2009 Gift Giving Guide: All the small things

Today we kick off Unclutterer’s 2009 Holiday Gift Giving Guide. Over the next few weeks, you can expect to read posts in the Guide about giving gifts that hopefully won’t become clutter in their recipients’ homes. Some of these Guides are for experiences, charitable giving, kids’ items, consumables, utilitarian objects, and even a deal or two just for Unclutterer readers. We’ve created an index page for the 2009 Guide, and we hope that it will be a resource for you during the holiday season and any time throughout the year you wish to give a gift.

We’re starting off this year’s Guide talking about stocking stuffers. As a child, Santa filled my stocking with cans of black olives and my brother found cans of sardines in his. We couldn’t have been happier because these were exactly the items we begged Santa to bring to us when we wrote him letters every year. (Little known fact: Santa Claus loves to give salty food stuffs.) Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, not everyone on our holiday shopping list allows us to intercept letters they have written to Santa Claus detailing exactly what they want in their stockings. We have to hunt for small items that can fit in a stocking and still be useful or enjoyed by the recipient.

Gift cards are great stocking stuffers because they are small, allow the recipient to choose exactly what they want, and are easy to carry home if the recipient has to travel. I recommend Amazon Gift Cards or Visa Gift Cards because they can be used on almost anything the recipient might need. (They’re also perfect for teacher gifts if you give such things.)

Consumables — such as artisan chocolate bars or premium coffees — are always a hit for people who enjoy a specific food or drink.

If you want the gift recipient to be able to unwrap an item, I recommend things that have high utility. The following three gift ideas are useful and extremely accessible since they perform a function and attach to your keychain:

The Swiss Tech MPTBS Micro-Plus 8-in-1 Polished Stainless Steel Key Ring Multi-Tool:

The Swiss Tech UKTBS Utili-Key 6-in-1 Polished Stainless Steel Key Ring Multi-Tool:

The LaCie Iamakey 8 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive:

What small, useful gifts do you recommend for stocking stuffers?

54 Comments for “2009 Gift Giving Guide: All the small things”

  1. posted by Unclutterer’s 2009 Holiday Gift Giving Guide « MARCO CHANNING on

    [...] Stocking Stuffers: All the small things [...]

  2. posted by Amy on

    My parents always filled my sister & my stockings with boxes of Thin Mints candies (like big Junior Mints) and batteries, which are useful as heck! I always got the dried pineapple, I requested, too. Last time we all had Christmas morning together my dad gave everyone an “As Seen on TV” pair of snips that will cut through the thick (and sharp) plastic packaging that is so prevalent these days. It was great for opening the rest of our gifts!

  3. posted by Annie on

    The Swiss Tech MPTBS Micro-Plus 8-in-1 or Polished Stainless Steel Key Ring Multi-Tool is really good AND a lot cheaper at HomeDepot, at least in Portland, Maine.

  4. posted by Lee on

    Just fyi for everyone here…
    On Dec 1st I ordered 8 of the Nimli pashmina scarves (recommended above by Bridget) for the bulk of my Christmas presents this year and as of Dec. 17th have not received them. I’ve also been given the wrong FedEx shipping number twice. Of course, the money was put on my credit card the minute I ordered.

    Buyer beware.

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