I love the idea of stocking stuffers, but it’s too easy to feel like the usual items are just highly packaged crap that will be trashed, broken, or forgotten by New Years. It makes my frugal head hurt. I know you relate because this post has been going bananas every Christmas season (and by that, I mean from Labor Day to Christmas Eve) every year. We’ve updated this much-loved list (again) with 100 stocking stuffer ideas. Since my kids are older than when I first shared this list, we’ve included some new items for teens. Now there’s truly something for everyone.
These favorite (and a few unconventional) stocking stuffers won’t make you feel like you’re throwing your money away. Some are inexpensive, some are a little more spendy, but all will actually be used. Choose accordingly.
I personally don’t mind paying a little more for stocking stuffers that aren’t junk. Some of these ideas could be funded straight out of the grocery or clothing budgets.
(These are just stocking stuffer ideas. You can read more about my minimalist stocking stuffer philosophy here.)
100 stocking stuffer ideas that are way better than the usual cheap crap
1. Play silks.
2. Puzzle books. (This book of crosswords is our favorite.)
3. Mini puzzles. Like these wintry scenes or these famous paintings.
4. Glow sticks.
6. Silly putty or thinking putty.
7. Mini Rubix Cube or Etch-A-Sketch.
8. Playing cards. (Or a card game like Pairs.)
9. Lego Minifigs. (Link is for a 6-pack but you can find single packs near checkout counters.)
10. Travel chess or checkers. (Make your own out of LEGO bricks.)
11. Ivan’s Hinge Puzzle.
12. Mini puzzle ball.
13. Wooden animals.
14. Glow in the dark stars to make their own constellations.
15. Hairbows and headbands.
16. Ponytail holders. These newer twisty styles are fun.
17. Cute panties or boxers. (Teens might groan about socks and underwear.)
19. Cute socks. I also like these anti-slip socks.
20. Earrings, like these strawberries or pretty daisies.
21. Reflective-wear. For running or walking the dog on short days.
22. Cute face masks.
24. Nail stickers.
25. Altoids. (We always give Altoids.)
26. Beef jerky. This is my favorite. Or make your own.
27. Smart Sweets.
28. Drink mixes (hot chocolate, spiced cider, Emergen-C).
29. A pineapple, like in this episode of Charlie and Lola. (Or maybe a clementine, pomegranate, or starfruit.)
30. Tiny adorable bottles of Tabasco or portable packets of Sriracha.
31. Small tubs of Nutella.
32. Gold chocolate coins, like St. Nick threw in the legend. (We get ours at Trader Joe’s.)
33. Maldon sea salt flakes, for chefs and bakers.
34. Craft soda in a glass bottle. (IBC, Jones, Jarritos, or your regional favorite.)
35. Dried or freeze-dried fruit. (We just discovered dried hibiscus.)
36. Herbs and spices. Think little jars of barbecue rub, steak seasoning, a new herb blend, cinnamon sticks, or mulling spices.
Fun and useful:
37. Mini flashlight or headlamp.
38. Pocket knife or multi-tool.
39. Small umbrella in a cheerful color.
41. Travel Mug.
43. Mini manicure kit.
44. Key chain. (Something cute like this or this.)
45. Bluetooth tracker, for those who tend to lose their keys.
46. Magnetic Headphone Cord Wrap.
47. Sprinkles and cute cupcake wrappers, for those who love to bake.
48. Personalized address labels.
49. Small framed photos.
50. Seed packets, especially if they’re already dreaming of spring.
51. Bike tools.
52. Old books iphone case, or choose their favorite title.
53. Reusable straws, for the party-throwing type.
54. Board books. (My favorite, for young or old.)
55. Slim paperbacks.
56. Book light.
57. Book darts.
58. Charming bookmarks. Choose from literary heroines like Anne Shirley, Hermione Granger, Jane Eyre, and Scout Finch.
59. More adorable bookmarks.
60. I’d Rather Be Reading.
To watch or listen:
61. A favorite (or soon-to-be-favorite) audiobook. (40 ideas here.)
62. Movie tickets.
63. Blank journals or a planner/calendar for the year to come.
64. Note cards. (A literary version.) Or thank you notes!
65. Notecards that you can color.
66. Pens. (Like Paper Mate Flairs or Sharpies in pretty colors.)
67. Postage stamps, especially the fun limited editions.
68. Pencils. I love the shape of these mechanical pencils; for a fancier option go with Tombows.
69. Printable coloring sheets. Narnia, Anne, Jane Austen. Roll like a scroll and tie with a bow.
70. Calligraphy stencil. A fun tool that makes my handwriting look a lot better.
71. Custom library stamp or printed book plates.
72. Pencil case.
73. Bath bubbles or bath bombs.
74. Reusable hand warmers.
75. Nail polish.
76. Character band-aids. (Not just for kids! Try these for fun and these for literary types.)
77. Rosebud salve. A perpetual crowd pleaser.
78. Chapstick or lip balm.
79. Hand lotion.
80. Lotion bars.
81. Fancy soaps. (You can support refugees by buying through the Preemptive Love Coalition)
82. Carving knives. (Goes great with soap if you buy plain ol’ Lever 2000)
83. Markers/crayons/colored pencils. Or the holy grail of pencil sharpeners.
84. Washi tape.
86. Watercolor paints and brushes.
87. Mini fairy lights.
88. Mini photo clipboard frames.
89. Post-it notes (especially the shapes).
90. Small craft kits like this or this.
Just for grown-ups:
91. Coffee or tea. (See my husband’s favorites here, 45 decaf options here, and my current tea crush here.)
92. Literary matchbooks.
93. Milk frother for homemade lattés.
94. Essential oils.
95. The New Yorker or another periodical. Subscribe now on their behalf, slide the first issue in their stocking.
96. Wine stopper.
97. Tea towels.
98. Bottle opener.
99. Instant read kitchen thermometer.
100. Whiskey stones or ice sphere molds to cool your beverage in style.
Tell us your favorite stocking stuffer ideas in comments.
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