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All I want for Christmas is …

We’ve been friends a long time, right?  HELP ME, I’m struggling!  What are your favorite stocking stuffer finds this year? What’s the most brilliant kid present you’ve ever given for whatever winter-like holiday you celebrate?  Your most brilliant adult present?

I’ll share if you will. Links, please.

We’re firmly in the “fabulous deals only” category this year despite the Foosball table Christmas miracle.  (Matt found a fancy, incredibly expensive Foosball table marked down to $20.00 because it’s last year’s model and he bought the very last one in the store and it’s like our own personal holiday, Santa-doesn’t-suck miracle.)

(And yes, I know that Christmas isn’t about stuff. So do my children … age appropriately.  Still, buying things that mean the world to the people you love is fun, ya know?)

Brilliant stocking stuffers #1:  Geodes.  $14.95 on Amazon.

First, this was so not my idea.  Elise found these!  They look like boring little gray dumplings and then when you break them open with a hammer, there are crystals hidden inside.  There are lots of options, but this one gets the best reviews.  The best part is that there are four geodes in the box, so I get a cool “treasure” stocking stuffer for each of the kids.  I like stocking stuffers that come in packs!  (There’s a cheap box of 12 on Amazon as well, which would give each kid THREE stocking stuffers.  Boom.)





Brilliant stocking stuffer #2:  Ninjago pens $12.99 at Costco.

Don’t buy these on Amazon, they are so much cheaper at Costco.  It seems like a lot for pens, but this is pretty much the definition of perfection for my boys.  Ninjas with pens in them.  Forbidden, wonderful pens.  My desktops will be sorry.  There are THREE again, so that hits all three boy-stockings.






Brilliant stocking stuffers #3:  Beanie penguins $13.50 at OT.

Does anyone else’s kids adore teeny plushy things like mine do?  They will play with these for weeks after Christmas, long after other complicated toys have been pushed aside.  Best part?  $13.50 for a dozen.  That’s three penguins for each kid, if you don’t want to divide!





I also found some darling little banks on sale at Urban Outfitters, but they’re all gone.  (Sorry! I’m too slow.)  Their on-line sales are good to watch though. Your turn.  Give me your best advice, please.   Any category.  I need stocking stuffers for adults too.

Aaaaannnddd while we’re giving and receiving advice in the spirit of the season, I wrote about organizing the piles of crafts and masterpieces that wander home from school in my Friday post, paper chase at Mamalode.

It will be.  Christmas.  Hanukkah.  Binders full of art.  All of it.  It’s enough.


55 Responses to All I want for Christmas is …
  1. Tami
    November 26, 2012 | 5:45 am

    I always always always fill stockings with art supplies. My favourite go to is a bare book ( kind of like a hard bound story book with all blank pages and a plain white paper cover) with pencil crayons. Every child I have given these to will spend hours, weeks and some times months illustrating their own epic stories. We also try to make sure that there is something handmade in the stocking too. One year it was modelling beeswax. All natural and yummy smelling. We fill the nooks and crannies with socks underwear lifesavers books and toothbrushes.

    For the husband I like to include an iTunes gift card and random electronic resistors bread boards and other stuff he uses when he’s making stomp boxes for guitars, one year I ordered a custom painted guitar strap and I always put something fun and toy like inside for him. One year it was a miniature monopoly game.

    • Anymommy
      November 26, 2012 | 5:49 am

      Damn you’re good. Love it. Toothbrushes – genius. We do juice boxes in our stockings too because my kids love them and I never buy them.

  2. Wendy
    November 26, 2012 | 6:43 am

    I don’t have any greats to share (yet–promise will do so as I find them), but had to say thanks for the geode idea. My almost nine-year old budding geologist will love them as an add-on to his bday present next week. Thank you!

  3. Deb
    November 26, 2012 | 7:32 am

    Make sure when they bust the geode, they are more tap-tap-tap than BANG-BANG-BANG or you will have a bunch of sparkly dust.

    My stocking stuffers this year are: Phineas & Ferb underwear, little fold-y booklights, silly putty, lego surprise people packets, matchbox cars, hex bugs, and of course, the m&m candy cane. My girl got Angry Bird undies, because apparently the Disney people do not understand the love a little girl can have for Phineas. She also gets knee socks in her stocking.

    For grown-ups, last year I gave my hubby a little hockey-puck sized speaker for his laptop that was a big hit. He can also never have enough Chuck Norris t-shirts, so I will try to find one of those. I am asking for Smart Wool socks this year, because they are the best socks ever. And a french-fry cutter, because I have to cook dinner all the damn time, so why not just accept it.

    • Anymommy
      November 26, 2012 | 4:08 pm

      Excellent lists. You get a gold star for helping me! Also, I adore smart wool socks.

    • Naomi
      November 27, 2012 | 4:37 am

      SMART WOOL SOCKS AT COSTCO NOW!!!! 2 pack for some ridiculous $15 ish !!

    • Naomi
      November 27, 2012 | 4:47 am

      smart wool socks are at costco this year! 2 pack for around $15 :) happy day!!

  4. tracy@sellabitmum
    November 26, 2012 | 12:37 pm

    We are also into putting just necessities in to the stockings – brushes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, undies, socks, books, lotions, etc.

    Although Santa put a $200 Anthro gift card in my stocking yesterday so I must have been a very good girl. ;)

  5. stacey@havoc&mayhem
    November 26, 2012 | 1:07 pm

    We put card games, action figures & some candy in the kids’ stockings. They get up at the crack of dawn & are allowed to get in their stockings. The cards & figures keep them occupied & the candy feeds them so we can sleep for another hour or so. Parents of the Year, that’s us.
    This year the card games are Loot
    and Slamwich

  6. Kerri
    November 26, 2012 | 1:11 pm

    I love the $1 section at Target for stocking stuffers. This year I was excited to find chopsticks (the kind that are held together by some adorable animal for kids to practice with) for $3! Also, flashlights. They are cheap and beloved in every shape and size by all kids. I lie in wait for stores to make a mistake and clearance something out too low and I pounce. Last year, JC Penney accidentally posted a big $80 set of Melissa and Doug wooden blocks for $12.99! It was a mistake but they honored it and it remains my favorite thing in our house.

  7. Korinthia Klein
    November 26, 2012 | 1:27 pm

    I usually go out the week before Christmas to Wallgreen’s and find several cute, inexpensive things there. The big thing I try to do when possible is color code everything in their stockings. So everyone gets a ball with sparkles in it, or a stick of clay, or a flashlight, but all of Mona’s things are yellow, and all of Quinn’s things are green, etc. Somehow it makes it all even but still special, plus they know what belongs to whom later.

  8. YellowLadybird
    November 26, 2012 | 1:41 pm

    I love the Geodes idea!

    We always got an orange, toothbrush/toothpaste/floss, sparkly holiday pencil, warm socks. For our kids they get a milk box (which, like you, I never buy and they always beg for), and other snacky things that all the other kids get in their lunches that I’m too cheap to buy for them. Like those squeezer things. Kinder Eggs are also a big hit.

  9. tracey
    November 26, 2012 | 1:42 pm

    Funny socks and $1 personal-sized bags of chips that they don’t have to share. It is like the HIGHLIGHT of Christmas morning to not have to share a bag of chips.

  10. Jill
    November 26, 2012 | 2:18 pm

    My kids favorite “toy” right now are the Hex bugs. The nanos are on sale at Target for $4.99 and all 3 are crazy for them!

    • Issa
      November 26, 2012 | 8:58 pm

      I’d like to ditto this one. I keep them in my purse. It’s the best distraction in a crowded slow restaurant.

  11. Mom24@4evermom
    November 26, 2012 | 3:09 pm

    Three quick thoughts. My kids love anything with their name on them. Personalized pencils are a big hit, oriental trading is a source I’ve used in the past.

    The also love personalized stationary. I’m loving,, and if you order today (Monday) you get 50% off everything, $25 minimum.

    I try to think of all the things I normally say no to, especially the expensive bookmarks by the checkout at Barnes & Noble. Some of those will be in my kids’ stockings. Plus, scented erasers for school, expensive pens and smelly highlighters. Similarly, there are those disgusting candies at the check out line that cost a fortune, the baby bottles or ring pops, some of those will probably be in there too.

  12. Errin
    November 26, 2012 | 3:17 pm

    Not sure if this would be too messy….but last year I got my nephews a black light and face paint that glows. My sister let them open it up on Christmas eve and then they all had a glow in the dark dance party all evening long.

  13. Casey
    November 26, 2012 | 6:28 pm

    We did the geodes last year and they were all smashed by 7am on Xmas morning! Our neighbors must love us. I’m still hunting for stocking stuffers but so far I’ve gotten crayon rocks ( and sip and swirl glasses ( These annoying squealing monkey things from last year were a hit: I also got some of the nontoxic Piggy Paints nail polish for E (from Amazon). Not cheap but I won’t let her have the other stuff so it’s something. Good luck!

    • Issa
      November 26, 2012 | 8:56 pm

      THANK YOU! The screaming monkey thing is awesome. I am going to go order a bunch for this year. Oh how the dog will hate me.

  14. Lyndsay
    November 26, 2012 | 7:32 pm

    My daughter’s stocking ideas:
    – fun sock and undies
    – candy/gum/chocolate
    – a magazine rolled up
    – a Christmas orange that she will refuse to eat
    – hair clips/elastics
    – probably a dollar store necklace/bracelet
    – some fun coloring stuff – gel markers maybe?
    – bubble bath or fun soap
    – shampoo & conditioner from Doctor Sweet Tooth (not cheap, but they have 1000 scents to choose from)
    – lip gloss/Lip Smackers

    Santa is bringing me a Roomba, which makes me the happiest girl on Earth. (Purolator tried to deliver it today when I wasn’t home, which made me the saddest girl on Earth.)

  15. Issa
    November 26, 2012 | 8:49 pm

    Urban Outfitters is my favorite place for stocking stuffers for adults. As long as the adult I got has a sense of humor. (We draw names in my family for adult stockings each year so that the adults all get one too.) The pens with outrageous things on them. The uh in-appropriate ice cube trays. Gummy things. Small silly books…I have one on that is called Dear Asshole; it has tear out pages that you can leave if someone is an ass to you. I bought it for myself earlier this year, but I got my brother, so I’ll be buying him one. It’s HYSTERICAL! Gift cards to Starbucks is my personal favorite. We all tend to add some good chocolate as well. Godiva truffles or something.

    For kids I tend to do a bit of candy, a few small toys like things you said and at times a small gift that I thought would get lost in the bigger gifts. A special bracelet for my girls or some wooden trinket that I know my son will love. Also? Target has a great section for stocking stuffers for kids. Small tubs of Play-doh (yes, I know friend. I know.), small Lego sets, markers, gum, noise maker deals. Another idea and this is maybe just me, I try and find those little license plates with my kids names on them when I go on trips. I save those for stockings each year.

  16. christine
    November 26, 2012 | 9:20 pm

    things they need and will get used up, but with fun twist… examples? snazzy toothbrushes, caricature bubble bath, band-aids with cartoons on them, “cars” brand ziploc bags for school lunches, etc.

  17. Mom24
    November 26, 2012 | 10:47 pm

    For Saige–little miss matched socks. Free shipping today only.

  18. Mom24
    November 26, 2012 | 10:50 pm

    For Saige, little miss matched socks. Free shipping today only. Great sale prices.

  19. Mom24@4evermom
    November 26, 2012 | 11:32 pm

    Foamy soap! My kids love it, the Mr. Bubble cheap stuff from Walmart.

  20. Emilie
    November 27, 2012 | 12:50 am

    I know it sounds crazy, but it was a favorite of mine and now our kids LOVE this part of their stockings: fruit! Every year they rush to see what was left – an orange, a pear, etc… :)

  21. Alexicographer
    November 27, 2012 | 3:41 am

    These are great, many thanks to @Tracey for the chip bag idea. Art supplies for us this year, I think, and maybe some books with mazes in them. Last year I’d guess there were some hotwheels cars in there, and we also gave a stomp rocket that was WILDLY popular; for our guy, it wasn’t a stocking stuffer, but you could always put a rocket in each kids stocking and keep the pump separate (under the tree or whatever). Flashlights; are your kids (all) big enough to make the little keychain flashlights sold at e.g. battery junction ($.99 each) safe? I had one myself and it lasted for YEARS. I’m considering a Larry Light for DS this year (also DH) but wouldn’t do this if I had 4 stockings to fill — too expensive (but cool!).

  22. Anne
    November 27, 2012 | 4:36 am

    My friend had one of these and it was amazing, so I ordered one for my own stocking. I usually try to fill my stocking with things I love. :-)

    OXO Good Grips Jar Opener at

    My tried and true include: chapstick, toothbrush, gum, lifesaver book, packs of stickers, and beef jerky. (random, I know.)

  23. Michelle
    November 27, 2012 | 3:54 pm

    I always do the chocolate oranges (Costco has ’em cheap).

    And a real orange goes in stockings every year. it’s tradition.

    And for my husband:

    For my son ($9.99 when I bought it):

    And now I’m going to go scour the other ideas.

  24. Jenng
    November 27, 2012 | 4:12 pm

    I LOVE the Ninjago pens…will have to pick some up for my son! I don’t know about great deals…I’ve been looking for them myself. Do your kids like stickers? I found a really neat website for stickers and sticker books cheap – here is the website:
    I thought that was kind of different.
    Also, my kids love pens/pencils/erasers. They have so many varieties out there now.

  25. Jenng
    November 27, 2012 | 4:18 pm

    I just thought of another one – My son is 7 and LOVES Go Go Crazy Bones. $1.99 for a pack at Walgreens (toy aisle). They are these tiny, funny little figurines…have I said he LOVES them? :)

  26. Stephanie Precourt
    November 27, 2012 | 4:52 pm

    I just found those Break The Geodes things at a toy store out here the other day! We have everything we need & more here at our house, so I have no good ideas other than iTunes gift cards (and Build A Bear giftcards for Ivy)


  27. Laney
    November 27, 2012 | 6:18 pm

    Hi Stacy – I’ve never posted here before but I read all the time! I’m de-lurking to suggest paper dolls. I don’t have any kids so I don’t know if it’s still something they’ll like but when I was little I absolutely loved paper dolls. My mom saved them and I still have my collection today. Maybe your daughter will like them too. I esp. liked ones in old timey clothes like these

    or these!

    I kinda wanna buy them for myself now…

    • Jenng
      November 28, 2012 | 2:04 pm

      Laney – I think that is an awesome idea! My mom saved all of my paper dolls, and my daughter plays with them when she is at my parents house. :)

    • anymommy
      November 28, 2012 | 4:35 pm

      So cool! Thank you! (And thanks for reading ;-)

  28. Candice@NotesFromABroad
    November 28, 2012 | 8:52 pm

    I thought I might be back “home” this year and that would make Christmas brilliant but now it looks like we will celebrate our Last Argentine Christmas here.
    I miss having little ones to buy presents for. Actually, I miss having little ones, can I borrow one of yours ?
    <3 C

  29. Ann Wyse
    November 29, 2012 | 1:00 am

    There are so many great ideas here!

    How about smaller stockings so you have less to fill? ;-)

  30. Caryn
    November 29, 2012 | 3:46 pm

    With six stockings to fill I hear you on looking for inexpensive fillers. I also perfer things to be consumable, because we already have enough small plastic crap to last a lifetime. With thy in mind, Santa started bringing my kids breakfast. Those squeezable applesauces that come four to a pack and cost as much as two big jars of applesauce? Yeah, mom would never buy those, so in they go. Same with mini boxes of cereal, juice boxes, fruit roll-ups… a whole bunch of junk they think is the most delicious food ever. Not only does it take up lots of space, but it holds them of while we make brunch, usually with lots of protein to offset all the corn syrup. There have been exclamations of “This is the breakfast in the whole wide world!” In fact, the Easter bunny is consider stealing the idea.

    My kids are opposite to yours…four little girls and only one little boy (plus the teen)…so we also include whatever is the most popular currency on our own black market of the moment. This year it’s hair doodads, socks and chapstick. In the past it’s been everything from bracelets to Squinkies (I don’t suggest these). New markers are also always a hit too. One year Santa lost his brain and bought nail polish. Mommy quickly saw the error an spirited it away to the highest shelf. I also recommend skipping all lotions and bath products, aka supplies for ill fated chemistry experiments.

    I’m a bit stumped for boy items, so I will be reading comments as soon as I hit send.

    Finally we toss in a toothbrush (my childhood tradition) and an orange (the hubby’s tradition).

  31. Alexicographer
    November 30, 2012 | 1:54 am

    Wait, wait Stacey, I know! Tubes of glitter! In bulk! ! ;)!

  32. Kyla
    November 30, 2012 | 5:05 am

    My brother and I got pistachios in our stockings. I bought a bag for myself this year, but the girls are still too young for it. What are they getting? Well, Poppy is a baby: she gets Puffs. :-) Rosemary will get cheap jewelry to go in her new jewelry box that will be under the tree. Oh yeah, and the hubby gets coffee.

    For the people who give toothbrushes, when I was 12 or so I was quite surprised to get a travel-sized toothbrush with the brand name “Fuchs.” It sparked a lovely line of “Let’s go Fuchs some teeth!” jokes, hahaha!

  33. Andréa
    December 1, 2012 | 6:42 am

    Anything Etsy! I got some stockings last year and each had a little ornament inside which you can buy individually. BIG hit.
    And we plan on switching up who gets which animal each year for fun.

  34. Elaine
    December 3, 2012 | 6:04 am

    Oranges in the toe part, right? ;-P

    Looks like you have a lot of great suggestions (besides mine) so I need to read these comments!!

    Thanks for the geodes and Ninjago pen suggestions.

  35. Kara S.
    December 7, 2012 | 8:52 pm

    If you have snow where you live (I didn’t check to see where that might be) that sell some snow decorating tubes. You just add the little dye packet that comes with it and you can write in the snow. Hours of fun for kids that love the outdoors. They have green, blue, yellow and red. Sell them at Target.

  36. Kara S.
    December 7, 2012 | 8:53 pm

    If you have snow where you live (I didn’t check to see where that might be) that sell some snow decorating tubes. You just add the little dye packet that comes with it and you can write in the snow. Hours of fun for kids that love the outdoors. They have green, blue, yellow and red. Sell them at Target.

  37. Kara S.
    December 7, 2012 | 8:54 pm

    If you have snow where you live (I didn’t check to see where that might be) they sell some snow decorating tubes. You just add the little dye packet that comes with it and you can write in the snow. Hours of fun for kids that love the outdoors. They have green, blue, yellow and red. Sell them at Target.

  38. MRK
    December 13, 2012 | 6:59 pm

    I second the idea for kids’ chopsticks. I picked these up at Hmart but you can get them online (for more, of course): I actually got the junior version instead of the children’s because my kids range from 5 to almost 10. These got the best reviews (many others looked good but were difficult to use). My entire crew (2 boys, 2 girls) is currently Star Wars crazy, so I was excited to find Star Wars light up lightsaber toothbrushes at Target. I got each one the color of the lightsaber toy they each got last Christmas and still play with. They cost $3ish, I think, at Target. They’re more online…..I also found Star Wars lightsaber chapstick that clips to something…my kids love things that clip to backpacks. (ridiculous price here…I paid maybe $3 each at Target). In the past, we’ve gotten them kooky pens that they like to clip to backpacks, smencils (my oldest, especially, loves these), and little games that can clip to a backpack on a carabiner. We have a mini tetris game, a mini Simon, a mini Boggle. All are functional. You can google “carabiner toy” or “carabiner game,” I think. For our girls, I picked up little stickers meant to decorate your nails (picked them up at Walgreens). I got orange cream soda in a a glass bottle (definitely a special treat…got them at Trader Joes in a 4 pack so each kid gets one). Girls got American Girl stickers that I picked up at Michael’s. And other stuff I can’t remember right now. Oh wait, a small tin of tutti fruity flavored candies that are all shaped like tighty whities. (Did I mention that I have an almost 10 year old boy)? And bacon flavored floss for my 8 year old daughter. Since she came to us from Ethiopia 2 years ago, she has been absolutely crazy about meat, and bacon is an out of this world treat to her. She’d prefer that to candy any day. The same place that had the underpants candy had the bacon floss. They also have underpants bandaids and other unusual bandaids. We often do fun bandaids.

  39. Melissa
    December 14, 2012 | 12:06 am

    I’m not sure if your kids like them but mine love Pokemon cards. They are just the right size as stocking stuffers.

  40. Melissa
    December 14, 2012 | 12:07 am

    I’m not sure if your kids like them but mine love Pokemon cards. They are just the right size as stocking stuffers.

  41. Tina
    December 21, 2012 | 8:21 pm

    Some stocking stuffer ideas that I do:
    Lipgloss or chapstick (depends on gender)
    Razor (for my hubby)
    iTunes gift cards
    The movie type boxes of Candy (you can get them at the dollar tree for $1)and its great for “movie night” with the family
    Deodorant (for the teenage boys & hubby)

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