For my coworkers, I love to give donations and other do-gooder-style gifts. I find this is a good call because:
1) I don't know everyone I work with well enough to get them the perfect personalized gift. And I don't want them to be stuck with some piece of junk they don't want.
2) It allows my co-workers to gently mock me about my tree-hugging, do-gooding ways. Good times.
3) I always get a really positive response from these types of gifts.
In the past, I have given my coworkers "animals" from Heifer International. It's kind of fun because you can give everyone a different animal, and, you know, try to pick an animal to fit their personality.
This year, I did the following:
For the assistants in my department, I got SIGG bottles. These are snazzy metal-lined reuseable water bottles with cool design. I have one that I use every day at work. I highly recommend a SIGG bottle as a gift for an office mate or for a friend who does a lot of outdoor activity. It's are a nice accessory of sorts that also elimintes the need to use disposable plastic water bottles. And, as we all know, plastic bottles are evil!
For the other executives I work with, I gave a two-part gift. First, I made a donation in their names to America's Second Harvest. Then, I extended the grocery theme by taking some cotton shopping bags and personalizing them with paint and letter stamps. I think they came out pretty cool, and people seem to like them.
Both these gifts were simple and fairly inexpensive, and both will hopefully make a long-term impact by getting my coworkers to use fewer plastic bottles and fewer plastic shopping bags. At least, that's the hope.