Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Finding the perfect yet inexpensive stocking stuffers can take some thought. Look here for great ideas for thrifty stocking stuffers. This guide contains stocking stuffer ideas.

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Tired of the same old stocking stuffers? Here's a horse of a different color idea. Instead of using a traditional stocking why not use something entirely different.

For example:

  • Purchase a purse and fill it with purse things like a nail file, clippers, lip gloss, lighter, cigarette case, glasses case, pen, small pad, make-up bag, etc.
  • Fill a child's backpack with school supplies.
  • Fill a small overnight bag with items needed for a trip to grandma's or a friend's house.
  • Use a small waterproof basket with shower items for a college student.
  • Fill a toolbox with tools or shop items.
  • A small tote with quiet toys for the car to be used by restless children on a trip.
  • Fill a sewing basket with craft items for your favorite crafter.
  • Purchase an over-the-door shoe organizer (the kind with pockets) and fill the pockets full of stuff for your favorite youngster, crayons, stickers, scissors, tape, glue, markers, and small tablets. You could use Barbie dolls and accessories. How about matchbox cars? This also works for crafty adults. Maybe one could be filled with sox, belts, or ties for a man.
  • How about a casserole dish full of fresh spices for your favorite cook?
  • All of these items can be purchased at anytime during the year, especially when they are on sale, to be saved until the appropriate holiday. These are the kinds of gifts that make people feel loved, one's that are really thought out.

    Source: I like to give unusual gifts. And these are all ideas that I have used in the past!

    By Faye from Weedsport, NY

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Teens and Adults

Paperback books. (These can often be found in new condition at used book stores.), Socks, Energy Bars for school lunches, Gift Certificates, especially for chain restaurants near their schools, Small fragrant soaps, Pocket calendars, Lotions, Shaving Gels. Charities that provide gifts for children say it is especially important for the teenage children to receive gifts and they are always looking for stocking stuffer gifts for these young ones. Too often, the teens in struggling families take on adult family responsibilities way beyond their years and they need to be remembered at Christmas, too.

Lynn - West of Eugene, OR

Useful Items

Gloves, Ice Scrape, De-Icer, Hot Oil Treatment packet, Barrettes and hair ties, Pens, Pencils and Erasers, Scissors, Pencil Sharpener


For Adults

I always felt that stocking stuffers for adults and teens were easier than coming up with ideas for children. Some things that have worked really well in the past for me are: Small or sample sized colognes, Manicure sets or makeup brush sets, Slipper socks (I think everyone can use these!), Chapstick, Prepaid phone cards, Bubble bath/sponges/bath oil beads, Address books or pocket calendars, Keepsake ornament, Shaving kits (you can buy trial-sized shaving cream and after-shave at discount stores), Pen or pencil sets, Bean-bag babies, Gift certificates to music stores, movie theaters, or a video store. Happy Holidays!



Everyone, even teenagers, can use pliers or screwdrivers. For little ones: colors and coloring books.


Here's what I would like to receive...

These are some of the things I would like to receive as stocking stuffers! A package of safety pins in assorted sizes, scotch tape, Band-Aids, paperclips, Kleenex, a small calculator, a small mirror, felt tip permanent ink pen, wash rags, dish rags, small trash bag liners (they have pretty, scented ones now), a list of current addresses, phone numbers, and E-mail addresses, a new coffee mug, anything small to add to a collection I might have, envelopes, stamps, fabric glue, black and/or white thread and/or coasters. Some of these are very common but very necessary when you need them.


Science Items

My Dad is a semi-retired mad scientist, that explains my bend towards this sort of stuff. I've been doing some business with Edmunds Scientifics forever - never a problem. It's fun for adults and kids. Our daughter once stated that she noticed that she only got gifts that encouraged her curiosity. They had a special (on their catalog order form) for a bag of various sized prisms. This is only poured glass - nothing spookier than the glass in your window panes. If placed in a sunny window pane/clear glued, it is fun to watch for a rainbow in different places during the day as the sun changes. The childrens' ward at the hospital love theirs as they anticipate the next rainbow. Each tiny prism is individually wrapped in a small cardboard box. I don't have much money, but was able to give a rainbow to people who have had recent troubles, and a surprise gift for my family and friends. Be good, and have some fun.

By Susan

A Few Ideas

Another few stocking stuffer ideas would be life savers, nail files, small pack of tissues.

Pat Shook.

My Idea

Disposable camera, scratch off lottery tickets, local fast food $5 certificates, crosswords or riddle books, car fresheners, key chains, ornaments, ice scraper, address book, quality pen or mechanical pencil, hot chocolate. These work for both sexes.


Scratch Tickets and More

Chapstick, Toothbrush, Chocolate Books and/or magazines, Holiday Scratch Tickets, Trial size shave gel or hand cream, razors. For kids: Toothbrush, chocolate, bracelets, ornaments, pencils/crayons, books, craft kits.


Happy Meal Toys

If you can manage it without the kids knowing, kids meal toys make great stocking stuffers.


Clearance Items

Use coupons for buy 1, get free gum, candy, etc. Check throughout the year for small clearance items.


For Hubby

I had a few ideas that I am planning on putting in my hubby's stocking. Starbucks gift card, Desktop(one-a-day) calendar, Personal Certificates for Favors, Hugs, Etc. Russel Stovers Candy, Lottery Scratch Tickets, Alcohol Samples (little bottles that you can buy at the liquor store to try new kinds of alcohol), A Car Compass (the sticky kind).


Crafty Ideas

A few great ideas for stuffers are: a christmas ornament that you buy at a craft store that you can paint and put a picture of yourself in, a bar of handmade soap, a can of their favorite fruit/vegetable (ie. olives, fruit cocktail etc.), make a CD of their favorite songs, one of those tiny sewing kits for repairs on the go.


More Ideas

Lottery scratchoffs, gum, makeup for the ladies, skin care items, boxers for the gentleman, small and inexpensive jewelry

Ideas for men: chapstick, shaving cream, favorite snack, gum/mints, boxers/jogging pants, personal grooming kit (Wal-Mart had some with razors, tweezers, shoe horn, comb, finger and toe nail clippers), lottery tickets, desktop calendar. My husband needed a cell phone charger for his truck. - By Brooke

Trivia Card Games, Popcorn & popcorn seasonings, Work gloves (for men), Garden gloves (for women), Eye makeup remover & cotton remover pads, Their favorite styling products, face and/or body cream, antibacterial hand soap for kitchen, small frames with special picture in it, a scarf you knit yourself.


Gift Cards

Gift cards are great. LIke Jamba Juice, Starbucks, Albertson's, etc.

My List of Ideas

Here are some ideas: Lotion, Candles, Ornaments, Card Games (UNO, Phase 10, Etc.), Mini Tool Kit, Bath Stuff (bubbles, beads, fizzy things), Magic Towels, Nail Files, Nail Polish, Make-up, Yo-Yo, Candy, Lottery Tickets (Christmas Type), Gloves, Flavored Tea, Hot Chocolate, or Coffee, Gift Certificates, Matchbox Cars, Crayons, Pens, Pencils (school stuff), Mini Shaving Creams, Razors, Jewelry, Chapstick.


Clearance Aisle at Walmart

For several weeks and months I watch the clearance aisle at our Wal-Mart store. Mostly I am only able to find things suitable for stocking stuffers, but I am almost always able to find several. This year I found scarves for .40 cents a piece and socks for .75 cents a pair! It pays to look!


Goodies and a Letter From Santa

Toothbrushes, eye-shadow, matchbox cars, underwear, orange, pack of gum, scratch off tickets, sample size deodorant (they love it since they are 6 and 8, they feel grown up), perfume samplers, deck of cards, $10 gift certificate to a local gas station, bag of fruit snacks, granola bars. They all get a personal letter handwritten by Santa telling them what wonderful things they did over the year.


One Dollar Bills

I put 5 crisp one dollar bills in my 5 year old's stocking. I also bought a gift certificate book to McDonald's for him. He thinks he is so grown up paying for items himself. I don't do gift cards, he loves to get the change back and purchase other items. I also get tickets to the zoo, aquarium, movies, etc and put one in each one of our stockings.


Batteries and More

Batteries, photo film, shoe laces, breath mints, flavored tooth picks, disposable bibs for baby, hand sanitizer for purse and hand cream, crayons, paints, Legos, magic tricks.


Halloween Clearance Candy

Right after halloween I went to Target and found my sister's favorite candies for only 50 cents for a big bag! I have enough to put a few in everyone's stocking.


Shake Up Flashlights

Shake up flashlights for the kids, no batteries needed, ever!

Harlean from Arkansas

Emergency Items for the Car

For women and driving teens: a good dependable flashlight and emergency flares for their car, in case of roadside emergency. For men: knives. For Preteens: an accessory to go along with their personal interests. For children: flavored chap-stick, sing-a-long CD's. I think the rest has been covered. There are some really good ideas listed.

Tina, TX

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In the excitement of keeping up with early risers on Christmas morning, and getting ready for other company, breakfast might be neglected or delayed. How about stuffing some quick breakfast items in the stockings just before you go to bed Christmas Eve night?

I found these suggestions in a woman's magazine several years ago. The following breakfast stuffers are mainly for children's stockings:

  • individual boxed juice with straw
  • single serving sized boxed cereal
  • boiled eggs dyed in Christmas colors
  • breakfast fiber bar

By Vivian P. from Red Lion, PA

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Post your favorite stocking stuffer ideas.

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I always got a tree ornament with the year on it. And when we were younger it was an engravable one with year and our name as there was three of us girls. I still love the idea to this day, and when I moved out on my own, I had a little collection for my own tree, with the memories behind them.

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Some stocking stuffers for teens+adults would be:

Teen Girl: Bath and Body Works (hand sanitizer, bath salts, shower gel, soap, candles), warm and cozy socks (like from roots), jewelry (earring, charm bracelet, nose rings), a movie or fave TV series, a CD or iTunes card, clothes or a certificate for clothes, books, makeup, magazines, fake nails or nail polish, hair bows, candy (I prefer life savers), chocolate, candy canes, hot chocolate mix or tea, Starbucks card, posters, a wallet

Teen Boy: video game, iTunes card, Starbucks card, guitar pick or drum sticks (if he plays), books or a gift card, candy, chocolate, pop, movie or CD, posters, cash, Swiss army knife, a wallet

Adult Female: something from Bath and Body Works or the Body Shop, Christmas ornament, chocolate, a purse, jewelry, slippers, a coffee mug (with a coffee card in it), sleep mask, spa card, a movie, a tea set

Adult Male: Christmas ornament, candy cane, coffee mug (maybe with fave book title on it) with coffee card in it, gift card, a wallet, a watch, a Swiss army knife, a movie

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    It's fun to buy stocking stuffers for teen girls. I always use this time of year as an opportunity to give them the little treats they want and/or need throughout the year but that I don't want to spend the extra money for. Here are some items our teenage daughters will find in their Christmas stockings this year:

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    I stuffed my wife's stocking with a lot of cool things like: a wallet, her favorite type of candy, body wash, hand made romantic certificates, a bath sponge, a bag of rose petals, candy canes, Christmas card, little wrapped boxes, and a ring.

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    I do one of two things each year for my family for Christmas (especially my grandchildren). I make a homemade ornament of some sort and send them early so they can enjoy them on their tree during the holiday season.

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I used to feel a real anti-climax when at the end of Christmas my children would be gloating over their presents and little treats in their stockings and I end up feeling feeling left out, even though I had presents from my hubby or children.

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Holidays and Parties Christmas Stocking StuffersDecember 16, 2011
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