The Ad Age Amp Holiday Gift Guide

Last-minute shoppers, don't despair! Amp members share what’s on their gift—and gift-giving—wish lists

Christmas is almost here, and if you’re like us, you’ve already had your office holiday party and your white elephant gift exchange. Inside info: Top gifts at Ad Age this year included a Bob Ross Chia Pet, an Ember Mug and a personalized theme song written by Associate Multimedia Producer Max Sternlicht (he’s really talented). Aiming a little higher than your typical Secret Santa, we decided to ask members of the Amp community to share the top gifts they’d like to receive and which they’d like to give, for both their work and nonwork lives. There’s a little something for every budget out there, from desktop succulents and sustainable office essentials to weeklong treks through the Swiss Alps.

Credit: Mark Pollard

Book: “Strategy Is Your Words” by Mark Pollard

"When I'm feeling stuck, I often turn to my internet strategy tribe to give me a kick in the brain, and I've found Mark's resources incredibly helpful. This book would have a nice home in 'Strat Row' for whoever on my team might need a kick, too." —Lexi Whelan, Strategy Director, Mekanism

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Credit: World Vision

Charitable donation

"I love do-good gift catalogs from charity organizations—IJM, Preemptive Love, Compassion, World Vision.... It's so much fun to know there's a goat running around Africa somewhere with my name on it!" —Julie Overby, Copywriter, Voltage

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Credit: iStock

Jump rope

"Perfect for airport delays." —Janet Northen, Partner and EVP, Director, Agency Communications, McKinney

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Credit: Cindy Gallop

Coaching session with Cindy Gallop

"A day with Cindy Gallop. Better than a jump rope at the airport." —Janet Northen, Partner and EVP, Director, Agency Communications, McKinney

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Credit: David Jonathan Ross

Font of the Month Club

"I recently discovered Font of the Month Club, which would be an awesome gift for any art director or designer in your life." —Jenny Nicholson, Group Creative Director, McKinney

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Credit: Headspace

Headspace subscription

"As creative people/knowledge workers/idea makers/whatever you want to call us agency folk, we have a lot swirling around up there. We need to be good to our minds to create good work. Meditating helps us carve out some time to step away from the noise and can create space for ideas to breathe and grow." —Lexi Whelan, Strategy Director, Mekanism

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Credit: Erin Claire Jones

'Blueprint' by Erin Claire Jones

"Not dissimilar to an astrological chart—it’s based on astrology and quantum physics, among other things—we all have a specific human design. Knowing yours can help provide insights on how you’re wired, the best way for you to make decisions and living in better alignment with yourself. Even if you don’t buy into this sort of thing, I find most people are interested in reading about themselves, and the topic can make for fun dinner conversation!" —Joycie Weatherby, VP and Account Director, Experiential Marketing, RPA

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Credit: Laura Bairn

Leadership classes

"A private session with Laura Freebairn-Smith from OPG." —Scott Goodson, CEO, StrawberryFrog

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Credit: Master Class

Master Class gift card

"A gift card to Master Class. Over the last couple of months, I've had a blast learning from some of the world's most creative and influential people through the platform. These lessons not only honed my personal interests (thanks, Gordon Ramsay) but also my professional interests. Why wouldn't I share lessons on creative leadership from Disney's Bob Iger or entrepreneurship by Sara Blakely with my colleagues?" —Kenny Nguyen, CEO, ThreeSixtyEight

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Credit: Udemy

Udemy subscription

"There are so many secondary digital skills that I want to pick up but don't know where to start. Having a well-constructed tutorial can make all the difference when building up momentum in a new area, and not having to sift through all the crap on YouTube would be a wonderful gift." —Colin Dwan, Creative Technologist, McKinney

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Credit: iStock

Digital communication cleanse

"One day a week of no emails, Slacks or texts. We would actually have to get off our arses, go find each other, and talk." —Janet Northen, Partner and EVP, Director, Agency Communications, McKinney

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Credit: iStock

Food tour/cooking class

"I'm going to be a classic millennial here and say that I'd love something #experiential, especially if it's food-related. Whether a cooking class or a food walk in Chinatown, I want to do more activities that get the people I love together doing something I love, which is eating." —Lexi Whelan, Strategy Director, Mekanism

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Credit: Allbirds

Allbirds

"Everyone deserves to feel the comfort of these shoes!" —Kenny Nguyen, CEO, ThreeSixtyEight

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Credit: Everyday Oil

Face oil

"An organic multi-use skincare oil made from plant-based ingredients. I’ve been in a mode of minimizing, and if I can replace multiple products with one, I’m all about it!" —Joycie Weatherby, VP and Account Director, Experiential Marketing, RPA

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Credit: Ralph Lauren

Polo Golf Custom Slim Fit Stretch Polo

"For a certain part-time golfer to be hit by sudden inspiration to commit full time to his golf game." —Karin Onsager-Birch, Chief Creative Officer, FCB West

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Credit: Causegear

Causegear Waxed Urban Pack

"A custom branded roll-top waxed canvas pack from Causegear would look super sweet with the Voltage lightning bolt across the front. All their pieces are fair trade and help fund freedom around the globe for people trapped in slavery and poverty. Talk about a force for good!" —Julie Overby, Copywriter, Voltage

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Credit: Mythopia

Mythopia natural wine

"It was developed by an ecologist from Dresden." —Scott Goodson, CEO, StrawberryFrog

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Credit: Yeti

Thermal mugs

"To help keep us caffeinated through late nights, brainstorms and all those meetings that could have been emails." —Mike Ridley, Head of Growth and Partnerships, The Community "I was really inspired by Kerry Diamond of Cherry Bombe, who promoted a Bring Your Own Cup movement at her Brooklyn coffee shop. This is something she talks a lot about on the Radio Cherry Bombe podcast, and I wholeheartedly agree. So I’d give a commuter mug to one of my colleagues because we don’t need to keep using single-use cups, lids and sleeves!" —Joycie Weatherby, VP and Account Director, Experiential Marketing, RPA

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Credit: Stowe Ski Resort

Ski pass

"I am much more excited about giving than receiving things, but the one gift I would like is snow. Lots of snow! Fuse is based in Vermont, and snow is the foundation of our winter recreation. Each year, we give everyone a season pass to the ski resort of their choice. We want people to get outside and enjoy the winter. We also close the office if it snows more than 12 inches in a day, so everyone can ski or snowboard." —Issa Sawabini, CEO, Fuse

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Credit: Game Night in a Can

Dr. Biscuits' Radical Road Trip

"Many of my colleagues have kids, and I love the idea of gifting them something they can do with their tiny humans. Dr. Biscuits' Radical Road Trip is a box full of imaginative games perfect for road trips or family game nights. Plus, it was invented by a former colleague, so it feels like a wholesome circle of creative life in ad land." —Lexi Whelan, Strategy Director, Mekanism

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Credit: Christian Martinez

Inis

"Who doesn’t like board games? And if you think Settlers of Catan is fun, wait till you play Inis." —Will Deutsch, Copywriter, RPA

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Credit: Pixel Pals

PixelPals

"Desk toys count as work-related, right? I'm a huge geek and love my video game memorabilia. Getting me something playful without being childish is the key for a good desk toy." —Colin Dwan, Creative Technologist, McKinney

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Credit: Brooklinen

Brooklinen sheets

"Simply because I love sleeping—especially with comfortable sheets." —Kenny Nguyen, CEO, ThreeSixtyEight

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Credit: Nordstrom

Oil diffuser

"A little self-care a week is the gift that keeps on giving so you can keep feeling like yourself, no matter what the week brings you." —Mike Ridley, Head of Growth and Partnerships, The Community

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Credit: Otherland

Otherland Fallen Fir Candle

"I am late to this party, and I am obsessed. The scents are made to explore and test, and the labels are beautiful! Nothing says 'Dont mind the mess' like a lit candle in the kitchen." —Moya Fry, Client Strategist, Via

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Credit: Blueair

Air purifier

"An air purifier is always good." —Winter King, Senior Developer, Voltage

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Credit: Green Dreamer

Daily planner

"This one by Green Dreamer is produced to be as eco-friendly as possible for a paper product." —Joycie Weatherby, VP and Account Director, Experiential Marketing, RPA

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Credit: Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt

Oblique Strategies cards

"I’m always looking for new methods and tools to help with ideation. Oblique Strategies—subtitled Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas and created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt in 1975—is a set of cards, each of which suggests a new way to think about or approach a creative problem. They’ve been used by everyone from David Bowie to Paul McCartney, so why not me and my team?" —Will Deutsch, Copywriter, RPA

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Credit: ROOM

Phone booth

"A private phone booth for the office, so that callers can have privacy and the rest of the team can be less distracted." —Mark Matthews, Marketing Strategist, NextNow

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Credit: SEED

SEED Livelihood journal cover

"This journal cover is made from sturdy canvas and has a great feel. Its charcoal color works for both guys and gals! Plus it's fair trade and made by women in East Asia who are survivors of, or at risk for, trafficking and other traumas." —Julie Overby, Copywriter, Voltage

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Credit: Fisher Space Pen

Space Pen

"Laptops and phones are great, until you need a pen. And this Space Pen can write upside down in zero gravity or right side up in your next meeting. Not only does it collapse to fit in your pocket, it can withstand a dryer cycle if you forget to take it out. Bonus points if your co-worker gets Seinfeld references: 'Take the pen!'" —Will Deutsch, Copywriter, RPA

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Credit: iStock

Succulents

"Sometimes we’re at work longer than we are at our house, so why not make your space feel a little more like home?" —Mike Ridley, Head of Growth and Partnerships, The Community

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Credit: Rent the Runway

Work clothes

"A gift card or subscription to one of those clothing rental sites. Work clothes are expensive! —Ella Zeiler, Digital Marketing Coordinator, Voltage

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Credit: Sonos

Bluetooth speaker

"Bluetooth speaker, so you can stream music playlists." —Adam Rowan, Software Engineer, Voltage

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Credit: Sony

Noise-canceling headphones

"Noise-cancelling wireless headphones, so you can drown out the bluetooth speaker when you want." —Adam Rowan, Software Engineer, Voltage

"I would really need to love this person, but the best office gift I can think of is a good set of noise-canceling headphones. My favorites are by Sony. I had been using cheap Bluetooth headphones for years before recently realizing I was totally missing out on the sweet escape of good headphones. They may be pricey, but they can transform any workspace into an audio oasis." —Colin Dwan, Creative Technologist, McKinney

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Credit: Apeman

Dash camera

"Because it can guard you against malicious claims." —Adam Rowan, Software Engineer, Voltage

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Credit: Miko

Foot massager

"Because it can be relaxing and helps reduce stress." —Adam Rowan, Software Engineer, Voltage

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Credit: Hyperice

Hyperice Hypervolt percussion massager

"While I’d love to have a massage therapist on retainer, the Hyperice Hypervolt percussion massager is a close second. Plus, it looks like it’s straight out of the Starship Enterprise." —Will Deutsch, Copywriter, RPA

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Credit: Apple

iPhone 11 Pro Max

"iPhone 11 Pro Max has a camera that suits my cinematographic pursuits on the side. The portrait function is also great for memorable shots of my daughter, while the AR functionality is looking better and better." —Mark Matthews, Marketing Strategist, NextNow

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Credit: Apple

MacBook Pro

"The new Macbook Pro comes with a larger screen, more CPU processing and speed and powerful graphics processing. They also got around to returning the keyboard to a more comfortable design." —Mark Matthews, Marketing Strategist, NextNow

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Credit: Oculus

Oculus Quest

"The Oculus Quest is an affordable, fully functional and accessible VR device that is pushing the whole industry forward. It's fun, educational and entertaining." —Mark Matthews, Marketing Strategist, NextNow

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Credit: Upright

Upright Go Posture Trainer

"Good posture is something that is instantly slimming, and what better way to say, ‘New year, new you’ than with a straighter posture?" —Moya Fry, Client Strategist, Via

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Credit: Clear

Clear membership

"Accepted at most major airports, the membership allows you to use your eyes and fingerprints to confirm your identity. While some may not appreciate the gift during the moment, I know they will when they don’t have to stand inong lines at TSA." —Kenny Nguyen, CEO, ThreeSixtyEight

"We are giving everyone a membership to Clear this season to save time at the airports next year." —Issa Sawabini, CEO, Fuse

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Credit: Alpen Wild

Travel experience

"A mountain trek through the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland." —Scott Goodson, CEO, StrawberryFrog

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Credit: Disney via Giphy

Cash

"The only gift I ever ask for is the continued love and support of my—haha, just kidding. I would like a big pile of money because I am enslaved to a debilitating amount of debt. Happy Holidays!" —Coleman Larkin, Content Strategist, Cornett

Special thanks to all the Amp members who contributed: Mike Ridley of The Community; Coleman Larkin of Cornett; Karin Onsager-Birch of FCB West; Issa Sawabini of Fuse; Colin Dwan, Jenny Nicholson, Janet Northen of McKinney; Lexi Whelan of Mekanism; Mark Matthews of NextNow; Winter King, Julie Overby, Adam Rowan, Laura Steele, Vanessa Wainwright and Ella Zeiler of Voltage; Will Deutsch and Joycie Weatherby of RPA; Kenny Nguyen of ThreeSixtyEight; Moya Fry of VIA

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