Sherry's been an online writer for over seven years. Her articles focus on a wide variety topics.
We Love Stockings
In my family, stockings have always been a big deal at Christmas time. It was always the very first thing the kids went for on Christmas morning, and I always put some extra effort into trying to make them special.
When kids are little, it's easy to find small gifts that won't break the bank. As they grow up, it becomes more challenging. Now, my adult kids participate in filling the stockings. I keep a few extra stockings around so anyone who shows up at our house on Christmas morning will not be left out.
The standard items that always go in our stockings are an orange (to keep the toe nice and round), candy (usually Hershey kisses, assorted hard candy and a candy cane), and nuts.
First Stop—The Dollar Store
The dollar store is a popular shopping spot for finding stocking suffers.
One thing I've learned though, it's easy to overspend at the dollar store. If you're doing stockings for twenty people, and you get each person a one dollar item, you've just spent twenty bucks.
Don't just throw stuff into the cart because it's cheap, be selective about your purchases. If you can think of five people on your list who will enjoy a bottle of bubbles, then just get five and buy something else for the others. Don't just buy junk to fill the stocking. I try to make sure that each person's stocking has at least one special item picked just for them.
Cool Stocking Stuffers for Both Genders
Flashlights are a great choice for for everyone; some years, it seems inexpensive, small flashlights are plentiful, other years they are harder to find. If I see a great deal on them, that's one thing that I will buy out of season.Novelty key-chains can be fun too.
- A USB car socket or USB wall socket is very useful, and quite inexpensive. They are something almost anybody on your list would be happy to have.
- Novelty flash drives can be fun. They are a little pricey as stocking stuffers go, but it would be worth it if you can find the right one for the right person.
- Bic Lighters used to be a regular on my list. Most of the people on my list no longer carry lighters.
- Long matches, or long lighters are great for people who have fireplaces.
- For that one special item, you might consider a media streaming stick, like an Amazon Firestick. They are still a little pricey to hand out to everybody, but they certainly fit well inside a stocking, and if you know somebody that wants/needs one, it will make their day to find this inside their stocking.
Adults Love the Toys They Played With as Kids
I like to find some playful things, sometimes they are suitable for both genders. Some toys people never outgrow, especially toys that have that nostalgia factor. Adults love the toys they played with as kids. I often include some off-beat stuff like Silly String or small travel versions of the old board games that the adults I know played with as kids.
My children are all grown now, but when they were little, they loved the game Trouble. As adults, they were thrilled to get mini versions of it in their stockings. You can get an assortment of mini versions of a lot of retro board games for around $20 on Amazon. They are cute, and the pieces are magnetic(travel versions), so it's easy to keep them together.
Here are some other toys that adults still seem to enjoy, and the kids on your list will enjoy them too. I guess you could say they are for kids of all ages.
Toys That Adults Still Seem to Enjoy
- Rubix Cube
- Chinese Puzzles
- Chinese Finger Traps
- Wooden Spinning Tops
- Jacobs Ladder
- Gyro Wheel
- Wooly Willie
- Slide Puzzle
- Playing Cards—Especially novelty decks
If you have a Mexican import place near you, that's a great place to look for small unusual items. If not, there are lots of them online.
Flea markets or swap meets are also a great resource if you live near one.
Stocking Stuffers for Women
It is a not too hard to think of small gifts for women. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Fancy soap
- Make up
- Brush and comb
- Costume jewelry
Stocking Stuffers for Men
The guys often end up with a lot less in their stocking, and they tend to get mundane things like deodorant and toothbrushes. I want the men to be excited about their stockings. In my family there are fewer of them too, so if each girl provides just one good man's stocking stuffer it can greatly improve things. The girls often complain that they can't think of any small, inexpensive gift for guys.
I find that a good place to go for masculine stocking stuffers is the auto parts store. They often have small items in buckets near the cash register during the Christmas season. Here are a few things I've given in the past that got good reviews.
Stocking Stuffers I've Given in the Past
- Round telescoping utility mirror—It's a tiny mirror on a stick, used for looking in tight spaces
- Magnetic mini-pickup tool—These go great with the previous item, they come with and without lights. It's just basically a magnet on a stick.
- Magnetic Parts Tray—For keeping track of screws and other small parts.
- Stanley mini razor blade scraper—Made for scraping paint, but there are lots of other uses for them.
- Carabiner clip—Guys seem to love these things
- Cool bottle openers
- New this year!—BLENDX Magnetic Wrist Band. Along the same line of thinking as the Magnetic Parts Tray, the magnetic wrist band is even better for keeping small tools and parts close and convenient when you're working on something. Love it! These are definitely showing up in my stockings this year.
- Res Q me - for escaping when stuck in a car.
This tool breaks windows and cuts seat belts.
- Gerber Shard Tool - This simple key-chain tool, can be used as a screwdriver, pry tool and bottle opener.
MERGE Cube: Cool Toy for All Ages and Genders
I saw a friend playing with this MERGE Cube a few days ago and I just had to order one for my grandson. It's a cube, that creates virtual holograms. It works with a smartphone. You can use it with a virtual reality headset, but that is optional. You have to download apps to your phone to use with it, but several free ones are available, and there are even more if you want to purchase them. I'm going to attach a video, because that will show you much better than I can describe it.
For $15, I think this will be the gift of the season! This is truly appropriate for any age, the dad was having as much fin with it as his son was. Everyone loved watching it and wanted to take their turn. It offers cool educational apps and fun games.
Stockings Should be Personal
Stockings don't have to be expensive, but they should be personal. I use my Christmas stockings to make everyone at my house on Christmas morning feel special.
© 2016 Sherry Hewins
Sherry Hewins (author) from Sierra Foothills, CA on December 23, 2017:
Thanks for reading Linda. Those men are the hardest to buy for aren't they? Have a happy Christmas.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 23, 2017:
I loved getting Christmas stockings as a child. An orange was always the first thing in the stockings, probably for the reason that you describe. I like your ideas for stocking stuffers for adults, especially the ones for men. Thanks for sharing them.
Dianna Mendez on December 19, 2016:
Good suggestions. It is so hard to buy gifts these days and I'm sure your ideas will be used well.
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 13, 2016:
My son is definitely getting a key chain w/belt clip this year. He's used three out of the allotted four AAA services within a month of renewing because his keys fall out of his pocket when he gets out of the car. Naturally, he doesn't realize it until after he's locked the car!
Sherry Hewins (author) from Sierra Foothills, CA on December 05, 2016:
Is that for religious reasons, or just personal preference? It sounds fine to me, but it's a little late to change expectations.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 05, 2016:
Fun ideas, Sherry! We don't give gifts in our family. I'm sure that sounds weird to many but oh well, that's just the way we rock n roll here. :)