Stocking Starting Point


It’s November! Although as early as two weeks ago retailers were unloading their boxes of Christmas wares, we’re now officially in the countdown to the holidays. I know, it’s bananas and totally corporate / consumer driven, but there it is. To be fair, some people just like to get their shopping over with early, and retailers know that, so they reward those (debatably) by pitching certain pre-Xmas themed promotions towards them.

Anywho, as promised, we’re going to talk about stocking stuffers. I have inherited my mom’s stocking stuffer knack (I think) and thus I will pass on the wisdom to you…especially the guys out there.

Stockings should generally strike a balance between three things: essentials, luxuries, and confections. Today we’ll talk about essentials. You know how in books and movies they always make fun of the kid that gets socks for Christmas? Well, stockings are the one place where everyday needs like socks, toiletries, office supplies, and the like are not only welcomed, but warranted.

What I’m deeming the essentials list are items that you *should* generally be buying for yourself, but maybe aren’t all that thrilled to do so. It’s not that you don’t appreciate a good pair of snuggly socks, it’s that unless you really have to, you probably don’t buy them yourself. Sometimes essentials are pricier items on your list – like razor blades – that you’d definitely smile in appreciation at getting stuffed into your stocking. Since the person you’re most likely purchasing stocking stuffers for is your spouse, take a peek in their medicine cabinet, office drawers, and wardrobe to see what little essentials they  might be running low on – or desperately in need of an upgrade.

The reason why I’m starting with essentials, by the way, is some people are kind of anti-stockings, and anti-stocking stuffers. And while I for sure agree that sometimes it feels like companies produce products with the intent of making you spend more money in piecemeal portions, if you’re that against the label of ‘giftware’, sticking to the basics is a surefire way to ensure you don’t disappoint come Christmas morning, while also not filling your house with useless junk.

I’m not going to say what an appropriate amount to spend on a stocking is. It totally depends on what your family’s traditions are, and what goes into it. Sometimes a stocking might have less items because they’re more expensive. In general I wouldn’t spend more than $15 on any one item, although exceptions can always apply. With that in mind, here’s a big ol’ list of the everyday essentials that you can consider in your stocking stuffer planning for the year.

– Razor blades
– Razors
– Socks
– Tights (try Joe for some fun & funky & affordable pairs!)
– Nail file
– Travel/sample sized toiletries, cosmetics, and perfumes
– Gloves / mittens / toques / scarves (of the winter-ready variety)
– Toothbrush / toothbrush heads
– Pens, pencils, notepads
– Purse-sized day planner
– Lip chap
– Sunscreen (for those with a trip planned abroad)
– Glasses case
– Boxers / underwear
– Sleep mask
– Nail polish remover pads
– Hair elastics

As a final hint / word of advice? Visit your local Shopper’s Drug Mart (or similar pharmacy/beauty hybrid) and take a stroll up and down the aisles. You might be surprised at things that jump out at you, and many innovative new products on the market that might stray a bit from the label of ‘essentials’ but still have a very practical purpose in your holiday honey’s day-to-day life.

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  1. […] up from last week’s stocking starters, this week we’re moving onto the little luxuries that should find their way into your […]

  2. […] the last of my stocking stuffers. So far we’ve talked about how stuffers should be either practical, or little luxuries. Today we’ll look at the final general category of stocking goodies […]



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