Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stuff It: Stocking Stuffers For Everyone

Whether you're hunting for small gifts for your Advent calendar or the ideal stocking stuffer, here are a few pint-sized presents to inspire you.

For Gals:
* Cook-Keys Fresh-Baked Key Caps ($4.95), found online at Natural Selection, make ordinary house keys look down-right edible.
* Travel-sized toiletries make excellent stocking stuffers. Try a 3oz. bottle of a quality hand lotion or some sweetly scented hand wipes.
* Head to the local farmer's market for a jar of local honey, homemade jam, or briny bites like Pick-A-Peck Pickles if you can find them.

* You can search for recipes by the hundreds online at sites like Epicurious and All Recipes. Select a few that suit your gift recipient's taste, then transcribe them on pretty notecards and slip them into her stocking. Include a sample if the recipe is for cookies, peanut brittle, or anything that can be easily wrapped up.
* Days of the Week Clips by SusyJack* ($8.50) match organization with style.

For Guys:
* Borrow My Pen? - A twist on the ubiquitous advertising pen, this set will have you doing a double-take. With slogans like, "Stuffed with Love Taxidermy: No Pet Too Small - Give Us a Call!" these pens will have the boys writing you a thank you note in no time ($6.49, Perpetual Kid).

* Robo-Keys by Fred and Friends, the creators of Cook-Keys (above), I found these rubberized key toppers online at Baron Bob ($4.95).
* Bottles of hot sauce can be easily customized online. Let him top his game-time buffalo wings with tongue-tingling spice that celebrates his favorite NFL or MLB sports team. You can even find collegiate football team sauces at

For Kids:
* Kick it old school with jacks, a jump-rope, spinning tops, or Mad Libs.
* Bring a new dimension to doodling with the 3D Drawing Pad. Draw directly on the pad and when you view it through the 3D specs your image will appear to float above the page ($6.95, Patina Stores).

* For more optical illusions, create invisible messages with the Secret Message Writing Set ($6.99, Amazon). One pen conceals your message while the other reveals it!

For Kids of (Almost) All Ages:
These temporary tattoos for the hands are created by Spanish designer H├ęctor Serrano. These gorgeous animal tattoos transform your mitts to feature your favorite jungle creature. Just apply with water. The tattoos come in a set of 8 and are not suitable for kids under 3 ($8, A+R Store). Wild thing, I think I love you.

And remember, it doesn't have to be a traditional "stocking stuffer" to fit the bill. Head to the grocery store to pick up snack-sized portions of your favorite cookies, a single packet of gourmet cocoa or cider, granola bars and more. Or pick up a few basics from the drugstore like hair-ties, bobby pins, or a pretty nail file.

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