If you’re like me, some of the hardest Christmas gifts to find each year are the stocking stuffers. I find that I wait until the last minute to get them and then have to scramble to find the right items so that I’m not filling stockings with a bunch of random, useless stuff (and really, some of it always ends up being useless despite best intentions, amiright?).
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Another challenge is finding items that don’t break the bank. I would much rather spend the bulk of our holiday budget on gifts to go under the tree, so I try to look for good deals where I can on items for the stockings.
Here are some gifts I’ve found that are reasonably priced and that will make great stocking stuffers for your loved ones:
I find my husband the hardest to buy for in general and especially for stocking stuffers. [“I already have everything I need, I don’t need you to buy anything for me” – sound familiar?] For the guy who doesn’t want anything, here are some fun ideas:
A magnetic wristband so your man can hang on to his loose screws (pun intended) or bolts while he is working around the house; a keychain-sized screwdriver set so he’ll have tools at his disposal without adding extra bulk to his keys; a compact tool to keep his laptop clean; a dad jokes book, because someone has to be ready to embarrass the kids in front of their friends, and funny socks or novelty boxer briefs. Last year, I got Craig the socks pictured below, which say “ain’t no bad joke like a dad joke.” Picking up on a theme here?
Is he an intellectual who collects cuts and scrapes like a little kid? Then the Shakespearan insult band-aids are for him. Maybe he doesn’t deserve lumps of coal, but you could give him some rocks. Drink rocks, that is – to keep his after-work cocktail cool without diluting the flavor. Or if he’s more of a wine guy, a compact aerator spout to make sure his wine is perfectly poured.
Kids – Unisex
For the most part, kids (at least ours) are happy with all kinds of ‘doo-dads.’ The best part for them is turning the stocking upside down, dumping out what’s inside and sorting through their stash. So I try to find fun items that they’ll actually use or play with. There are a few items that all the kids get, that I hope have become gifts they look forward to finding in their stocking each year:
Pencils: I feel like we are always trying to find pencils around the house so the kids can tackle their homework. So for Christmas each year, I throw a couple of cute pencils in everyone’s stocking. Last year, I found Dallas Cowboys pencils (the kids are all fans), so this year maybe I’ll try out these cute Harry Potter pencils.
I don’t know if it’s a widespread Christmas tradition or just something I grew up with, but every year as a child, I received some chocolate gold coins in my stocking for “good luck.” So I do the same for our kids. I usually get a bag or two and give them each 5-10 coins sprinkled throughout the stocking.
Another tradition from my childhood was to receive a chocolate Santa in my stocking each year, so I do that, as well. And really, there’s no such thing as too much chocolate on Christmas. Mr.Rogers is all the rage this season, so how about this cute talking figurine with a booklet of some of his best quotes?
How fun was the Magic 8 Ball when you were a kid – here’s the “world’s smallest” Magic 8 Ball – perfectly sized for a stocking stuffer. The scratch art box of rainbow notes is sure to entertain kids for hours as they write messages to each other. And the fidget snake puzzle is the next step for kids who love Rubik’s Cubes. And for the kids who like fidget gadgets, here’s a 22 piece set with all the fidget gadgets they might want. Wind up Christmas figurines are fun for all ages. And because all of our kids play sports, we like to give them sneaker deodorizers in their stockings each year.
Our kids also love gift cards. Full disclosure here, though – we generally refuse to give them gift cards as a gift. We would rather them have a physical gift to remember rather than frittering away the gift card money over time. And we always end up in some debate with them over what they want to buy with the cards (sorry, kids, we won’t let you buy $100 of candy). BUT for stockings, we make an exception and look for gift cards in smaller amounts like $5 or $10. Cards from Amazon, Starbucks, or even Sephora for teenage girls, come in many different increments.
Having been a teenage girl once myself (albeit quite a while ago), I felt sure I would be able to easily fill stockings for my stepdaughters when we shared our first Christmas. But sure enough, they loved the things I wasn’t sure they’d like and the stocking stuffers I thought were the absolute cutest were met with, “oh, hmm…..uh, thanks”. That’s just the way it goes, so this year I’m going to play it a little safer and buy things I know they like.
Our teens love bath bombs and you can get them on Amazon way cheaper than most retail stores. Lip balm and loofahs are also fun and easy stocking stuffers. And who knew that our favorite hair accessories from the 80’s, scrunchies, were back? They are and our fourteen year old loves them. She also loves almost any kind of fuzzy socks to wear around the house in the winter. The socks below have cute animals on them, but there are lots of different patterns. Including these that come in a cute sushi box.
Nail polish is also a sure bet, at least in our house. Or perhaps some fun Christmas-themed nail decals. How about a miniature sized selfie ring light for the teen who is always snapping to clip on her phone? Is she into makeup? How about a cruelty-free makeup brush set? Or a fun eyeshadow palette she can play around with? Our fourteen year old loves the letter necklaces. Or for the “VSCO girl” in your life, a shell choker necklace or a huge selection of stickers for her laptop or water bottle.
I try to find things for the boys that they can play with immediately or that they’ll find funny. Both of ours are still at ages where they love games, jokes, and sports, so stuffing their stockings isn’t too tough. I suspect it will be more difficult to find things for them as they move into their teen years. A few of our recent successful gifts have included:
Motion-sensitive LED lights for the toilet – the colors light up on approach and it’s a great nightlight (and it helps them with aim in the middle of the night. Sorry, but it does!). Our boys think it’s super cool. These glow in the dark stickers will be fun for the boys to play with after dark – as long as we can keep them off the furniture, walls, and mirrors. And the younger of our boys never tires of howling at the contents of joke books. The Don’t Laugh series even has a sibling edition. How about some fun Scooby-Doo socks? The set even comes in your own Mystery Machine! Uno is a big game in our house, and there’s now a Harry Potter edition.
Brain teasers are always fun, too. And a glow in the dark toy parachute will keep them entertained before bed. Or a knot tying kit with practice cords and cards. You might hate yourself for it later, but boys always love harmonicas.
Let’s be honest. Anything with the word “fart” or “butt” in it will be a hit with boys. So how about some Reindeer Farts Cotton Candy? Or Elf Butts Candy? And for the boy who is constantly gaming, these socks are right on.
Men, for the women in your lives, how about helping them relax with spa-themed stocking stuffers? Okay, you got me – this is a bit of a self-interested suggestion because I know my husband will read this. But for real, we’ll love you for thinking of some goodies to help us relax!
This could include some small candles, a manicure set (don’t forget the gel nail polish remover foils), delicious smelling facial spray, moisturizing gel socks or a lavender eye pillow. Oh, and a suction cup wine glass holder that she can put up in the bath or shower. For real.
What mom doesn’t need a little daily affirmation? These self-described “not cheesy” affirmation cards are just the ticket. There’s nothing worse in the winter than dry lips, so how about a lip scrub? You can also find a 12 pack of face mask sheets – mom and daughter could both find these in their stockings! Another gift for mom and daughter could be replacement earring backs. Seriously, how frustrating is it when you lose an earring back to one earring!
And for all the women who are constantly on the go trying to feel like their best, a portable perfume atomizer. She can fill it up with her favorite perfume and she’ll know she will always smell great.
I hope I’ve given you a few good ideas, and I’d love to hear yours, too. Happy stuffing!