The office gift giving guideIt’s the most wonderful time of the year — the halls are decked, the sleigh bells are jingling, and you have no idea what to buy for your office holiday gift exchange.

From scheduling trips to visiting family to avoiding uncomfortable political discussions at the dinner table with your uncle, the holidays are stressful enough without worrying about what to buy your colleagues. As our gift to you this holiday season, we took our employee personas and created a comprehensive guide for office gift-giving across the generations. From the fresh-out-of-college new hire to the seasoned associate, we found something for everyone right in our own neighborhood, Des Moines’ Historic East Village.

Career Explorer Emory (work experience 0 – 3 years)
For the younger associate just getting started in the industry, consider a gift that helps them settle into the office. While transitioning from a college lifestyle to a workday routine, this associate might appreciate a little desk inspiration, like a locally-designed print from Domestica, or some time management help with a handcrafted planner or desk calendar from Pink Print Co.

Social Networker Nate (work experience 4 – 10 years)
As a member of the workforce for a few years now, this associate is looking for ways to balance their newly-found groove at work with their busy social life. Which means you won’t go wrong by giving them a chance to grab a drink with friends with a gift card from Peace Tree Brewing. Or, give them the chance to arrange a happy hour meetup with colleagues with a gift certificate to the Iowa Taproom.

Rising Leader Rob (work experience 11 – 24 years)
With a lot of responsibility on their shoulders from both work and home life, this associate is looking for some levity. A droll coffee mug or witty t-shirt from RAYGUN is sure to remind them to slow down and enjoy the moment, while a gift card to neighboring Mars Café will offer them a little afternoon pick-me-up when they need it most.

Lifelong Learner Linda (work experience 25+ years)
This associate has everyone beat when it comes to experience and industry know-how. Their biggest challenge, however, is staying up to date on new technologies and trends moving into the arena, so a book from Plain Talk Books is just the ticket to help them stay relevant. Or, inspire them to expand their knowledge in the kitchen with a carefully curated pack of spices from AllSpice.

While you might not have a gift picked out for your mom yet, you’ll be throwing a bow on one of these presents way before the annual office gift exchange email hits your inbox. Happy holidays!

About Kelsey Batschelet

Writing every type of content under the sun, developing content strategy plans, and pitching the media are PR Supervisor Kelsey’s bread and butter. Catch her between her daily run and her next trip out of town to talk all things PR at