Trinkets and baubles that end up cluttering up your home (and eventually your trash can) are common items placed in holiday stockings. This doesn’t have to be the case, though, as there are numerous small, high-utility items that make great presents for stockings.
Consumables, especially food you know the recipient will devour in a matter of minutes, are always good ideas. I think I’ve mentioned before that every year Santa put a can of black olives in my stocking and a can of mustard-covered sardines in my brother’s. Santa had a way of knowing exactly our favorite foods. Oh, how I love olives.
As far as non-edible products are concerned, there are still many gifts that won’t end up as clutter in someone’s home after the holiday season has passed. My favorite stocking stuffer this year is the Fenix E21 tactical flashlight (with 92 reviews on Amazon, 77 of them are 5-star, 12 are 4-star, and there isn’t a single 1-star review — I’d give it a 5-star review with no hesitation). I recently discovered that flashlight technology has come a long way in the past few years, and you can now get long lasting (up to 11 hours on the low setting), very bright LED light (150 lumens at its highest setting) in a compact casing for less than $35.
This specific model is also waterproof, so if you accidentally drop it down a drain, by the time you fish it out it will likely still be working.
Other ideas for high-utility stocking gifts:
- Screwpop Keychain Tool, which is a miniature Philips-head screwdriver, flat-head screwdriver, and bottle opener tool that can fit on your keychain. It’s great for parents who have children with battery powered toys. (All toys these days have battery access panels that require a screwdriver to open.)
- A roll of quarters is perfect for anyone regularly going to the laundromat or who drives in the city and has to pump quarters into parking meters.
- A new toothbrush. Sure, it’s not very interesting, but a new toothbrush is definitely something people use every day.
- Reusable produce bags for the person on your list who regularly uses reusable shopping bags. They’re large enough to hold a bunch of kale or whatever fruits and vegetables appear on the shopping list.
- Cable Organizers for electronics in the office, small appliances in the kitchen, and ear bud cables. There are numerous brands available, but I think these little AppleCore ones are cute — and the 7 pack has three different sizes.
What high-utility items are you considering for stocking stuffers this year? Share your suggestions in the comments.
View the complete 2011 Holiday Gift Giving Guide.