Editor’s note: For a newer, updated version of this post, check it out here.
Gah! The gift exchange period is here. Whether you are at the office, or part of a community, the gift exchange tradition always has to happen. If you’re playing Secret Santa then you’d probably know what the person wants already but if it’s played in anonymous mode, well, we better start thinking up ideas to not come out looking like the Grinch.
Geeky gifts are all the hype these past few Christmases and if you have stumbled upon this post, you are probably looking for suggestions. For your safety, do not get these gifts for your loved ones (at least break the USD$10 limit for them).
To help you, here are:
For the rest of us, here are 40 ideas of what to get for that gift exchange part, for under USD$10.
Another interesting flash drive aimed at the young at heart community. And it doubles as the perfect office desk decor.
Ideal for the photographer friend who just can’t stop going on about lenses and tripods and camera accessories. This will complete his accessories collection for sure.
More: Gifts for photographers.
Know a friend who keeps misplacing his flash drives? This would be great as a gift exchange idea. Comes in black and white, and there’s a 16GB version too.
Tame your cables and wires with these neat (in every sense of the word) cable clips. You can even mount it on the side of the desk with its stick on back. This is a gift that would be appreciated by anyone who works in the office.
Don’t worry, there is no magnetism involved in this. Silicon suction cups help it stick safely too just about any electronic gadget. The magnet structure makes it the perfect stand and cable holders. Genius!
If you have a really messy co-worker who just can’t get his cables together, let the cable monkey lend a hand, or a super long tail!
Know a team-mate who complains that his coffee never stays hot long enough? He needs a warmer, a mug warmer.
A light show worthy of distracting anyone from work, or Facebook, or working on Facebook. Plus, it looks like it would cost more than USD10. Goes to show that it’s always a good idea to shop for a bargain.
Here’s a flash drive with an old school security lock. This is a great gift for your friends who keep forgetting their passwords and gets locked out of their flash drive’s contents. Three digits should be a lot easier to remember.
The ‘gift’ by the office’s ultimate prankster, this phantom flash drive will trigger mouse movements and random keystrokes in an unsuspecting victim’s computer. The only drawback is if you become one of the receiver’s many victims.
When the computer gives up on you, you Ctrl-Alt-Delete the heck out of it but when you need a break, here’s an alternative Ctrl-Alt-Delete break you will probably enjoy. Flip it over and share a cuppa with a fellow colleauge in the pantry. This way, everyone gets a break.
Great for group water sports, all you do with this ball is throw it around on water. It skips off the water surface and is even strong enough to knock a can off upon impact.
How could anyone hate these suicidal birds? Collect all six of them and you can even have an Angry Bird show down at the party itself.
More: Angry birds goodies
Stuffed with geek speak like FAIL, LOL and Meh, this Geek Ball brings a new twist to the magic 8-ball we grew up with. Magic Geek Ball, Will you be a great gift exchange idea? "Loading…"
There must be someone in the office you really really loves these zombies. Get them their favorite cellulose-based arsenal or the funky disco zombie to plonk on their desk. BRAINS!!
You know how red is hot and blue is cold in the washroom? This special LED faucet nozzle actually makes your water flow change color as it leaves the faucet.
Step 1, try to rig Santa’s gift bag so that your best buddy gets this gift. Step 2, make him wear this in the office for a week. Step 3, have a great Christmas!
A great gift for the gift exchange at family reunions. Start teaching the next generation to save for a rainy day so they would stop bugging you to get them an iPad every Christmas.
Here’s an absolute fun for one who is crazy about sketching. It’s time to start sketching or doodling in 3D!
Stress balls can only help so much with getting all your murderous urges out of the system. But this disease ball really takes it up to a whole new level!
Seriously. No batteries, no cables to plug in; just add water and you have yourself a clock. Perfect for the colleague with the greenest cubicle.
Know a friend who can’t get off the iPad until she discovers that it is heating up too quickly? Let’s help her keep the device cool with some handy feet. Works for laptops too.
More: Cool iPad stands
Great barnacles! This is a nifty idea Now you can let your phone stand on an angle to the desk or stick it on the windscreen of your car for easy access.
Stick your phone or GPS device on any surface for easy access. This will probably make a phone-addict friend have a worse addiction, and love you for it!
Laptop accessories under USD10 rarely come in this size. This will definitely bring a smile to the workaholics in the office.
Ever got coasters as a gift in those Christmas parties? Sucks, doesn’t it? But add some LED to them and you’re the life of the party.
These 7-color glow balls can be placed on the work desk or placed on water (they float) to set the mood, although we could think of plenty of other ways to use it – it’s great with kids!
Another great twist to the 8-Ball idea, only this one gives you great excuses to get you out of trouble with the boss. Just don’t let the boss draw it out of Santa’s bag.
These hand warmers let you be ready for a snowfight anytime. It’s the perfect gift for a snowball showdown, just, don’t give it to the opposing team.
Mini potted plants have found their home on the office work desk but none can make a statement like this one, however confusing that statement is – plants growing out of a pot that looks like a nuclear plant.
Know someone who has a green thumb? Why not get them to plant something practical for office consumption: coffee beans! Mugs and coffee pot not included.
This gem is better used outdoors than inside, and probably after Christmas is over. But a few months down the road, when your buddy is out camping, or lost his car’s A/C to the summer’s heat, you are going to be remembered as a hero!
Everyone has a friend who is into UFO conspiracies and aliens. If your friend has a good sense of humor, this 11-cube ice tray mold of flying saucers and cratered moons is a great gift idea.
(It’s not really the most creative mugs on the planet but we are working on a budget.) Help your coffee- or tea-chugging team member make a statement with these thumbs up mugs! Come on, they’d Like this!
It’s an LED watch on a mirror on a strapwatch. And the strap comes in 7 different colors. We suggest you go with black, just tobe safe.
Remember those lockets you hang around your neck, which carries the photo of someone you miss dearly? Well you can store up to 56 photos in this one and change the photos that pop up anytime.
One disadvantage a traditional book has over an ebook is no internal lighting. Get your bookworm friend the perfect portable book light which also looks great as desk decor.
This could be a little traditional but it’s a great idea to help an extremely busy colleague eat at his desk and still be able to keep his workdesk clean.
If you’ve got a lot of karaoke fans in the office, chances are they sing in the shower too. This little baby is going to make their shower-singing event all the more realistic. You can actually tune in to your favorite station while in the shower.
‘Classy’ Alien Wear. Enough said.