120 Ideas to Stuff an Epic Stocking

Photo (cc) by andrewmalone

When I was growing up, stockings were a bigger deal than Christmas presents.

My mom and aunts picked out each stocking stuffer with as much thought as they put into any present – and then individually wrapped them. My grandma insisted that only one of her 15 kids and grandkids unwrap one of those stuffers at a time.

It took all afternoon. It also taught me how to stuff an epic stocking: with love and organization.

The shopping tips

  1. Start early. Certain items, like toothbrushes and floss, make great stuffers for everyone. So you save money if you stock up whenever they go on sale instead of waiting till the holidays.
  2. One-stop shop. To avoid driving all over town during the holidays, start (or finish) your stocking shopping at stores that sell a lot of stuffers: dollar stores, Toys R Us, and arts and crafts stores like Michaels, for example.
  3. Get personal. Thoughtful stuffers make stockings more fun, useful, and meaningful to the recipient. For example, instead of garden-variety ChapStick, try a lip balm flavored with their favorite soda (which you can find at big-box stores like Walmart). Or instead of standard Band-Aids, try bacon, underpants, comics, or Disney princess bandages.
  4. Mix things up. Boring but practical items like office supplies and toiletries, for example, should be balanced out with more enjoyable and fun items.
  5. Choose wisely. You could spend a small fortune stuffing a stocking, but there’s no need to. Many items on this list cost about a dollar.
  6. Realize less is more. Generally, travel-size items like body wash are more expensive ounce-for-ounce than their bigger versions. But when it comes to stockings, buying travel-size items allows you to squeeze in more stuffers without spending a fortune.

The shopping list

Over time, I built up a mental list of possible stuffers that works for any recipient: Just run down the list and buy whichever types of stuffers best suit their situation and your wallet.

Accessories

  • Bandana/handkerchief
  • Coin purse
  • Cufflinks
  • Jewelry
  • Gloves/mittens
  • Money clip
  • Neck tie
  • Pocket square
  • Reading glasses
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Wallet

Edibles

  • Candy
  • Energy bar
  • Gum
  • Hot chocolate mix
  • Mints
  • Snacks
  • Spices
  • Tea bags

Fun and games

  • Blowing bubbles
  • Card deck
  • Card game (Uno, etc.)
  • Dice
  • Drumsticks
  • Finger puppets
  • Fishing line
  • Fishing lure
  • Gag gift (Silly String, whoopie cushion)
  • Golf balls
  • Golf tees
  • Guitar picks
  • Origami
  • Silly Putty/Play-Doh
  • Stuffed animal
  • Temporary tattoo
  • Toys (Rubik’s Cube, yo-yo, etc.)

Health and beauty

  • Band-Aids
  • Bar of soap
  • Bath bubbles
  • Bath salts
  • Body, face, or hand cream/lotion
  • Body scrub
  • Body wash
  • Brush/comb
  • Cologne
  • Conditioner
  • Eye liner
  • Eye shadow
  • Floss
  • Hair bands, bows, etc.
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lip balm
  • Lip gloss
  • Lipstick
  • Makeup bag
  • Makeup brush
  • Makeup mirror
  • Mascara
  • Nail file
  • Nail polish
  • Perfume/body mist
  • Pill box/case
  • Pumice stone
  • Razor/razor blades
  • Shampoo
  • Shaving cream
  • Tissues
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste

Home

  • Apron
  • Bottle opener
  • Bottle stopper
  • Candle
  • Chopsticks
  • Coasters
  • Coffee mug
  • Cookie cutters
  • Cork screw
  • Dish towel
  • Incense
  • Magnet
  • Ornament
  • Picture frame
  • Salt and pepper shakers
  • Shot glass
  • Wash cloth
  • Wine glass charms

Office and school

  • Colored pencils
  • Crayons
  • Eraser
  • Highlighter
  • Markers
  • Notebook
  • Paperweight
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Stamps
  • Stationery
  • Stickers
  • Sticky notes
  • Tape
  • Tape dispenser

Tech

  • Batteries
  • Earbuds
  • Flash drive
  • Monitor/screen wipes
  • Mouse
  • Phone case
  • Phone charger

Other

  • Bookmark
  • Car air freshener
  • Car tire gauge
  • Gift card
  • Keychain
  • Lighter/matches
  • Pocket knife
  • Stress ball
  • Swiss Army knife

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