal-image-hoodieIf you’re going to give your employees an extra casual-wear day over the holidays, you can add some customized gear for them to sport. Or just treat them to something warm and fuzzy, because, like the holiday playlist will remind us at least 200 times, it’s cold outside. Check out our handy sizing guide to figure out how many you need of each size to put under the tree (or shoot out of a cannon at the Christmas party – there’s no wrong way to holiday, as far as we’re concerned.)

Rhodes Fleece Kanga Hoody: If you give out an orange or aqua polo, chances are they’ll get pushed into the deepest, darkest corner of your employee’s dressers. For a casual Friday win, we love custom hoodies. Plus, fleece is a delight – warm enough to wear outside while raking leaves but not hot enough to make you boil if you’re lounging on the couch or at your desk. And the super-soft hood keeps snow from getting in your ears!

Touch Screen Gloves: Before modern science caught up in the area of clothing, you had to choose between having warm hands or texting your roommate. No longer! In fun colors and one size fits most formats, these gloves will keep your employees both warm and connected all winter.

Hat and Scarf Set: Sleek, modern, soft. Everything you want in a hat and scarf combo. A thoughtful gift for the whole season (but we recommend following up distribution with an all-employee snowball fight in the parking lot).

Festive Food and Drink

Christma-Blog-internal-image-chocolateMaybe your business is located in sunny California or another palm-trees-at-Christmas locale, and a scarf is an impractical choice because you’re not suffering snow storms with the rest of the nation. If that’s the case, we recommend giving a Christmas gift classic – food or drink. We promise there are more options that fruitcake and cheese balls!

Adore Gift Boxed Chocolate: But everyone gives chocolate at Christmas! you’re thinking. We know. That’s because everyone loves it. These gold boxes come with four delicious chocolate squares and pair perfectly with a heartfelt holiday card.

Moscow Mule Gift Set: With mint, ginger beer, and other festive flavors, the classic Moscow Mule cocktail is best served from a traditional copper mug. This unique gift set comes with a recipe card, cocktail history, and cute mule-adorned box.

Christma-Blog-internal-image-cocoaClick ‘N Sip Gleam Tumbler and Ghirardelli Cocoa Set: For a sweet holiday treat, nothing says “warm winter wishes” like hot cocoa. This stainless steel tumbler will keep any drink (hot or cold) at the perfect temperature for hours, but even warm weather dwellers will appreciate the seasonal joy of hot chocolate. Each one also includes two packets of Ghirardelli cocoa – arguably the most delicious chocolate this side of Switzerland.

Belgio 2 Piece Wine Opener and Pourer Ensemble: If it has the word “ensemble” in it, you know it’s got to be good. This wine opener and pourer set pairs well with, well, wine. The quality opener and pourer set is shipped in a beautiful, giftable wooden box. Encourage some relaxing over the holidays with this classy customized combination.

Tidings of (Comfort and) Tech

If your office is populated with millennials, graphic designers, or anyone living their best life in the 21st century, consider a cool tech product or gadget accessory that they’d love to have or wouldn’t buy for themselves.Christma-Blog-internal-image-power-bank

Laptop Sleeve: These sleeves are made from high quality neoprene – the same stuff that wetsuits are made out of. They snugly protect computers sized 11.8″ x 7.56″ x 0.68”, like the MacBook Air. They are also full-color printed, so you can customize these with any message, design, or color. (These protective computer blankets might be especially desirable if the laptops your staff uses have been provided by management.)

Bask Solar Power Bank: Holidays mean a lot of picture taking and probably a lot of frantic texting about who’s responsible for bringing dessert. Maybe sure everyone’s mobile devices stay charged for the occasion. This 4000mAh 5V/1A output power bank can be charged by the sun or with the included USB cable. Winter might mean less sunshine (again, unless you’re in California), but help take advantage of what shines through with this power bank.

Native Wooden Bluetooth Speaker:  Perfect for the home or office, this Bluetooth speaker has a range of 10 meters and is a great gift for spreading cheer through holiday playlists. If this one is a Christma-Blog-internal-image-speakerlittle too formal or back-to-nature for your holiday-party spirit to abide, we recommend the Disco Lights Bluetooth Speaker. Nothing will make the office space more festive than disco lights.

Whether you’re doing a secret Santa gift exchange in your department or are a CEO looking to make a gesture of goodwill during the holidays to all 500 employees at your annual Christmas banquet, there’s no shortage of great ideas to make your staff or coworkers feel appreciated. There are only a few weeks left until the holidays are here – what are you waiting for?

What are you planning to get your employees to show your appreciation this holiday season? What’s the best holiday gift you’ve ever received from your company? Let us know in the comments below.

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Marianne Chrisos

Originally from Massachusetts, Marianne has spent most of her professional life trying to survive the freezing Midwest. She is super addicted to the Food Network, but also enjoys good coffee, meeting celebrities at Comic Con, and naps with her greyhound. Her biggest claim to fame is having read over 100 books last year in 2014 and having once hugged John Barrowman. You can connect with her on .


  1. Matt

    ‘Tis the season indeed! During the employee gift giving season I always think back to my time in an office job and the gifts that I received. What was useful and what just went in the trash. I’ve found that something that is more useful like a tech item (power banks or speakers) or an upgraded every day item (a nice padfolio or even a nice pen) were what got kept over items like candy or toys. Also, I’ve found that much more subtle branding or logos work better. If these gifts are for you employees it’s pretty safe to say that they know what company they work for and are pretty darn used to seeing that logo.

  2. Rondell Caraos

    Thank you for this Article! Here’s to the fasted 2015 ever! I know I say Autumn is my favorite time of the year… but Christmas time is right there! My birthday is very close to Christmas so I am always the one getting the short end of the stick when it comes to birthday/Christmas gifts. 🙁 But on a different note… Company Christmas gifts are always a win win in my book! Everybody loves free things and giving a gift not only makes you feel good, receiving a gift makes you feel appreciated! The company I work for is very generous this time of the year and everybody here is very grateful for all the generosity! Apparel is always great and the way to go but if you do not want to deal with getting sizes and what not, we have TONS of different ideas for give-a-ways for holiday gifts! Such a spectrum of different products for different budgets! My personal favorite is a Bluetooth Speaker! EVERYBODY has a Smart Phone! With apps like Pandora, what better way to get the Holiday Spirit going other than playing Christmas Music where ever you may go! If you are like me about music, I have music playing almost 24/7! Every room in my house has a Blue Tooth Speaker… yeah, I have issues and am not ashamed to admit it. I just LOVE music! This year, I may even break the rules and put up my Christmas Tree before Thanksgiving! I guess I’m ready to get the Christmas Spirit going! I’m very blessed with a new addition to our family that I’m overloaded with happiness… I know, corny! But anyways, Thanks for the list of the Top Employee Christmas Gifts! #shoptilyoudrop

  3. Shauna

    A+ recommendations! I would love to get almost ANYTHING on this list, period. I’m particularly in love with the wooden Bluetooth speaker — even though I am a Grinch and hate Christmas jams I would happily rock out to anything else using it. =) Holiday shopping can be hugely overwhelming, I feel stressed about what I am just going to get for my friends and family, I can only imagine what buying for an entire company would feel like — all of these products are ace gift idea all compiled into one handy dandy space, and there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Love it!

  4. Jeremy Q

    Wait, it’s the holiday season already? Receiving company holiday gifts are super awesome to me! The fact that your company is willing to purchase an item for you is what makes the gift that much better. Who doesn’t like to get some free candy? I do like how holiday gifts can literally be anything and not your standard fruit basket/candy! As the promotional product industry continues to grow, it is really cool that we can begin to do more customized techy products. I am one of these “millennials” and always need the newest/coolest tech product out there (I like to call this a curse to my wallet). My favorite item would have to be the Power Banks as they can be used for years to come. The coolest item you mentioned that can be imprinted would be the Laptop Sleeve. I like that you can print whatever you want, in whatever color (not just a standard 1 color item with a logo). Great post and now I feel like I must go buy myself a Disco Lights Bluetooth Speaker for a dance party!

  5. Jaimie

    Bouncing off what Matt said, as this holiday season comes up and I have to help my customers decide what to get for their employees, I try and think of what I used to receive when I worked at my previous job. for almost every holiday, we would receive something in the mail from them. While some of them were cool and actually convenient (pizza cutter, gloves, snow/ice scraper, shirt) some of them were also kind of cheap and would just get thrown in the trash. it is important to go with something that doesn’t seem extremely cheap looking and something that you think can come to use, as you want your employees to know you appreciate them. Some nice apparel is always a good idea.

  6. Erin

    Well who doesn’t love a holiday gift from the boss!? These are all great ideas that are sure to be well received. I’m particularly into the power banks and blue tooth speakers this year, but some of my favorite holiday gifts of Christmas’ past have been wearables – like jackets and t-shirts. We’ve got something to offer for every industry and price point so get a move on the holiday orders before it’s too late!

  7. Leo

    First of all, you can’t go wrong with any type of drinkware. Whether you are a coffee lover, hot chocolate lover or a hot tea lover, you are guaranteed to love a good tumbler. Why not dress it up? As Marianne said above, we have some great sets to get your ideas rolling. The Moscow Mule Mug set even includes a recipe! If you and your employees have a special drink that you get during Holiday parties, maybe you can package them yourself! Grab an Acrylic Tumbler and stuff it with a mixer and maybe even a fun little bottle of liquor! Going a bit more subtle? Not a problem! Try stuffing the Tumbler with pouches of your favorite fruit drink mix or maybe even a little package of flavor drops!
    While I love the idea of something tasty to eat like chocolates or mints, I don’t believe that the impression lasts. I like to see something that will stick around for a while; something that I can use more than once, maybe even on a daily basis!
    When it comes down to it, employees appreciate kind gestures made by their employers. You can’t go wrong with just about any gift. Good Luck!

  8. Stacy Gruca

    It’s the holiday season and my clients are right on track with the blog! This is my favorite time of year because businesses get to shift their focus from promo items to appreciation items. They are so happy to play Santa for their employees, its a delight to help them with that process. I find that the warm fuzzy sweat shirt/blanket and coffee mugs are super popular this time of year. And the best part is, the coffee mugs and wearables are great all year round! Its great to see businesses support their staff and enjoy their holiday season!

  9. Kevin Cook

    What a great article! Receiving winter items (in the winter) is always a great gift in my opinion…and any gift from the employer is nice too! Anything fleece, a hoodie, GLOVES, or even a hat for the cold snowy days is awesome! I also love the chocolate idea (and yes, Ghirardelli is definitely the best)…. You can’t go wrong with chocolate. And speaking of chocolate… the tumbler idea is great for hot chocolate on the cold days… the insulated tumblers keep it hot for hours on end. My favorite gift idea is the power bank that can be charged by the sun… everyone runs out of “juice” at the exact wrong time… this gift can turn out to be the best gift ever!!!

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