christmas gifts for employees that won't end up in the bin

13 Christmas gifts for employees that won’t get re-gifted or binned

Christmas will be here soon. I don’t know if you’re counting sleeps until the 25th, or dreading it like an invasive medical procedure, but it’s coming. And with it comes the expectation that you’ll organise some Christmas gifts for employees.

I’ve got thirteen great ideas for gifts that won’t go straight into the bin, or end up re-gifted to someone’s least favourite cousin.

Gift vouchers

Simple and easily combined with a little note to thank staff, vouchers are often written off as a ‘lazy’ option, but the reality is that the only shortfalls lie in the way they are presented. Be sure to make a fanfare of the occasion and give staff ideas as to how they might redeem the voucher and they will be gratefully received.


If you don’t know what your employees like, ask an expert. Try to get something less ‘recognisable’ than the usual brands carried in supermarkets. An unusual wine feels like it’s more special than something an employee has familiarity with.

Christmas lunch

Get everyone out of the office for lunch at a nice restaurant near your work. Having something on during the day also makes celebrations more inclusive for employees with children or other responsibilities in the evenings.

Gift cards

Gift cards function almost exactly like a voucher, but with some key differences. You can get them branded to your company’s look so they’ll be more effective at generating gratitude, and often come with an online component that opens up some digital choices for staff with less interest in high street shopping.

Wholesaler memberships

Over the course of a year a membership to a wholesaler like Costco could save staff an enormous amount of money on their bulk household items. A few litres of toothpaste aren’t exactly a ‘Christmas-y’ thought, but your employees with families will be grateful for it.

Coffee or tea mugs

The UK drinks more than 60 billion cups of tea every year. That’s more than enough cause to treat your staff to some nice drinking mugs as this year’s end-of-year thank you.


Old reliable, and reliably boring. No one hates having more money, but cash doesn’t make a great Christmas gift for employees. Especially in companies where year-end bonuses have become the norm for annual performance targets.

Funds for a party

A work-organised Christmas party can end up feeling like a school dance. Instead of trying to be in charge of it, let your staff organise something fun amongst themselves and provide the resources for them to really enjoy it.

Digital reward codes

Reward codes get entered into a website and your employees can pick a reward from there. They make more sense than gift cards or vouchers for younger generations who are more familiar with being online. To give them a more personal touch, spruce the delivery up with personal messages of appreciation for your employees.


The Christmas period is hectic. If the cash just isn’t there to fork out for a load of Christmas gifts for employees, just being flexible with hours during the period could be as welcome as a fancy bottle of wine.

Luxury gift cards

I know I mentioned gift cards earlier, but gift cards only for higher-end shops like M&S or John Lewis mean even your most dour employees will have to treat themselves to something nice for Christmas.


Hampers are a classic, and they tend to stick around the house while you pick away at the chocolates, spreadables, cheeses and preserves.


For some employees, simply offering them heartfelt thanks would go much further than any cash-value item would. Knowing their efforts are valued and noticed as they head into a Christmas break could do more for their morale in the new year than any reward might.

If you’re stressing about Christmas gifts for employees, let me stop you right there. As long as you put effort in, try your best to anticipate the tastes of your employees, and act in earnest gratitude your employees you’ll be fine.