Make me the cool gift giver!
October 29, 2012 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Christmas gift shopping for ladies in the office, need help with ideas and online shops!

With only 56 shopping days until Christmas can you recommend an online shop for cool and not crazily expensive things to buy for co-workers? I'm buying for 4 ladies that I work in an office with. I'd like to keep the gift under $7 - can you give me some ideas of what to get this year?

These are the last things I've bought them:
2011 gift - monogram coffee mug
2010 gift - monogram compact mirrors

Can you also recommend cool online shops for this kinda thing? I'd love some independent, quirky shops and please don't recommend, do feel free to recommend specific etsy shops. I get lost when searching etsy and then highly discouraged. I live in Indianapolis if anyone wants to recommend a brick and mortar shop!

Last bit - preferably no lotions or candles.. I like things they can keep and use as opposed to running out.
posted by xicana63 to Shopping (7 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I gave sugru to all my colleagues last christmas, and though they were a bit confused at first about what it was, exactly, i've received great feedback later on on all the awesome ways it's been used up. I work in the product design industry though, so YMMV, but i still think it's a cool, versatile gift for all types of giftees....
posted by PardonMyFrench at 12:00 PM on October 29, 2012 [4 favorites]

I've recently discovered BlueQ from another Ask answer. Their shipping is a little pricey, but they have lots of cute stuff at reasonable prices. Check out the sale items to get started, then maybe pencil cases or zipper pouches. I like the little tote bags, too, but they are a bit over your price range unless you can find patterns you like on the sale page.
posted by dorey_oh at 12:04 PM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

The best office gift I got was an Envirosax. You can buy them in pouches of 5 (which means you can keep one), for about $40. However, I know I've seen them for cheaper on other sites and have also found great coupons, which should get them into your price range.
posted by kimdog at 12:12 PM on October 29, 2012

A bit of Christmas Cheer. Either a bottle of seasonal wine (Nouveau Beaujolais, sparkling wine, etc.)

Just a bit of explanation. There is nothing worse than being given something by someone that's not to your taste and then having to keep it around forever to avoid hurting their feelings.

A monogrammed mug or mirror is just one more thing I have to keep track of. These items are rarely very nice (especially in the $7 range).

Rather than giving your co-workers (or office ladies) crap that pleases you, in the spirit of the season, give them something they would enjoy.

Most of us do not want more stuff, we want experiences. To this end, gift cards and consumable gifts are the way to go.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:17 PM on October 29, 2012 [8 favorites]

I like things they can keep and use as opposed to running out.

I've thought this for years, but honestly, the older I get, the more crap I accumulate, and the more I appreciate food gifts and gift cards.

If there's a nearby fancy-gifty-gourmet food store, look there. Chocolates, interesting spices, locally-farmed honey, some sort of infused olive oil, etc. You might have difficulty keeping it under $7, but you could find something.

Though if you really want to give something tangible, I've had a lot of success finding cheap-but-cute little gifts at Pier 1 Imports.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:17 PM on October 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

A recent shower favor I received, was skeptical of, but now surprisingly use - monogrammed purse hanger. I don't have a recommended shop to get one from, but following your theme, it might fit in.
posted by librarianamy at 2:42 PM on October 29, 2012

Although I agree with Metroid Baby and Ruthless Bunny, and love consumables myself - I have two of those Blue Q zipper pouches mentioned and use them all the time to keep things sorted in my purse (one has supplies like safety and bobby pins, nail clippers, tweezers and hair elastics - the other tampons.) I'd happily have more!

Along those lines, if the ladies have a sense of humour, I love my Anne Taintor coin purse and tote - those are a bit more costly, but I've had the coin purse for three years and the tote for two. They're well-made and I use them almost daily.

Again, it's a smidge more, but one of the $10ish token gifts I give sometimes is from our local eco-friendly store - a staple-less stapler. I've also given Hankettes. Perhaps you have an equivalent?

But now I want sugru.
posted by peagood at 11:13 PM on October 29, 2012

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