Too Cool for Coal: Best Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers
After decades of celebrating Christmas I have finally come to truly appreciate the stuffed stocking on the mantle… or lying on the kitchen table at my mom’s house because she didn’t have a fireplace. As a kid, opening stockings first just got in the way of getting to the good stuff! It was usually candy, small trinkets, toys, etc., things rarely on our lists. God dammit, can I just open that big box I KNOW is an Easy Bake Oven so I can make half-baked treats the rest of the day and shame-eat them alone in my room because I still have issues with sharing?
But now, as someone who has experienced many of those mornings, I find some of the best gifts are in my stocking. Gone are the trinkets and toys, replaced by both thoughtful and practical items I know will be put to good use. I mean, I still get candy in my stocking and am never bummed on that either.
I think the most under-appreciated gifts are the most practical ones. I still get socks and underwear every year, even as an adult. I’ve had to have a serious talk with my Oma about picking out my underwear and how perhaps that could be part of the reason I’m still single. But a couple good pairs of socks are very useful and especially great stocking stuffers for those who insist on wearing their socks until each little toe has its own hole (not me, but I’ve seen it).
Every year when my Oma asks me what I want for Christmas (I swear I have never once said underwear) I always tell her, “I want diamonds.” That has only worked twice so far and they were both beautiful pieces. As someone who
hoards appreciates nice jewelry, there are great options from both Sine and Covet & Keep offering quality handmade pieces that can be worn for any occasion and don’t break the bank. An unexpected jewelry box in the stocking is the kind of surprise and delight I like to receive. The one year I was surprised with coal was traumatic and embarrassing.
Asking people to give money instead of buying stuff is delicate territory. Unless you’ve had a lot of wine and were caught in a moment of weakness while looking at student loan bills, wondering why you ever went to college and didn’t find yourself a nice, rich husband instead. Isn’t that why they let women start going to college in the first place? But nooooo, you had to be a strong, independent woman, didn’t you?!
Gift Cards are the perfect stocking stuffer for this very reason! The giver gets to pick out a place they know you love to shop and the receiver gets really excited that they get to pick out whatever they want, and they don’t have to secretly return or exchange something later. My mom always gets me gift cards to my favorite coffee shop or online stores, the only rule is I have to write her a nice letter and tell her what I bought so she knows what she actually got me for Christmas.
Little gifts can be used as encouragement for people you care about, especially when they’re at a crossroads in life. Maybe it’s a book to inspire them to ask for a promotion or a fancy knife to take their dream of being a chef to the next level. And for people who don’t really know what they want, this compass and curated fly set could potentially help someone find direction when lost and encourage them to pick up a new outdoor hobby, instead of eating Pirate Booty on the couch, vaping and watching Archer reruns, because apparently that’s not how you meet new people and is exactly what’s wrong with me.
Let me tell you why these little guys need to be stuffed into every stocking you plan on stuffing this year. Okay, for one: they all smell great and are versatile enough scents that anyone will like them, otherwise I would highly advise against trying to pick out what someone’s essence should be. Secondly, you can use them in the shower or the tub, whatttttt! Drop the bomb in the bath water and let it do its thing or open it up and stick it in the corner of the shower and let the steam work its magic. Lastly, these are a great price in a festive package so you can get like 50 of them and not feel guilty about keeping some for yourself. Nothing encourages “Treat Yo Self” like an upleveled bath or shower experience.