What do you look forward to most each holiday season? I have a few standouts: an annual wreath-making party with my girlfriends, decorating the tree with my kids while It’s a Wonderful Life plays in the background, and, last but not least, Christmas Stockings.
Several years back we switched to a stocking-only gift approach among my immediate family, and, my husband and I also exclusively give each other stocking gifts each Christmas. When you include my kiddos, I end up on the hunt for quite a few tiny treasures each year. Since I’m a bit of a clutter and wastefulness warrior, I do quite a bit of research to try and only buy things my loved ones will actually use and treasure.
Buckle your sleigh belts; here are my top 20 stocking stuffers for 2019:
1. Bike Streamers or Bells. Got a tiny tot in your life? There’s a good chance they’ve got a bicycle, scooter, or tricycle of some sort (or they will in the near future). And, parents love nothing more than seeing our kids tearing around the yard and getting some fresh air and exercise. Add some bling to their bike game with fun handle bar tassel ribbons or a bicycle bell.
2. Whoopie Cushions. One of the best parts of parenting small children is witnessing how unselfconsciously silly they are. So, couple years ago I threw a $2 whoopie cushion into my kid’s stockings, and guess what both of their favorite gift that year was? The fancy Holiday Barbie or giant Lego set? No, it was the whoopie cushions. Their absolute hilarity at duping unsuspecting parents or guests has still not gotten old.
3. Board Books. We all have favorite books from childhood, and board books are a lovely little treasure to tuck into a tiny one’s stocking. They of course stand up to the wee one’s wet little mouths, but also fit easily into a diaper bags or mom’s purse when on the go. Go-to favorites include Little Blue Truck, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, and Each Peach Pear Plum.
4. Tiny Arts and Crafts Sets. Parents are always trying to find creative ways to keep little ones busy while on the go. That is why I love to buy small arts and crafts sets that can be pulled out in moments when a little happy surprise or distraction is needed, such as long car or airplane rides or a wait at the doctor’s office. This year I picked this darling little paper doll set for my 4-year old that she’s sure to adore.
5. Glam Swim Goggles. Does your child suffer from “I refuse to put my head under the water syndrome” like mine? I am desperate for my littlest to learn to swim, so this Christmas I am (trying to) sweeten the deal with some glam goggles. I happened to find this cute brand of goggles, which are styled in themes such as mermaids, unicorns, sharks, and superheroes.
Teens & Tweens
6. Face Masks. Last Christmas I threw a couple of fun face masks in my tween nieces’ stockings. Moments after returning home from our holiday party, I received a text of their giddy faces with their new masks on. Unsurprisingly, fun face masks are now a staple on my stocking list. A quick stroll through Sephora, Target, or most drug stores will find you loads of fun options.
7. Hair Brush Cleaners. This may not be the most glamourous of gifts, but it will most likely be used and appreciated none-the-less. When I happened upon these little hair brush cleaners at my local pharmacy, I bought myself, and all the ladies in my family one to throw in stockings. And, if I remember correctly, teens spend a lot of time on their hair, so why not encourage some good hygiene while they’re at it.
8. Astrology Pencils. I was obsessed with following my horoscope as a tween and teenager. Was I going to finally find love this week? A dreaded friendship fall-out on the horizon. I needed to be prepared. So, when I found these sassy scripts, I had to buy a set in several signs, which will certainly put a smile on my family’s faces (even those super-serious Scorpios).
9. Sneaker Balls. What in the world happens in a young boy’s shoes, in particular their sports shoes? Nothing good my friends. Why not help these young chaps, um, neutralize the situation a bit with sneaker balls. These small and smart deodorizing balls freshen and absorb odors in shoes, gym lockers, or any other dark or small space that might need it.
10. LED Bike Accessories. Think cool bike accessories are just for the wee ones? No way man (or woman, obviously). LED bike accessories have hit the market with a vengeance this year, and they are really rad. Bonus for parents is that they make your cool kid extra visible when out and about. They are available in nearly every color and tons of different styles.
16. Wireless Earbuds. As we ladies know, the best gifts come in small packages, and wireless earbuds are no exception. A very basic pair will run you about $30, but there is definitely room for an upward splurge, like this pair my husband’s hoping to find their way to his sock.
17. Digital Meat Thermometer. A few years back I ended up reaching for my husband’s digital meat thermometer while checking on a roast, and I have never looked back. These instant-read thermometers come backlit, waterproof, fold-up nicely for storage, and are sure to be a bonus to any guy’s barbeque game.
18. Mini-Bottles. I love to throw a few mini-liquor bottles into my adult family’s stockings. Typically Cost Plus is my go-to spot to pick these up, but a recent trip to Costco also found multi-packs of all different brands. I ended up selecting a variety pack of my favorite, Baileys Irish Cream—a weekend Cup-of-Jo-on-the-Go’s best friend.
19. Leather Cord Wraps. What a tangled web we weave these days, no? Earbuds, computer cords, you name it, they’re intermixing in our bags. Help your fellas keep things tidy and organized with some stylish cord wraps. I picked up this set, which includes three wraps in a manly leather finish.
20. Stamps. I know, stamps might seem a little boring, but we do all need them from time-to-time. And, running out can be a total pain when in a pinch. Each year when I’m picking out Christmas stamps online, I also order a couple fun packs for stockings. This year all the fellas in my life will be getting these fierce dragon forever stamps.
Lady Friends (and Family)
11. Cocktail Napkins. I can never have too many packages of paper cocktail napkins. Every time guests comes over, I inevitably pull out a stack to accompany drinks and snacks. From cheeky to charming, you are sure to find something that suits your loved one just right.
12. Long Kitchen Matches. On most winter evenings, as well as any time I have guests over, I light a candle. It makes my home smell good, and feels cozy and festive. I always like to pick up some long kitchen matches for the ladies in my life, which come in a variety of beautiful boxes. They are both useful and doll-up a powder room, coffee table, or fire place mantle.
13. Reusable Bee’s Wrap. As much as I love Christmas, the excess and waste that accumulates in the aftermath is hard to stomach. So, I always try to include a few stocking stuffers that create less waste, rather than more. Last year I gave everyone stainless steel straws. This year I’m giving the ladies in my life Reusable Bees Wrap packets. These sustainable food storage sheets act as a natural alternative to plastic wrap, and also come packaged in 100% recycled/biodegradable materials.
14. Nails. I am not a patient person. Aside from the few times I’ve gotten gel manicures (which I can’t keep up with on a regular basis), I have never allowed a manicure enough time to dry without messing it up. Idle hands, right? Anyway, I found myself strolling through Ulta Beauty the other day and happened up these stick on gel strips. I was sure they would be a disastrous fail, but amazingly two-weeks later they still looked incredible.
15. Garden Seeds. Getting a pretty pack of garden seeds feels so hopefully in the depths of winter. I love to pick a really nice brand with pretty packaging and toss a few in my gardening gal’s stockings. Extra props for finding their favorite flower or veggie seeds.
Still need a few more ideas? Check out this post on my 2018 stocking recommendations. As always, we’d love to hear your favorite go-to stocking stuffers too!
All photos by Marla Smith Photography except Feature Photo by Angela Carlyle.
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