10 holiday gifts I would actually use


iStock | Melpomenem

iStock | Melpomenem

My hospital is big on gift exchanges. Over the years, I’ve gotten strongly scented body wash I could never use, crystal doohickies to hang from window hardware, chocolate (I’m not fond of chocolate) and once, a Fiestaware platter. That was pretty cool.

But Fiestaware isn’t for everybody. What should you get your coworker for the annual gift exchange? Attend:

1. Good pens. Good pens come in handy, even if you computer-chart.

2. A package of those little badge holders with the plastic sleeves. Mine break about four times a year.

3. A gift card to whatever coffee place is nearest work and opens earliest. Or, if they like tea, a selection of highly caffeinated teas.

4. Unscented lotion, or something you know the other person will like. Are they nuts about oral hygiene? Get ’em some tiny containers of floss and a travel toothbrush.

5. Socks. No, seriously. Basic socks. I can never have enough.

6. Trail mix, beef jerky, packages of nuts. Something protein-rich that’s snackable.

7. If the recipient has a pet, get something for the pet. You’ll be a hero.

8. Bandage shears, needle drivers or whatever you use most often that you’re always misplacing.

9. If your intended recipient celebrates their holiday at a different time of year, give them something small but symbolic that relates to that holiday. Google can help here.

10. Itty-bitty airplane bottles of booze, if they like that sort of thing. And, during this time of year, who really couldn’t use a drink?

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received from a fellow nurse?

Agatha Lellis
Agatha Lellis is a nurse whose coffee is brought to her every morning by a chipmunk. Bluebirds help her to dress, and small woodland creatures sing her to sleep each night. She writes a monthly advice column, "Ask Aunt Agatha," here on Scrubs; you can send her questions to be answered at

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