Sending gifts to the people we care about is one of the longest-running traditions of the holiday season, and it's a great opportunity to spread happiness and strengthen bonds in your team. We put together gift ideas for your hybrid or remote teammates to ensure your distributed team takes part in the gifting season.
Whether you're running a virtual secret Santa or, or if you're simply celebrating the holiday spirit in your remote team, check out our 14 ideas categorized based on different preferences, hobbies, and interests.
Relaxation & Wellbeing
Here are a few gift ideas for colleagues who are in need of some downtime and self-care:
Subscription to well-being services
Working from home can blur the lines between your space for work and rest. To help your teammates create some time for self-care, give a subscription to applications and experiences such as Calm, which helps in enhancing mindfulness and better sleep, or Headspace, which also helps with mindfulness and with managing thoughts and feelings.
Make a donation
The holiday season is also a time to give back to the community. Instead of sending gifts, you can pool in money with your team and select a philanthropy to contribute to. Another idea is to allocate an amount to each team member, and ask them which organization aligns with their values and request that they donate that sum to a cause close to their hearts.
White noise machine
The gift of a good night’s sleep is priceless. Not only does good quality sleep improve your overall health and well-being, but good sleep can also improve your productivity. A white noise machine can significantly promote sleep by creating a calming environment. These machines have different types of soothing sounds, with options to loop or to set timers, and are a great way to promote relaxation and well-being.
Having a plant in your workspace will not only make it look nicer, but it can also decrease feelings of stress. Last year, our CEO & Founder Marilyn gifted each of the Centaurs the same plant and by having all of us care for it, it was a reminder that the company also required caring for as it grows. You can order plants to your team members' homes by finding a local flower shop and if you're in the UAE, check this one.
The Centaurs with their shared plants at our 2020 Virtual Holiday Party.
For very curious colleagues or those with a love for learning, check out these gift ideas:
Online museum pass
Many museums offer online tours, which is a fun gift for colleagues who love to learn more about art, history and culture. This list offers worthy online touring options, and you can always see what online museum tour options are available on Google Arts & Culture. It's also a great shared experiences the whole team can enjoy at your holiday celebration.
Team members can refine their skills, hobbies or learn a new set of skills by taking a virtual master class. To encourage learning in your team, gift a MasterClass experience that you know a colleague would enjoy.
Books & Audiobook
For bookworms and avid readers, is there any better way to spend your holiday break than curled up at home with a good book to read? Gift your team members books, e-book, or audiobooks that you think they would enjoy. At Cosmic Centaurs, we especially love using Scribd!
We couldn’t forget the culture buffs! Here are a few gift ideas for those who love gaming, activities, music and film:
Music and entertainment are a common way for folks to disconnect after a long day working. A one-year subscription to a streaming service such as Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, or Anghami is an easy and enjoyable gift your team members.
We just launched our prompt cards game: Cosmic Conversations, with over 104 Conversation Starters for Teams! We designed this game for remote, hybrid, or in-person teams to learn more and connect with. each other Read more about Cosmic Conversations here, or purchase your deck in the UAE here.
Gingerbread House Kit
Gingerbread houses are always fun to make during the holiday season! They are a great way to take part in the festive celebrations while exercising your creativity and making a holiday treat! Send your team members Gingerbread House kits, and share pictures of your creations with each other.
Airbnb offers a variety of online experiences, such as escape rooms and magic shows, which can make a great holiday experience for you and your team. If you know of a colleague who has a passion for pasta-making, or if they are a Potter-Head, you can find a ton of experiences based on their interests and hobbies.
For the tech enthusiasts and those in need of taking their remote work set up to the next level, check out these gift ideas:
Noise-canceling earphones or headphones can be very useful to those who work from home, from a cafe, or from a beach in Bali. Whether your teammate regularly needs deep, focused time while coding, or your colleague is conducting research but they live with a few other house-mates, we recommend these JBL noise canceling headphones. They're also great for travel!
Power bank & Cord Organizers
Power banks and cord organizers are practical for those who are on the move. They enable you to truly work from anywhere and offer a support for colleagues who may be living in areas with unstable connections or infrastructure.
Many who made the shift from in-office to distributed work, may realize how reliant they were on the office for good stationery. For your distributed colleagues we recommend gifting a set of personalized or fun stationery. Etsy offers several options that make for great gift sets.
Still not sure what to get Sam from Finance?
If you find yourself stuck, and realize that you need to learn more about your colleagues to gift more personal, meaningful experiences or presents, we recommend using the new user profile feature on AION. It helps you see what your team members like and dislike bringing you closer together and creating more team cohesion.
We hope our gifting ideas will help you spread the holiday spirit in your team. For more ideas and ways to celebrate the festive season with your team, check out our virtual holiday party ideas, creative formats of year-end retrospectives and how you can get the most value out of your annual performance reviews.