Every year, I’ve curated my own list of what to give that special someone in your professional life, whether that’s your colleagues, employees, or vendors. Here’s my holiday gift guide from last year.
I almost didn’t do one this year because it has been a difficult year for so many of us, but it dawned on me that this year, gift giving as a way to show you care might be more important than ever before.
What initially started as a tech gift guide has over the years has evolved to cover categories across the board. This year, I had so many wonderful gift ideas that I’ll be covering them in two separate articles. Due to popular demand, I specifically curated a list of “mini-gifts” this year. The price range varies so you can pick something that works for your budget. These gifts are only mini in regards to their (mostly) compact size—not in terms of what they deliver.
Here’s my 2020 list of the best mini holiday gifts.
For the Techie:
RODE NT-USD Mini: You might not be able to do much about the kids in the background of their Zoom call, but you can certainly make sure that their sound is perfect. The NT-USB Mini mic works well with any setup. At just 89mm wide and 141mm tall, it’s very compact, taking up only a fraction of precious desktop real estate. They will be sure to think of you every time they see it.
MORE FOR YOU
Remarkable Tablet: The world’s thinnest tablet just got a little better with the 2.0 edition. It feels like paper, has great battery life, and you can throw in a bunch of accessories (leather folio? marker with eraser?) to make it the perfect gift for your boss or favorite partner.
Brother P-touch CUBE Plus: This mini printer lets you design and print personalized labels up to an inch using your smartphone, tablet or PC. A fun gift for the organized techie.
RICOH THETA 360 degree camera: A super compact camera which captures high-quality 360-degree still images. It’s ideal for architects or interior designers and also for anyone in real estate. They will be thanking you for making their work-life easier!
Sidetrak Swivel Attachable Monitor: What techie would say no to a second screen? More digital real estate? Yes, please. Ultra-portable monitor which can extend their current screen with ease. This just might be the perfect gift for your working-from-home employees.
VAVA Fingerprint-Secure Thumb Drive: For your colleague who loves backing up things on their OWN secure drive vs. the cloud. A very mini, portable, high powered mini-gift.
OWC Envoy Pro Elektron: For the techie who loves the fastest and toughest. This mini-sized USC-C-bus powered drive is crush-proof and dust-proof. Also, water-proof.
Canon Selphy Square QX10 Printer: Compact, portable photo printer weighs less than a pound and uses a built-in battery to print images on the spot. It produces square prints with peel-off adhesive backs which make it super easy to to go analog with their favorite digital photos.
Chargetech 40K AC Portable Power Unit: For your colleague who loves working from national parks. This portable charger gives them 100 hours of extra battery life before needing to be charged itself. No need to ever be looking for an outlet on the double.
Skyroam Solis WiFi Hotspot and Charger: A dual 4G LTE global WiFi hotspot and powerbank that provides instant access to secure and unlimited data in over a hundred countries – without the roaming charges. Works on up to five devices, and is a great gift for those who are hoping borders open up sooner than later.
Lexon Oblio UV Sanitizer and Charger: It looks like a vase but will wirelessly charge your phone while sanitizing with UV light. A double-duty product which charges and cleanses? Yes, please.
Casetify Custom Cases: Want to give your employees something awesome but also throw in a little company branding? Casetify has a slew of choices they are sure to low or you can customize your own. They make some of the best cases in the marketplace.
Izipizi Glasses: All that staring at screens isn’t ideal but these stylish screen glasses will block 40% of harmful light, improving sleep and decreasing fatigue.
Felix Gray Sleep Glasses: Taking blue light blocker glasses to the next level, these glasses help double melatonin production. Have someone in your life who could use more sleep? I thought so.
MOON Ultralight: An ultra-portable lighting accessory designed with touch controls that provide customizable brightness and tone. It fits on any smartphone and is perfect for selfies or livesteams.
Thimble STEM Subscription Box: These robotic kits are perfect for older kids or young-at-heart adults with a passion for robotics, coding, and video game design.
For the #WFH Warrior:
X-HMT Heat + Massage Office Chair: Not exactly mini, but for everything that this chair delivers, it might as well be! How did they fit so many functions in such a space-friendly chair? This is the world’s first office chair that has heat, massage, and ergonomic structure built in. If you are looking for a great home office chair for your employees, this is it.
SpaceStor’s KIT Desk: A desk that is also mini? Yes! This foldable and compact desk is the ideal working from home table. It requires zero assembly, is easily transported and still retains the Californian, mid-century vibe.
Noble Objects Candle: Do you know their favorite book? Now, get them a candle that brings their book to life. A fragrant take on literature. Ideal for book lovers.
Brick + Mortar Moss Candle: Help them bring the outdoors indoor with this one. It smells like a walk in the forest. A really woodsy, sage filled forest.
Lifetime Leather Journal: An analog gift perfect in a world of tech. You can also choose to personalize with their name or your company logo.
MOO Notebooks and Cards: Most know MOO for their business cards, but they also make a great line of highly giftable notebooks and cards. Throw in some Pilot retractable fountain pens to complete this gift.
Legion Paper: For designers or creatives on your list who really love the feel of paper, there are an array of choices here for you to choose from.
Twee Sidewalk Chalk: Not just for kids, this is great for break-time from the home office. Even if that break time only means making it to the sidewalk for some fun.
Eternal Fleur Flowers: When you want to give them flowers but you also want them to last. These mini floral arrangements can last over a year without water or sunlight. Deliver a little happiness right to their desk.
Desk Plants: The name says it all. Perfect for a little greenery on their desk without a lot of maintenance. These plants bloom indoors, give much and expect very little.
For the Home-Office Mascot: It wouldn’t be fair to leave Fido out when so many working from home warriors are doing it with the help of their pets. For the four-pawed workers, I recommend the OutwardHound dog hide n’ slide and a doggy bed from The Posh Puppy Boutique and some delicious (so my dog tells me) treats from Lick You Silly. For a pet perhaps feeling a little blue, check out The Flower Apothecary for Pets – offering essence blends that help empower moods. (Also works on humans!)
For The Foodie:
Kate’s Real Food: You can choose from six delicious, all natural flavors of energy bars with a great-taste guarantee and no artificial sweeteners. Each one is certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and sweetened with organic honey. Perfect for the snacker.
Vosges Chocolates: A long time favorite of mine for gifting when you want high-end chocolates that taste as good as they look. There are plenty of seasonal favorites to choose from and they’re sure to please the recipient.
Luke’s Lobster: Luke’s is offering holiday bundles to make gifting fun and easy this year for all the small gatherings. The bundles are sent frozen so recipients can use it when they wish and each includes something fun and festive besides the usual lobster roll! Perfect for seafood loving recipients.
Thrive Marketplace Gift Card: Want to let them pick what they want to get but don’t want to go the usual Amazon route? This is a great marketplace alternative. Thrive Market carries over 5,000 organic and non-GMO products, and offers 70+ filters and values, allowing you to shop by diet and lifestyle.
Lift Chocolates: From a turkey chocolate centerpiece to English toffee, this is definitely a fun (and delicious) gift to send.
For The Self-Care Aficionados:
HeatHolders Gloves and Throw: Heat Holders has an array of products made to keep toes and more warm in cold weather. You can choose from gloves to socks to throws.
Bombas Socks and Slippers: A classic sock company known for their high-quality socks and slippers. Great for your colleague who is always known to have a space heater by their desk. Also, in the running for cozy are Reef slippers.
Alpaca Suri Annex Gloves & Capes: Next best thing to sending them an alpaca is sending them gloves or a cape made from alpaca fiber. It’s warmer than wool and softer than cashmere. Also, hypoallergenic. Prefer leather? You can also check out M.M. LeFleur gloves.
Makeup Junkie Bags: Makeup Junkie Bags are the perfect cosmetic bags— they lie flat on a surface, and have an elongated zipper that allows the bag to gape open, allowing easy access while eliminating the chances that the bag will fall over, sending products everywhere. Perfect for your work friend who always looks on point for Zoom calls. Want to give them something to add to the bags? Check out Mineral Air, a compact AirMist tool which has a four-in-one foundation.
Catherine Weitzman Small Botanical Necklace: A dainty piece of jewelry that won’t break the bank. The Phlox Flower that is captured inside this glass chamber is the perfect gift to give a business partner, as it represents compatibility, partnership, harmony and unity. Want to make sure they always show up on time to meetings? Consider a VANNA watch as a gentle reminder/classy gift.
Nicky Hilton Ballet Flats and Loafers: They may not be walking around the office in those high heels, but they still appreciate great shoes. You know just who to get these for! Comfortable and stylish for home and the odd necessary errand. Want something more gender neutral? Check out the slides from Freedom Moses. Does your recipient already have plenty of shoes? Consider giving them the Patten Place shoe covers. Think of them like galoshes for shoes.
OneBlade Shave Kits: Help them replicate the barbershop single-blade shave experience at home and eliminate bumps, nicks, razor burn, and irritation for every face and skin type. Ideal for your sales director who has to look good for all his Zoom calls. Want to add something even more for an ideal facial pampering set? Check out the complete facial toolset by Kungfu Apothecary. Looking to give something for more dental care? You can get them an at-home toothshower.
Ziri Skincare: From rose oil to face masks, this is a great line to gift someone who enjoys spa days but isn’t able to quite make it there right now. More along these lines? Check out Tap Tap Organic Body Butter, Isola Body Oils, and Caswell-Massey soaps.
Wildland Beauty Ritual Kit: Ritual kits are trending this year and with good reason. With staycations on the rise, these from home pampering tools are sure to make one look and feel good. Want more kits? Check out body and bath kits from J.R. Watkins, holiday makeup kits from Bareminerals, and Phylabiotics for any acne sufferers in your life.
For Office Secret Santa/Stocking Stuffers:
For even more “mini gifts” or perhaps a virtual secret Santa consider these: Noshinku hand sanitizer kit (with a leather case for that sanitizer!), Sparti Scents (mini fragrance coolers), Hadron Epoch face masks (because we all still need these!), and for a different kind of mask, check out the fun Los Angeles Trading Co. sleep mask. For the more glamor oriented? Check out Deepa Lashes (magnetic, vegan, AND a PETA partner), Stone and Tumble’s Soothing Serum, and Teleties (the new scrunchie).
Here’s to you giving the best gifts this season to everyone who makes your work-life a little easier!