‘The Office’ Stars Angela Kinsey and Brian Baumgartner Tell SPY Their Top Secret Santa And Yankee Swap Gifts


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What would Michael Scott think? Dunder Mifflin’s longtime branch manager may not have seen a paperless future (computers are great for so many things, like forwarding funny emails), but the people at Rocketbook did, and they’re making it easier than ever to turn your office green.

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In their latest move to make cool office products that you would never put in Jell-o, Rocketbook has partnered with “The Office” stars Angela Kinsey and Brian Baumgartner. That’s right — the accountants have arrived.

Kinsey and Baumgartner are spreading the word about Rocketbook’s lineup of eco-friendly paper alternatives in their new partnership. All Rocketbook products include a reusable Fusion pen that allows users to write in their Rocketbook notebooks as they would on any paper notebook. Once finished writing, users scan their page using the Rocketbook app and automatically upload their newly written information to their preferred Cloud service. Then simply erase the notes and start again. Just think of Rocketbook as the “people person’s paper(less) people.”

With the holidays quickly approaching, SPY spoke to Kinsey and Baumgartner about their favorite Secret Santa and Yankee swap gifts, including Rocketbook and a few surprising choices (FYI lawn care gifts are a hit). We also chatted with “The Office” alums about some of their favorite holiday-themed episodes and got their pick on the best cast wrap gift.

Check out our conversation with Kinsey and Baumgartner and make sure you’re admirable and not impish this year to secure some holiday gifts from Belsnickel.

SPY: What is your go-to gift for Yankee Swap when you don’t know who is getting your present?

Brian: I’d say something practical that anyone could use. Rocketbook is great for that — their products work for everyone and are super affordable. Lots of people like to buy random little knickknacks which are funny at the time but usually end up being wasteful since they typically get thrown away. You want to make sure you get something applicable to anyone who might open it instead of being too personal or totally useless…like a nice footbath!

SPY: Angela, you’ve discussed your annual Yankee Swap parties on your podcast. What was the best and worst gift you’ve seen at a Yankee Swap?

Angela: The garden hose, for sure. I was so surprised by how many people were fighting over it. 10/10 recommend bringing one if you ever have a Yankee Swap party. As for the worst gift…that’s really hard! I will say this: sometimes the best gifts come in tiny, unassuming packages. There was one year when everyone was fighting for this big, beautifully-wrapped gift, only to find out it was filled with toilet paper, I’ve never seen so many disappointed faces. It did come in handy though!

SPY: What makes a good secret Santa gift when you know who is getting the present?

Angela:  In my opinion, it’s always good to go the personal route when you know exactly who’s getting the gift — even if it’s just a little something. People like to know that they’re being thought of and that the person who’s doing the gifting listens to and understands them.

SPY: You’ve been invited to dinner at your boss’ house. What do you bring as a gift?

Angela: Hmm. I’d probably say dessert. I love to bake, so I’d probably bring something yummy like cookies or brownies or something for us to share after dinner.

Brian: Oh, definitely chili! It’s my specialty and I’ve even shared my super-secret recipe in my new cookbook, “A Seriously Good Chili Cookbook.”

the cover of the chili cookbook, authored by Brian Bumgarner, called A Seriously Good Chili Cookbook
the cover of the chili cookbook, authored by Brian Bumgarner, called A Seriously Good Chili Cookbook

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SPY: There were many memorable gifts in “The Office,” from Jim’s teapot for Pam to Phyllis’ mitts for Michael’s last day and also Michael’s iPod for Ryan. Can you share a favorite memory from a gift-giving episode with us?

Brian: Not sure if this counts, but I still crack up when I think about the “Secret Santa” episode when Kevin is sitting on Michael’s lap telling him what he wants for Christmas. We were all losing it on set and could barely get a good shot because we were laughing so much. There were tons of great moments in the show, but that is one of my favorite memories for sure.

Angela: “Christmas Party” is my favorite gift-giving episode. I was scripted to sing “Drummer Boy” karaoke during the party and was absolutely mortified because I DO NOT like singing in front of people. I am more of a “belt it out in the shower” type of singer. So I was feeling really awkward, but Rainn (Wilson) came to the rescue. He got down on his knee, held out the mic for me, and chimed in with the “rum-pum-pums,” which was totally unscripted by the way. It absolutely made my day!

The ornament stomp was another doozy I always laugh about. My character was supposed to rage-toss ornaments in the snow after she saw Kelly kiss Dwight, but in reality, the ornaments wouldn’t break! They were made out of some weird plastic so I had to stomp on them to get them to shatter which ended up being perfect for the scene. I could go on and on because the Christmas episodes were some of my favorites to film. Angela Martin was always so high-strung and fun to play in those episodes.

SPY: The cast of “The Office” presented the crew with a wrap gift each year. What was a favorite that stands out to you?

Brian: Bikes. One year we bought the crew bikes with Dunder Mifflin engraved on it. That’s a memorable one for sure.

Angela: Yes, the bikes were the absolute best! They were a dark navy and said, “Dunder Mifflin” on the side. A lot of us kept them on set and you would see some of the crew and cast riding them around the parking lot throughout the day. I loved it!

SPY: You two shared a real desk in a fake office for years. What is the best quality in a deskmate?

Brian: The best deskmates are the ones that you can talk to about anything — not just work. The relationships between Kevin, Oscar, and Angela blossomed throughout the show to the point where they really became a family, and I think that’s because they knew so much about each other outside of their jobs. There’s a scene when Kevin rattles off all of Angela’s cats, and I think it just goes to show how much he really listens and how much they open up to one another as coworkers.

Angela: Well, I felt very lucky that my desk clump for nine years was with Brian and Oscar (Nuñez). They are both so easygoing and laid back. When you sit in such close proximity to other people all day, you hope to have people that respect your personal space and that are also fun. In the background of scenes, we used to pass notes to each other. Brian would toss his over the partition to me (he’s incredibly accurate and could somehow always make his notes land right on my keyboard).

And Oscar is an awesome artist and he would draw us these elaborate cartoons of the accounting department characters. I saved a few and put them in my book with Jenna, “The Office BFFs.” There should be a balance of a good work ethic, respecting your coworkers but also knowing when you can joke around to keep you going through a long work week.

the cover of "The Office BFF's," by Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer
the cover of "The Office BFF's," by Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer

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SPY: Which Rocketbook product would your character have loved using at Dunder Mifflin?

Brian: I would have to say Rocketbook’s reusable Cloud Cards. Kevin was a big foodie and had lots of recipes he loved to try out—like during Ultra Feast. He probably would’ve liked how easy it was to write up his favorite recipes, share them with his coworkers, and store them in the cloud so they’d never get lost.

the rocketbook cloud cards with included pen
the rocketbook cloud cards with included pen

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Angela: Angela was very organized and quite the planner, so I think she would have enjoyed using Rocketbook’s Everyday Planner. The calendar templates would’ve been great for planning out the office Christmas parties or keeping track of the Party Planning Committee’s many meetings. The fact that you can scan your notes and share them to the cloud to access anywhere would’ve likely come in handy during all those trips home to check on the cats, too. Princess Lady, Sprinkle (RIP), Ember, Ash, Milky Way, Diane, Lumpy, and Bandit would all approve too.

the rocketbook planner with a view of the mobile phone app with which it syncs
the rocketbook planner with a view of the mobile phone app with which it syncs

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SPY: Which Rocketbook product do you use the most in your daily life?

Angela: Cloud Cards! They’re seriously the best. I used to go through tons of notecards when I first began recording the “Office Ladies” podcast — so much so that we’ve actually joked about it on the show. With Rocketbook’s reusable ones, I never run out. I just write, scan, and reuse them which saves so much paper (and panicky trips to Staples).

Brian: I’m a big fan of the Rocketbook Pro which is coming out in November. It’s Rocketbook’s newest product and has some cool upgrades like a hardcover folio and swappable page packs. It makes the writing experience more customizable and feels really sophisticated. It’s useful when planning topics and guest ideas for my podcast, “Off the Beat.”

the green rocketbook pro with a view of the mobile app with which it syncs
the green rocketbook pro with a view of the mobile app with which it syncs

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SPY: What projects can fans see you both in next?

Brian: We are both so excited to be working with Rocketbook and look forward to dropping some new fun content soon so stay tuned to our Instagram pages. You can also check out my new cookbook, “A Seriously Good Chili Cookbook,” out now! And I have a weekly podcast on iHeart, “Off the Beat,” where I interview some of your favorite people from TV and film.

Angela: Yes, we had so much fun filming for Rocketbook. It was like a mini “Office” reunion because some of the production crew from the show were there as well! We can’t wait to release the new videos soon. You guys can always catch up with me and Jenna on our podcast “Office Ladies” every week as we break down each episode in order and share behind-the-scenes stories!

And check out our New York Times Best Selling book, “The Office BFFS.” It has almost 400 of our personal photos from our time on “The Office” and stories from our time on the show and our friendship over the years. And if you are a foodie, my husband and I love to bake and cook together, you can check out our recipes at bakingwithjoshandange.com.

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