Get Stuffed

It’s November 30th! Which means for most people, the realities of the holiday season are finally upon them. Meanwhile I hope to be done my Xmas shopping tonight including 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 – ‘consumables’.

Now, this isn’t to say that everything you put into a stocking should be edible. We all know there are enough sugar cookies and bowls of stuffing to be consumed this season to warrant too many sweets in the stocking you’re working on. Generally speaking consumables can be either little treats, liquid gratification, or gadgets associated with eating, drinking, and enjoyment.

In terms of the little treats, consider visiting craft sales closer to Christmas for the freshest holiday baking around. In my journeys I’ve seen toy-shaped sparkling red candies, homemade gourmet-frosted jumbo cookies, slow-roasted honey-coated nuts, miniature boxes of luxe chocolates, and many other culinary delights that will appeal to those young and old. If you can’t make it out to a craft sale, check out your local bakery, independent candy store, or chocolatier for some unique buys. Or simply visit a grocery or drug store and pick up some fun-coloured candy canes, a Terry’s chocolate orange, or other eye-catching goodies.

When looking at liquids, the easiest place to start is your local liquor store. Veer over to the cashier’s desk and you’ll see tons of those mini and mid-sized bottles, or fun shots and coolers for the lightweight in your fam. Find your giftee’s favourite brand and ta-dah, you’ve got an instant treat to enjoy alongside a piece of figgy pudding, over a long flight back home, or to throw into a flask when you go on a sleigh ride. For the less alcohol-inclined, consider scouring the shelves of your grocery store or coffee shop for interesting forays into hot beverage territory. These days more and more companies are releasing smaller sampler sizes of teas (loose or bagged), coffees, and hot chocolates, so grab a few packets and wrap them in a pretty bow for a great, cheap, seasonally-appropriate stocking stuffer.

Finally in terms of those little culinary gadgets, just consider who you’re buying for. Beer drinker that enjoys a bottle on game days? Look for a bottle cap opener with their favourite team on it. Party girl that loves to host pre-night-out gatherings? Pick up a shot glass referencing Sex and the City, or a place she’d love to travel. Tea aficionado that’s stuck on tea bags? A one-cup tea diffuser ball. Dinner party hostess that loves to collect kitchen gadgets? Look out for a unique vegetable slicer, tomato saver, or even a fancy corkscrew.

That about does it for stocking stuffer peeps. Make a list, check it twice, and head out to do some shopping – and be sure to keep your eyes open for the millions of other ideas lining the shelves that will make equally awesome stocking stuffers.

Recap of consumable ideas:
– Chocolate
– Candy
– Baking
– Candy Canes
– Fruit
– Liquor
– Coffee
– Tea
– Hot Chocolate
– Bottle Cap Opener
– Corkscrew
– Tea Diffuser
– Shot Glass
– Bar Accessories
– Kitchen Gadgets (slicers, utensils, tools, storage)
– Coffee Scoop
– Espresso Pods
– K-Cup Pods
– Coffee-Flavoured Accessories (ex: lip gloss, gum, lollipops)
– Mints
– Gum
– Holiday Tic Tacs (true story, I spotted them yesterday)
– Maple Syrup / Jam / Peanut Butter (gourmet / mini bottles)
– Pan Protectors
– Oven Mitts
– Trivet
– Napkins
– Wine Glass Tags
– BBQ Seasonings / Exotic Spices
– Kitchen Timer

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