When I was a kid, our stocking stuffer presents were all somewhat weird — but since kids never really compare stocking stuffers, I didn't realize that playing cards and a holiday assortment of Tic Tacs was, to some, slightly abnormal. After celebrating Christmas with my husband, I really had a hard time finding amazing and cheap stocking stuffers that would make me seem like I knew what I was doing. Alas, I realized that I screwed it up. (He viewed the can of SpaghettiOs as adorable. I mean, he liked SpaghettiOs, and it fit inside his stocking, so I still can't completely disregard this as being a totally terrible idea.)
Eventually, I got the gist — if there was a Venn diagram of amazing stocking stuffers, they'd overlap in the circles of practical, cheap, and fun. Nobody expects to be blown away by what's in their stocking, but any kind of nod towards their personality can definitely be considered a win. Last year, my husband filled my Christmas stocking with a light-up lime keychain (which is adorable, and useful for when I'm getting the mail in the early evening) and a bunch of black cat chip clips, since I like black cats and have an addiction towards fresh Doritos.
While the SpaghettiOs will always be included as a Christmas gag, here are a couple cheap stocking stuffer ideas for you to give to your best guys and ladies, especially if your family isn't as keen on processed miniature meatballs.
1. Mini Candles
Mini Candles (assorted scents), $4, Bath & Body Works
I don't know anyone who'd turn down a fresh candle, especially these adorable and amazing smelling candles from Bath & Body Works. You can get one for $4.50, or a set of three (mix and match!) for $12.50. The man in your life might like their Black Tie mini candle, which smells like green sage and sandalwood.
2. Bulk Candy
It doesn't matter how old you are — bulk candy is always a hit. If you're looking for something strange, these gummy hot dogs will be perfect. You'll get 60 individually wrapped pieces for just $7.49 on Amazon, which means that you can sneak a few for yourself and nobody will notice. (Or, put them in multiple stockings.)
If your boyfriend or family member has a favorite, obviously that'll be the top choice. (Let's face it, gummy hot dogs aren't for everyone.)
3. Record Coasters
Ideal for the music fan in your life, these handmade coasters will be an excellent stocking surprise. While they're a bit more costly than, say, 60 gummy hot dogs, you get a lot of bang for your buck — each set includes six coasters.
4. Hello Kitty Sniff Tissues
Hello Kitty Sniff Tissues, $2, Neato Shop
For the emotional family member (or, perhaps the friend with allergies who also thinks Hello Kitty is the most adorable character ever), these tissues fit the bill of everything a stocking stuffer should be — cheap, practical, and charming. Each pack contains 10 tissues, and they'll be ideal for anyone who travels often, or regularly carries a purse.
5. Guitar Picks
For the musician in your life. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is in a band, there's a good chance they hit up Guitar Center for picks on a regular basis. This pick pack from Clayton includes 10 picks of different thicknesses. Plus, at 95 cents, it's hard to say no.
6. #Hustle Pencils
Who doesn't love a pencil with a sassy saying? This cute lead from HarvestPaperCo over on Etsy has a few fun varieties that you can choose from, including my favorite, "I Am Very Busy."
7. Santa Hat Hershey's Kisses
Santa Hat Hershey's Kisses, Target
Hershey's Kisses have become a stocking staple, and with good reason — these things are delicious. Dress them up as Santa hats? OMG. Too freaking cute.
8. Canned Unicorn Meat
This meat has been on the market for a few years, but it never fails to liven up the holiday. No, it doesn't contain Spam, or anything questionable that might give a stocking a funky smell — instead, it's a cute little unicorn toy. Dismembered, but in no way traumatizing. Promise.
9. Bacon Ornament
Bacon Ornament, $7, Baron Bob
Unless the person you're gifting is an herbivore, this ornament will surely be featured on the tree for years to come. It's shiny, it's metallic, and if it were edible, I'm sure it'd be delicious.
10. Whiskey Stones
Sharper Image Whiskey Stones, $10, Target
Ice can water down whiskey, so those who crave a cold post-work drink often turn to whiskey stones, which can be thrown in a freezer and added to the glass. Plus, they make the drink look so much cooler.
11. Bottle Opener
On the topic of booze, everyone could always use a fancy new bottle opener. Inddusstry's shop on Etsy is selling this amazingly cool bottle opener that's shaped like a bike, and it's almost a work of art. You can even get it personalized, to add some extra flair.
OK, so we've had two unicorn-related suggestions so far. There's nothing wrong with that, right? The handicorn makes the list because it's a toy, and everyone likes toys on Christmas — even adults.
This hand puppet includes four hooves and a head, and it'll brighten the day of any unicorn-lover on your list.
13. Stanley 4-in-1 Pocket Screwdriver
I feel like out of all tools, the screwdriver is one of the most used — especially if you're constantly shopping at IKEA. This handy set, which includes two double-ended bits, is best used for eyeglasses and electronics, but will be a lifesaver to the dad in your life who's constantly forced to deal with frustrating toy battery compartments.
14. Chip Clips
Remember how I mentioned chip clips? They're amazing. Everyone needs them, since everyone constantly loses or breaks them. They're like the bobby pin of the kitchen.
These chip clips from ZoBeDesigns are technically clothespins, but will add a little touch of decor to your giftee's kitchen. For just a dollar more, they'll even add magnets to the back.
15. Hair Accessories
Goody Ouchless Elastics, $2, Amazon
If your guy or girl has long hair, these ouchless bands from Goody will make a great gift. Plus, Goody is (supposedly) America's #1 brand of hair elastic, so your giftee will be honored that you totally chose the best of the best for their luscious locks.
16. Nail Polish
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, $4, Target
My favorite has to be the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, which you can find at almost any store. Why, you might ask? Well, for one, they're not lying about this stuff drying quickly. Second, there's an angled brush that will make you feel like you're giving yourself a champion manicure. Third, it's cheap, and there are a bunch of colors available. (I guess that's technically four reasons.) Simply put, it's nail polish made easy.
17. Comical Shot Glasses
These mini-boots from BarProducts.com are absolutely adorable — and even better, you can buy in bulk if you want to gift one to all of your friends. Or, if you've always aspired to own 35 boot shot glasses. No judgment here.
At just $1.23 per boot, it's just tough to say no.
18. LED Dice
Are you dating a gamer? Or someone who might be curious about the wonderful world of D&D? This die from ThinkGeek might be an ideal stocking stuffer. I had to ask my husband what a "crit" was, but supposedly it's generally a good thing.
19. Rum & Coke Lip Balm
A cute and practical stocking stuffer for your best bar buddies, this balm includes both cocoa and shea butter, and a few oils that'll keep your lips chap-free. If Rum and Coke isn't their thing, BluePoppyBath offers a few other drink selections in her shop, including Margarita and Chai Tea.
Note: She also has one that's pizza flavored. This is probably the second best thing in the world, the first being actual pizza.
20. Jane Austen Air Freshener
I'd make a joke about "Scent & Sensibility," but PerpetualKid already did on their page for this classy Jane Austen-themed air freshener. This is the perfect stocking stuffer for your library-addict buddy, or those who wonder what Jane Austen might have smelled like. Spoiler Alert: It's lavender.
21. Sriracha-To-Go Keychain
You'll have to supply your own Sriracha, but a true Sriracha fan won't have a problem finding extra stock in their kitchen. This is a pretty great gift for those who might have considered keeping a full bottle of it in their purse for food emergencies.
Looking for more holiday cheer? Check out Bustle on YouTube.