The Ten Best Stocking Stuffers

Filed under: Holidays

Child as stocking stuffer

Buying presents for some people can be a very difficult task, especially when you buy presents for them year after year. When you add the concept of then having to get stocking stuffers on top of that the whole holiday season can seem daunting beyond point, to both your imagination and your pocket book.

Stocking stuffers are tough in their own right--the items should theoretically be small enough to fit into said stocking, and generally shouldn't be too expensive. This season, with the recession weighing heavily upon our purses, it can be hard to think of something both fun and useful that won't put you into debt.

Both men and women can enjoy specialty candy, and I like to give things like truffles to those who I know would never spend money for such decadent treats themselves. Movie tickets or passes are also a good unisex gift--almost everyone I know loves to go to the movies, some even on Christmas Day as part of an annual holiday tradition. Soaps and travel sets of lotion or shampoo and conditioner can be excellent choices too, so long as you don't get something like Irish Spring that would communicate the recipient smells!

Best Stocking Stuffers(click thumbnails to view gallery)

Fancy ChocolatesMovie PassesFancy SoapsLeather GlovesSpecialty Teas

On the safer end of the spectrum, tea can be a great gift, but only if you know the recipient really likes a certain type and brand. Otherwise it'll just end up going stale in the recipient's pantry, which is a shame since tea can be pricey if you're not careful. Gloves make a wonderful gift--so long as you get the nice kind and not the cheapy brand being sold at the dollar store. Nothing telegraphs that you care like a really nice pair of leather gloves in an unusual (but not tacky) color like dark green.

If you have the money set aside for pricier items, cuff links make an extra special present for the guys--just make sure you get something tasteful and understated rather than something whimsical like, say, the Tasmanian Devil. Cute, but he'll never wear them. Ever. As for the ladies, well, there is one thing that every woman would love to get in her stocking--and that's a pair of genuine diamond earrings. They're little, they're sparkly and they will most assuredly be a surprise. Of course, they're also generally very expensive, so do your homework before you decide diamond earrings are the go to gift of the season.

In my family, it has always been tradition to buy each other lottery tickets and scratch offs. Frankly, they're always my favorite thing I get in my stocking because they're so fun. They don't cost much--usually no more than a few dollars each for the more elaborate scratch offs--and who knows what you might win. It's fun not only to scratch them off yourself but to watch others possibly win as well.

Last but not least, there is the gift certificate. I know, I know, people say it's not really a gift, but I disagree. I happen to love Starbucks iced chais, but they're very expensive so I don't get them very often. If someone gave me a gift card for Starbucks they would know for sure I'd love it and use it happily. Just avoid places like Sharper Image that have filed bankruptcy--apparently there are a number of stores our there selling gift cards that will no longer be valid once the bankruptcy is confirmed.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.