11 Thoughtful Gifts for Your Office Swap

iStock
iStock

Along with buying gifts for friends and family, there's always that one extra innocuous present you have to find—the office swap gift. Whether your company opts for white elephant or pulling specific names from a hat, these gifts are suitable for bosses or underlings alike.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. KOH-I-NOOR DRY MARKER HIGHLIGHTER PENCIL; $2 EACH

Koh-i-Noor Dry Marker Highlighter Pencils
CW Pencil Enterprises

For the colleague who keeps copious, color-coded lists and agendas, these vibrant pencils will brighten up any Monday morning to-do list. And, at about $2 each, you can buy all six without going over any agreed-upon spending limit.

Find It: CW Pencil Enterprises

2. AIR PLANT ON GOLD-DIPPED QUARTZ; $18

Air plants on gold-dipped quartz.
Etsy

Air plants are the perfect greenery to liven up a desk—they don’t require messy soil and regular misting will keep it fresh and healthy. Plus, the blinged-out base will satisfy both the healing-energy and the decorative tchotchke crowds.

Find It: Etsy

3. MOO HARDCOVER NOTEBOOK; $20

Spread of Moo notebooks.
Moo

This practical notebook features a thick book-quality cover to prevent damage and a special Swiss binding, which allows it to lay flat regardless of where you’re trying to write. And the color options—charcoal gray, midnight blue, wine red, or three “zingy” brighter shades—just enhance its timeless appeal. 

Find It: Moo

4. FELIX CARD WALLET; $20

Herschel card wallet
Herschel

No one wants to have to drag a purse or bulky wallet along when popping out for a quick snack or coffee run. Help your coworkers out with this compact card wallet. There’s plenty of room for an office ID, credit card, cash, and even some business cards, so they can enter you all to win a happy hour sometime.

Find It: Herschel

5. L'OCCITANE HAND LOTION; $24

Bottle of L'Occitane lotion
Amazon

During these dry winter months, your Secret Santa will appreciate having some moisturizing hand lotion that’s just an easy pump away.

Find It: Amazon

6. RUBBER BAND BALL; $9

Black and white rubber band ball
Need Supply

For the coworker who needs utilitarian office supplies like rubber bands, but also keeps a Pinterest-perfect desk: This black and white take on the classic rubber band ball is as display-worthy as it is practical.

Find It: Need Supply

7. ZADIE DRIVE ALLIGATOR LETTER OPENER; $40

Zadie Drive Alligator Letter Opener
Kate Spade

Upgrade someone’s letter-opening experience with a quick swipe of this golden alligator tail. It’ll leave envelopes far more cleanly cut than those scissors ever did.

Find It: Kate Spade

8. WATER SUCCULENTS LAPTOP SLEEVE; $37

Water succulents laptop sleeve
Society6

Lugging a laptop to and from the office may seem like a little less of a chore if it's dressed up in watercolored greenery. This lightweight sleeve is fully lined in microfiber and made to fit 13” or 15” computers.

Find It: Society6

9. PERSONALIZED STARBUCKS TUMBLER; $10

Personalized Starbucks coffee tumblers
Etsy

What to get the most caffeinated among us? A personalized, BPA-free, reusable cup is a gift that keeps on giving. Not only will your office pal be helping the environment when they go on their afternoon coffee run, they’ll save 10 cents each time they use it at Starbucks.

Find It: Etsy

10. PREVIOUSLY, ON…: GUESS THE TV SERIES; $19


Amazon

For the colleague who is always the first to ask “so did everyone watch [insert any culturally relevant show] last night?”, this illustrated card game puts all their knowledge of classic and prestige television to the test.

Find It: Amazon

11. KILNER FOOD-TO-GO JAR; $15

Kilner Food-To-Go Jar
The Container Store

Help your coworker keep their 2018 resolution to bring their lunch to work more often—this Mason-style glass jar features a removable cup for dressings or other toppings under its stainless steel lid, so they’ll never have to worry about soggy salad again.

Find It: The Container Store

Keep Your Pet Entertained While You’re Away With This Robotic Ball Toy

Cheerble
Cheerble

The ball is as simple as pet toys come, but even the classic design can be improved upon. Some of the hottest pet accessories on the market today are interactive toys, like Kong chew toys and other puzzle items with room for treats inside. Unlike those products, this ball doesn't cease being entertaining the moment your pet solves a puzzle. The Wicked Ball, currently raising money on Indiegogo, rolls, bounces, and holds your cat or dog's attention all on its own.

Though it looks like a regular ball, the Wicked Ball is actually a robotic toy. A motorized wheel propels the ball around your home, distracting your pet from any trouble it might get into when no one's looking. The gadget can be set to three modes: gentle, normal, and active. In addition to rolling, the ball also vibrates and bounces across the ground to keep things interesting for animals.

Dog with robotic ball toy.
Cheerble

The Wicked Ball is designed to be totally autonomous, so pet owners can rest easy leaving their pet alone with it at home. A built-in collision sensor helps make this possible by alerting the ball to incoming walls and objects so it can avoid getting stuck in tight places. The toys runs on a battery that charges via a USB cord. After charging for an hour, the Wicked Ball lasts for 100 minutes of continuous play. If your pet spends as much time chasing the ball as it does taking breaks, as is typical, the charge will last four hours. Even when it's shut off, a plug in the side of the toy can be filled with treats to keep pets occupied.

The toy is available in a colorful plastic shell for dogs and a gray wool coating for cats. You can purchase either version on Indiegogo for pledge of $34, with shipping estimated for August.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Fuel Your Cold Brew Obsession With This Elegant, Efficient Coffee Maker

Brrrewer
Brrrewer

The sun is scorching, the days are endless, and the gentle clinking of ice cubes in a glass of cold brew coffee sounds like chimes at the gates of heaven itself.

A beverage so divine deserves to be created by a machine to match, right? Meet Brrrewer, a coffee maker that will provide you with the smoothest, sweetest, richest cold brew coffee you’ve ever had—and it’ll do it in just four hours.

Brrrewer uses the cold drip method to brew coffee in which coffee grounds are suspended between two microfilter membranes. Water is poured over the top membrane, then slowly filters through the coffee grounds and drips out from the bottom membrane. The top membrane ensures that the water is evenly distributed among the coffee grounds, and the bottom membrane allows only the water-turned-coffee to fall into the carafe below, without any of the gritty residue. (That gritty residue is often a result of the full immersion method, which is popular among those with French presses; basically, you just steep your coffee grounds in cold water for 12 to 24 hours, strain out the grounds, and drink.)

The carafe is encased in a second layer of glass, providing thermal insulation and keeping your coffee cold for longer than a regular glass bottle or pitcher. And you can cross “coffee filters” off your shopping list—the microfilter membranes do that job already.

The Italy-based team at Essense designed Brrrewer with elegance and minimalism in mind, so it won’t throw off the aesthetic groove of your kitchen. In fact, it might enhance it. Also, it’s manufactured from a combination of borosilicate glass and BPA-free Tritan plastic; in other words, it’s extra-sturdy and environmentally friendly.

Mixologist Francesco Corona, five-time Italian “Coffee in Good Spirits” champion and world championship finalist, worked with Essense to develop special cocktail recipes for Brrrewer, which you can find in the paperback book, available on its own for $17 or with Brrrewer (the book and coffee maker combo is $78). Order Brrrewer by itself for $67 here, or see other purchase options from Kickstarter.

If four hours is more than you’re willing to wait for cold brew, check out Ninja’s Hot & Cold Brewed System, which can make it in about 15 minutes.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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