My biggest gripe with stocking stuffers and Secret Santa gifts is that many fall into the “novelty” junk category. That is to say, they provide a few seconds of happiness, and weeks/months/years of clutter.
On this list I’ve included some of my favourite small items that break the traditional stocking stuffer mould without breaking the bank. These will provide happiness long after the tree comes down!
1 KeepCup Reusable Mug (£11)
Choose from 3 sizes, plastic or glass, and loads of colour combination! This means you can customise this really useful gift to make it extra special! Read my review here. Mine has never leaked, and they feel so nice to drink from!
2 Safety Razor (£15)
This is an awesome gift. One sturdy razor and a pack of blades will last a long time. These come in lots of styles/sizes/colours (gold, silver, black), but I’d recommend a (slightly more expensive) long-handled version if it’s for shaving legs. This budget version is also availlable for £5. These are so beautifully designed and sophisticated, and turn shaving into something a bit more . . . elegant. Read my review here.
3 Abeego Wax Food Wraps (£12)
Ethical, sustainable – and REALLY useful. These resuable, antibacterial, breathable, plastic-free, compostable food wraps eliminate the need for horrible plastic clingfilm. The Variety 3-pack and the Small 6-pack are great stuffer options. I use these for cut avocados, onion, cheese, sandwiches, apples – everything! Read my review and get European/North American links here.
5 Playing Cards & Dice (£10)
With just some cards, dice, a pen, and paper, you can play an endless number of games. This is a great way to while away the hours in the glow of the Christmas tree. You can easily find printable templates for games like Yahtzee online, as well as rule sheets for classic card and dice games. I am in love with Areaware’s MINIM playing cards (in white or black). And although they’re way too expensive for a stocking stuffer – how beautiful are these dice by Gravity?
6 Plants & Seeds (£2)
Tiny potted succulents, cacti, and airplants look great in every room, and help purify the air. Or if the person receiving the gift has a bit of a green thumb, why not toss in some easy-to-grow rocket or salad seeds? Miniature potted succulents are very popular at the moment, and you can usually pick them up for a couple of pounds.
I love gifts that get used up because they don’t make clutter . . . and they’re usually yummy. Try your hand at making simple candied almonds, marmite cashews (OMG), or sesame bark. Or pick up some fresh or dried fruit, trail mix, olive/sesame/other oils, crackers, spice blends, fresh herbs, or preserves. I’m looking forward to some of my favourite handmade chocolate truffles from Rococco! Inedible consumables like unpackaged raw bar soaps or pure beeswax candles are also great!
8 Liquid Sunshine
According to Public Health England, “during autumn and winter, [people in most northern hemisphere locations – like the UK and Canada] rely on dietary sources of vitamin D. Since it is difficult for people to meet the 10 microgram recommendation from consuming foods naturally containing or fortified with vitamin D, people should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D in autumn and winter. . . .” in order to protect musculoskeletal health.
And, “over the last few years, researchers have noticed that people who have heart disease, diabetes, depression, various auto-immune diseases, osteoporosis, several types of cancer, and even obesity also seem to be low in vitamin D.”*
In the new study revealed at the International Early Psychosis Association, significant association was found between low levels of vitamin D and “higher levels of negative symptoms and of depression” among people with psychosis. So you could literally be giving the gift of happiness in the form Vitamin D supplements!
9 Produce Bags (£9)
These lightweight mesh produce bags are great for shopping at the market or picking up loose fruit, veggies, and ingredients. Instead of using horrible, non-recyclable, non-breathable plastic bags at the grocery store, pick up a pack of these eco-friendly, lightweight, woven sacks. They’re BPA free, food-safe, machine washable, and have tare weight tags so cashiers can deduct the bag weight at check-out. Easy peasy.
10 Socks, Socks, Socks!
Yes, I’m serious. And tights, too. The German brand Falke prove that quality stockings really can be exciting! I’m not joking! Go check them out. Mmmmm. Luxury.
11 Quality Pen (£15-20)
A good pen is a wonderful thing. Try a Parker for a nice classic ballpoint (you can get these engraved, for a special touch), or grab one of my favourite erasable Frixion LX erasable pens in one of 6 colours. You can even throw in some refills if you’re feeling extra generous! You don’t need drawer full of dried-up stylos if you have a quality pen on-hand at all times.
12 Sweater Comb (£3)
It might not sound like the most glamorous gift, but taking care of clothes is a bit of a lost art form. And if you prefer to spend money on good quality clothing in natural fabrics, then you need to take good care of them! As temperatures drop and sweaters become staple, ’tis the season for de-pilling! Tiny scissors are also good for keeping bobbles at bay!
Oh, and if you’re in need of a stocking, this simple linen number from The Linen Works is absolutely gorgeous – plus you can have your loved one’s name stamped straight on. These were down to £10, but may be £20 at the moment.
Next up: The Litestyle’s top picks for Christmas Gifts! Stay tuned!