In the rush of last-minute Christmas shopping, finding great stocking stuffers can be surprisingly difficult. It’s all too easy to go for those random throw away items like decorative soaps, kitschy toys or miniature books featuring pigs in funny hats. Keep in mind that all of those inexpensive doodads add up; especially when you consider that they’ll probably wind up in the back of a closet. Just look at the pile of unused stocking stuffers you’ve received over the years….
This year, make a vow to bypass all of the stuff that looks so cute when you’re in a holiday prep delirium and come up with some useful stocking stuffer ideas before you leave the house. First consider those gifts that make you force a smile as you wonder what made the giver think you’d love a pair of gaudy rhinestone earrings. Unless you know someone well, it’s pretty tough to nail their taste in jewelry. The same goes for anything heavily scented, like perfume or lotion.
While it’s nice to find specific stocking stuffers for each name on your list, don’t get too caught up with trying to be creative and unique. People would much rather receive something mundane that they’ll actually use.
Read Related: He-Gifts: 15 Offbeat Stocking Stuffers Your Man Will Absolutely Love
That said, gift cards are at the top of the list. Yes, they’re a little predictable but there’s a reason — people really like them! Gift cards are versatile, thoughtful and super easy. Stationery is also one of those things that few people will buy for themselves but just about everyone can use. Maybe you’ll even inspire some handwritten thank-you notes. Socks may be a cliché but you truly can’t own too many pairs.
Almost everyone loves edible treats like baked goods, candy, preserves or artisan anything. If you know a lot of people who are trying not to overindulge, you could opt for small-batch seasonings or sauces to encourage them to cook, delicious healthy meals at home. Small packages of specialty teas or coffee are perfect for the chilly weather and houses full of guests. Kitchen gadgets are always useful and most people don’t think to stock up on those odd items like jar openers or milk frothers that make life so much easier.
Lastly, this is definitely the season for anything cozy and relaxing. Nothing beats curling up in front of the fire with an actual printed book. Like socks, scarves and gloves may not have a wow factor but people will definitely use them. Exothermic crystallization reusable hand warmers do have a wow factor and they come in adorable shapes and colors!