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10 Perfect Food-Related Gifts For Coworkers

Inexpensive last-minute office gifts to order for your coworkers this holiday season.

Many of us will be buying holiday gifts for our coworkers in the coming weeks, whether it's for an obligatory grab bag, an office-wide Secret Santa, a white elephant exchange—or hey, maybe you're just a nice person. But we don't always know our coworkers very well, and that can make them hard to buy for. In case you're in a pinch, here are some of the best items to buy for coworkers this holiday season, most of which center around the ultimate common bond between us: food. (Because what is a workday if it's not focused on what you'll consume and when?)

Cup warmer

A desktop cup warmer (such as this one) will keep your colleague's mug of coffee or tea warm while they work, or when they're stuck in an endless meeting that could have been an email. It also has an automatic shutoff feature, so you don't have to worry that you've gifted something that will inadvertently burn down the office. A win-win!

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Handheld desk vacuum cleaner

I don't know how I made it this far into my adult life without learning of the existence of the desktop vacuum, a $13 miracle crumb catcher. As someone who frequently eats everything bagels at my desk, I can assure you that plenty of recipients would find this very useful. The ODISTAR model gets pretty good reviews on Amazon, with one reviewer saying, "I expected this to fail miserably. It didn't." I think I'll put some googly eyes on mine to add a little more fun.

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Matcha tea

For your coworker who spends $5 and up on matcha seemingly every morning, DAVIDsTEA has a $25 tea sampler that would make a nice gift for a coworker. In addition original matcha, DAVIDsTEA sells flavored matcha, including vanilla, strawberry, and seasonal pumpkin pie. I tried the seasonal watermelon variety over the summer, and it was downright delicious. (Much better than watermelon coffee.)

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Lunch box

For years, I shoved my office lunch in an old cooler meant for breastmilk and then buried that in my book bag. It was, in a word, sad. This year, I got myself a lunchbox that looks nice enough that I carry it on its own, and it has upped my office lunch game. There are sleek and surprisingly inexpensive lunchboxes out there that may make a good holiday gift for the coworker who either uses a shopping bag for their lunch or, worse, throws the components in their work bag and hopes for the best (which I definitely did before the breastmilk cooler came into my life).

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Bento box

For the same coworker who throws the components of their lunch into a work bag and hopes for the best, a bento box could be a nice treat. I used these for my kids for years before realizing I should use one for myself, too. I was gifted this Umami-brand bento box earlier this year; I like that it has two levels so I can pack a separate breakfast and lunch. I also can't mention bento boxes without a solid plug for this Yumbox, which my kids have used for years without a single leak (except when one was left in a classroom for months during the pandemic, but that is not the box's fault).

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Instant coffee packets

After trying several instant coffee packets for a story earlier this year, I'm an instant coffee convert. My personal favorite are packets from Partners coffee, which I first received in a guest gift bag at a wedding. These would make a great gift for a coffee-living coworker who finds the office coffee subpar (What? Bad office coffee? Never!), and it alleviates their need to shell out on craft cups.

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Fries-and-sauce holder for the car

You know that coworker who always hits the drive-thru on the way to the office and inevitably spills something in the car, or tries to juggle fries between their legs while driving? We all know that person. We all are that person. This handy gadget, perfect for white elephant gift exchanges, aims to solve the fast-food-in-the-car quandary by offering a tidy solution for fries and their condiments. Sure, you could wait until you're back at the office to start eating, but we all know that fries are best piping hot.

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Microwave cleaner

Shared office space often means a shared microwave, and while it might seem passive-aggressive to include a cleaning tool in an office gift grab bag, this microwave cleaner gadget is both funny and useful, and it might help bring harmony among your officemates. According to Amazon reviews, it works fairly well and can eliminate the need for spray.

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Thermos

Alternatively, you can discourage the use of the microwave altogether by gifting a coworker a thermos, like this one, which will keep their soup, pasta, or other hot items hot until lunchtime.

Popcorn maker

The best gift for a coworker is one that they can use either at home or the office, whatever they prefer—and this attractive popcorn maker certainly fits the bill. It's less labor intensive than some other home popping methods but still results in a bowl that tastes more gourmet than the microwave packets, and it's a great gift because very few people would think to buy this for themselves. Hopefully the recipient chooses to share.

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