Stocking stuffer Monday: Goodies for mini gifting

stockingOne of our family’s fondest holiday traditions is opening our stockings on Christmas Eve. We originally started this years ago to help placate the overexcited kiddies, to help tide them over until the Big Event of Christmas morning. Even now that the younger generation is older, we still enjoy the annual Unveiling of the Stockings. I always get a kick out of figuring out what kind of goodies to put in each stocking. Usually a mix of the practical (socks, cute accessories, lip balms, etc.) and the fun (candy, cookies and novelty items, etc.). At our house, nothing too expensive gets tucked in there because we usually save the big-ticket items for under the tree.

Although no one else in my family is a fragrance fiend, I do enjoy browsing those kinds of items throughout the year and eyeing what might be good stocking stuffer material for all you perfume lovers. Some that have caught my attention this year include: Ciate London tree trinket nail duo ornaments, at Sephora; MAC Sized to Go Tinted Lipglass (at Nordstrom, but probably other retailers, too); Annick Goutal Noel votives; L’Occitane mini hand cream tubes; the Thymes sachets and votive candles; rollerballs and solid perfumes from a variety of brands and perfumers; mini diffusers from stocking Antica Farmacista and Agraria; and Molton Brown’s shower gel baubles/ornaments (these debuted last year but are just as adorable now).

Leaving the fragrance and beauty page for a bit: a mini tin/pack of a favorite coffee or tea; cute tea balls or paper filters for the tea lover (most tea retailers like Teavana, Georgia Tea Company, Kusmi, etc., have them); individually wrapped Scotchmallow and chocolate-covered marshmallow trees from See’s Candy; white chocolate-covered snowflake pretzels from Neiman Marcus (these come in a big tin so you could easily divvy them up into festive little goodie bags); and snowflake-shaped marshmallows for floating atop cups of hot chocolate (also heart ones for now and Valentine’s Day) from Neiman Marcus, or you could even make your own.

I know there are a ton more treasures out there for filling a stocking, but I can’t think of any more right this sec. What about you? What are you planning for your loved ones’ stockings? Or what are you hoping will pop out of your stocking on Christmas?

Also, keep in mind that some of these (and other) affordable little treats make great emergency gifts to keep under the tree. Just in case a neighbor or an unexpected guest drops by with a little something for you, it’s nice to be able to pull a box or bag from under the tree to give them. I try to keep a few boxes of See’s or Godiva candy handy for just such a circumstance.


  1. I like all your suggestions! I like to buy fun artsy temporary tattoos as a fun small gift for people who like that sort of thing 🙂 They have a lot of tattoos of all sorts of things, and many of them don’t look very real but are just fun (like cute cartoons of garden vegetables). This year I also decided to give some friends the gift of cute printed tea towels off o fEtsy, personalized by an animal print that matched the pet of the receiver 🙂

    • Hey, Nemo! The tattoos sound fun — especially for some of the younger folks I gift — thanks for the idea, especially the cartoon veggies. 🙂 And the tea towels also sound neat. I really need to do more exploring of the wonders of Etsy.

    • Love your suggestion of the temporary tattoos, Nemo! Where do you get them? 🙂

      • I usually order them from Tattly tattoos! They have some really cute ones in lots of different styles, like fun monsters, popsicles, garden veggies, and pretty florals!

  2. Since there are no little kids or any kids in the household, we mostly gave up on stockings. The only ones that get stockings are the dogs. Filled with Milkbones, rawhide, and squeaky tennis balls. Sometimes when I was a kid, scratch off lotto tickets were in our stockings.

    • Aw, that’s sweet that your pups get stockings! We had a little yellow Lab many years ago and she always got excited when she saw us fooling with the stockings because she knew she’d get a few goodies.

  3. My favorite gift for gardenia lovers is the Gardenia oil from Dame Perfumery. $35 dollars for 10 mL, free shipping. It is truly beautiful and like a fresh gardenia, the best thing of its kind that I have sniffed since the late great Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia. And it lasts longer than the TF, on me anyway. I am looking forward to trying his other soliflore oils. But wait, I’m still supposed to be sending gifts to others….

      • Hi, dear! So nice to see you. Mmmm, that gardenia oil sounds positively yummy. I know what you mean about “gifting” yourself — I’m sorely tempted at this time of year, too. My thinking is, we are good to others all year-long, so I think we should be good to ourselves and indulge in something just for us at the holidays as well.

  4. Great ideas Ann,
    We are doing a very low key Christmas this year. Under $50 for Jin & I and we get someone in my BFFs family Kris Kringle, who we are having over on Xmas day.
    I do love those L’Occitane hand creams as gifts. Tokyo Milk have some lovely hand creams and Bubble Baths that look way more expensive than they are.
    Portia xx

    • That sounds perfect, Portia! A nice, low-key Christmas is quite welcome sometimes, isn’t it? And thanks for the reminder of Tokyo Milk — that is a nice line and great for gifting. I really liked one of their scents so much and now I can’t think of which one for the life of me. Oh, well, it’ll come to me at 3 a.m. 🙂

  5. I like to buy the value sets of mascaras, lip glosses, etc. and split them up as stocking stuffers for my five daughters. This year they also had a gift set with six kinds of dry shampoo (the latest fad) which the girls are all crazy about. I wish the girls loved scented things, but aside for a few favorites like Monyette Paris, Kai, and Philosophy Pure Grace, they just aren’t into scented gifts at this stage of their lives, sadly.

    • Howdy, dear Sherri! Glad you stopped by, sweet lady. I like getting those sets and divvying them up, too. BTW, do you recall who carried that dry shampoo set? It’s always nice to try different brands. And don’t despair of your girls yet, one (or more) of them might get bitten by the fragrance bug down the road, and won’t that be fun?

      • Hi Ann! The dry shampoo set is at Sephora! Yes, I still think at least the youngest (whose favorite perfume is Carnal Flower) must surely have gotten the perfume bug! Right now I think they’re still trying to define who they are! Maybe someday!!

        • Thanks, dear! Your daughter has great taste — Carnal Flower rocks! But do you love it, too? I can’t remember. So they’ll do great, especially with such a lovely, generous and well-scented mama!

  6. Stockings are my jam, and I am quite good at them, if I do say so myself. Sadly, no one on my stocking list is in to scents, so I don’t really get to stuff smellies. Mama gets her Jessica McClintock and the matching talcum powder in her stocking every year, and that’s about it for scented gifts. This year, she’s also getting adult coloring books, colored pencils, hand held puzzle games, some stamp sets and other crafty things, gift card to the car wash, some earrings, and then practical things like the vitamins she likes, lip balms, hand sanitizer, gloves and slippers, pot-it notes, a little pocket calendar, mylar blankets and a big whistle to keep in her car, hand lotion, cute socks, her favorite Uni-Ball pens, etc.

    Husband’s stocking usually includes some naughtiness (lover’s dice, pillow books, etc) practical things like nail clippers, guitar picks, guitar strings, capos, ice scrapers, hand warmers, packs of pens and pencils, lotto scratch offs, back scratchers, rounds of ammo, headlamps, etc ( things he uses and/or loses a lot is the theme here!) all sorts of flashlights, batteries, and then fun things like cheapie DVDs, CDs, and video games that I pick up in the 5/10 dollar bins, (which may not be any good, but for 5 bucks it’s fun to try something you might not otherwise have chosen!) crossword, Sudoku and other puzzle books, (and always an Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader!) plenty of snacks (beef jerky, nuts, sunflower seeds) some toys ( one year I got him a little book of paper airplanes, this year I’m getting all the guys these little flying toys you launch with a big ol rubber band, that go really high and glow in the dark) funny Tshirts, unusual playing cards ( there are all sorts of themes out there) anything I can find made for lefties, and then this year I got him a bunch of BBQ things, because he got himself a smoker. And I always put a letter in the toe, telling him how much I appreciate all the things he’s done for me through the year.

    The last few years I have started giving him little gifts in his shoe on St Nicholas Day and then little things on the 12 Days of Christmas to keep the fun going right through til the Epiphany, so it’s a challenge coming up with things, but I love doing it!

    For guys and kids, Think Geek and are great resources, especially if you check the clearance sections. I have found some unintentionally hysterical things in the clearance section of places like Lillian Vernon and Walter Drake online, too. And I always walk every aisle at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and the grocery store this time of year, slowly and carefully, because you never know what you’ll find that you’d never have thought of.

    I keep a look-out all year for potential stuffers!

    • Whoo-hoo and wowza!! Tammy, dear, you definitely earn the title of Stocking Queen! That’s quite a haul your folks get — what’s left to put under the tree? 🙂 And I especially love your letter to DH, tucked into the toe. Might have to steal that idea, if you don’t mind. Thanks for sharing!

      • Ann, my husband and mama are both very practical and tend to just hand me a list of the very few things they would like under the tree. Stockings are my way of having fun with their gifting; it’s really quite selfish on my part. 🙂 When I lived in SoCal, I’d do stockings for a homeless guy near us if he was around, and there were a few years I did one for a lady that “lived” at the bus stop around the corner from us. I also host of Stocking Swap among my friends, which is a blast. I’m kind of obsessed! 😛

        Your husband will love his letter. I think it’s important for men to feel appreciated and respected! (Well, ladies do too, but I think we need to feel loved most of all, whereas men need that respect and appreciation a tad more)

        • Thanks for sharing, dear Tammy! And i think you’re right — respect and appreciation really is so important. And my DH is particularly worthy, as he has to put up with me, ha!

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