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Quirky Gift Ideas Under $20 for Workplace “Secret Santa” Exchanges

Quirky Gift Ideas Under $20 for Workplace “Secret Santa” Exchanges
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The premise of a “Secret Santa” gift exchange is that the names of everyone at work are put into a bowl or bag, whereupon each person draws one of these names at random, and buys a gift for the co-worker whose name they’ve chosen. If you’ve ever taken part in one of these exchanges, you know how cringe-worthy they can be at times: the gifts are given anonymously (which can lead to presents that are utterly inappropriate), and in general, it’s a horribly uncomfortable exchange that many businesses are loath to give up because they think it builds team spirit. Surely, nothing can foster a strong work team than having all the employees stand around in some measure of holiday dress, opening presents that they’ll just try to swap with one another later, right?

Right.

Should you find yourself being swept into the maelstrom of awkwardness that is a Secret Santa party, you’ll undoubtedly see a variety of desk calendars, coffee gift sets, and gift cards being unwrapped around the snack table. Aim to be a little bit more unique this year, and consider one of these gift ideas instead of the usual, paltry offerings.

Addictaball

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    For the office teammate who’s continually procrastinating and not focusing on work, there’s the Addictaball from Firebox: a three-dimensional maze full of slides, spirals, platforms and holes through which the player has to guide a little metal ball, which will provide hours of gyrating fun for slackers of any age group. Granted, you have to be aware that giving this to someone means that you’re actually contributing to their behaviour and possible subsequent termination, but at least they’ll have fun with the thing while waiting for their unemployment cheques.

    Adipose Stress Toy

      Adipose Stress Toy from Think Geek: perfect for people in call centres or customer service environments, this smiley, squish-able little guy (inspired by a Doctor Who episode, no less) can be crushed in one’s fist every time some idiot slings abuse over the phone. It’s also great for board meetings and dinner parties with horrible relatives. Side note: watching its gooey innards spill through one’s fingers with every clench is a good reminder not to over-indulge during the holidays.

      Office Index Finger

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        Office Index…Fingers from Urban Outfitters are sort of creepy, but also rather hilarious: they’re sticky-notes in the shape of index fingers that you can use to keep your place in a manual, or to literally point something out to someone. Nitpicky, micro-managing bosses could abuse these to great effect.

        All Smiles lip balms

          Maintaining a chipper, smiling facade all day is hard work, especially when the people you’re dealing with are rather loathsome. The retro, pin-up-doll-themed All Smiles lip balms from ModCloth keep lips from cracking with all of that vacant grinning and nodding, and they’re also great for soothing sore, chapped skin that’s been beaten up by blizzards. This set is exceptionally well-suited to receptionists, baristas, and retail workers.

          I Love Spread Sheets

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          i love spread sheet mug

            I love Spread Sheets mug via Urban Outfitters would be a cute gift for someone in accounting, but be wary about who receives it: depending on their personality and whether they actually like their job, they’ll either love it, or “accidentally” forget to submit your pay on time if they discover it was you who gave it to them. This could also work as an ironic gift for those who can’t turn on their own laptops without help, let alone put together any formulae in Excel.

            Office Speaking Rotating Stamp

            Knock Knock Office Speak Rotating Stamp

              Office Speak Rotating Stamp via Amazon. Ideal for marketing coordinators and PR representatives, this office stamp has handy phrases such as “In the Loop” and “Outside the Box” so they can stamp papers with their catchphrase of choice anytime they like. Other phrases such as “I’m Always Right” and “?????” are perfect for expressing their opinions on submitted pieces, while “I Need Coffee” can be clandestinely stamped on an office-mate’s desk during to indicate the need for a beverage and gossip break.

              Today’s the Day Pocket Planner

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              today-is-the-day-pocket-planner-lg

                For a little spark of sunshine and inspiration, try the Today’s the Day Pocket Planner from Ruche: full of lists and spaces for notes and doodle-art, it’s a reminder that each and every day is a new opportunity for something amazing, and this encourages the recipient to plan awesome activities, both at the office, and for their own down-time. This gift is a great idea for interns and mail-room clerks who could use a bit of a pick-me-up.

                Mana Potions

                mana_energy_potion_sixpack

                  Mana Potions for the development team (another ThinkGeek gem). These cute little bottles of caffeinated goodness are ideal for sci-fi/fantasy fans, and the avid gamer  who’d happily talk your ear off about the epic loot found by their level 49 battle dwarf when you make the mistake of asking them what they got up to on the weekend. Each shot = four cups of office-strength coffee, so your coders can keep going long after their deodorant has given out.

                  Featured photo credit:  Nostalgic magical portrait of Santa Claus at the North Pole via Shutterstock

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                  Catherine Winter

                  Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                  Last Updated on July 12, 2021

                  100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                  100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier
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                  Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

                  By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

                  Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

                  83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

                    84 write random letter

                      85 use a rubberband

                        86 dorm smell bad

                          87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

                            89 how to waterproof your shoes

                              90 take a picture of the name card

                                91 iron inside out

                                  92 old newspaper

                                    93 tumble try shoes

                                      keep a card like this

                                        SONY DSC

                                          94 soap bar

                                            95 make a hole

                                              96 drop the battery

                                                97 use a coozie

                                                  98 when taking a picture

                                                    use a clean dust pan

                                                      try a pants hanger

                                                        use your cellphone light

                                                          use a spring from an old pen

                                                            quick and easy iphone speaker

                                                              user binder clips

                                                                wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                                  put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                                    clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                                      use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                                        doritos are great for kindling

                                                                          use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                                            use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                                              freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                                use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                                  almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                                    sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                                      unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                                        cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                                          remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                                            turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                                              for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                                how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                                  tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                                    place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                                      ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                                        use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                                          take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                                            how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                                              put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                                How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                                  user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                                    good sandwich guide

                                                                                                                      turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                                        50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                                          the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                                            add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                                              38

                                                                                                                                hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                                  stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                                    the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                                      how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                                        the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                                          use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                                            to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                                              user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                                a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                                  rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                                    use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                                      50

                                                                                                                                                        51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                                          52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                                            rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                                              kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                                use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                                  58

                                                                                                                                                                    59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                                      60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                                        hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                                          Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                                            hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                                              use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                                if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                                  keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                                    If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                                      drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                                        use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                                          use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                                            do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                                              when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                                dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                                  put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                    75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                                      use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                        pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                                          78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                                            79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                                              80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

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