It’s the most wonderful time of year. Across Australia, workers everywhere are getting ready to spend their lunch break struggling to find a reasonable Kris Kringle present for Sally in HR… for under $10.
The question is, is it possible to do this without resorting to buying a dancing Santa from The Reject Shop?
We say yes. The trick is to identify your KK’s secret persona and craft a gift that you both get something out of. Thoughtful, cheap and unique all at once. Long live Kris Kringle!
The Crafty One
Despite what the boss thinks, some employees do have a life outside of the fluorescent workspace they’re cultivated in.
If you have a colleague who makes their outside interests known to all, your KK could well be The Crafty One. A keen knitter, painter or origami maker, or perhaps just a little craft curious, these are the dream draw in Kris Kringle roulette.
Creativity encouragements for these gifted people can range from beginners ‘How-To Guides’, dot-to-dot books (a spin-off from the recent mindfulness colouring in craze), craft kits or pretty notebooks to scrawl down ideas when a bolt of office inspiration hits.
These office personalities are the first to buy a raffle ticket, have an organic, sustainable, fair-trade, free-range, ethical Facebook profile and are trying to do their best to drive pollution down to zero.
The Planeteer is not always good at spoiling themselves and can be a tricky KK to cater for, so be prepared to disappoint. Unless you know about the secret stash of sustainable gifts at Oxfam.
Thankfully you can buy chooks, goats and sanitation packages for third world countries through Oxfam with very punny cards. Eco-shops and organic grocers also sell a range of fairly cheap but environmental items such as dairy-free, fair-trade chocolate treats, home-made soaps, soy candles, plants and more.
Just make sure the wrapping paper has been recycled at least twice.
The Tea Connoisseur
Easily identified by their fancy mugs, pots and paraphernalia littering the kitchen sink, you can’t go wrong buying a gift for The Tea Connoisseur. Think fair-trade, organic and exotic. They love these descriptors.
To get it just right, avoid the stock-standard variety of leaves purchased from the supermarket and venture a little further to a boutique supplier. Your KK will thank you for enabling their brew addiction and providing an excuse to chew your ear off with brewers chat.
If they also have an impaired sense of humour, consider coupling their new stash with a ‘hilarious’ novelty mug.
The Office Comedian
This person is your go-to pick-me-up in the serious office space. They’re always up for a laugh and quite happy to be laughed at for the greater good.
They don’t take anything too seriously – including their work – are just the right amount of immature. And the best bit is whatever you buy The Office Comedian they will find a way to turn it into a joke.
So don’t waste your time buying a fine selection of cheeses or work diary. Instead get them something sarcastic, facetious or foolish. Novelty works well for this professional peanut, so cast your eye at slogan mugs, fake inspiration books, slinkies and toys.
The Straight Shooter
Some of your colleagues won’t fall into a category. They are probably droll quiet workaholics, plugging away but never contributing much to watercooler conversations. Do you even know their surname?
While buying chocolate used to be the one-size-fits-all gift for these guys, unfortunately attitudes have changed and people are increasingly fructose-intolerant vegans who are anti-sugar. Dammit.
The new class of never-fail gifts are of the non-food variety and fall into the useful and practical category. Think diaries, calendars, notebooks, fancy-pants pens and office succulents.
While these gifts may sound a tad mundane – rest assured they are – at least The Straight Shooter will summon their practicality to put your present to good use.