I've dispatched the gifts I need to wrap, and am on to the stuff I need to stuff. Stockings were always my favorite part of Christmas as a kid. They'd been hanging on the mantel all flat and limp for weeks and then, suddenly, overnight! they grew fat and brimming with candies and palm-sized trinkets!
And then, as I grew older, with...socks. Wamp, wamp. Like I said, stockings were always my favorite part of Christmas as a kid.
So now, as an adult, I'd like to assist you in stuffing your loved ones' stockings with some stuff more fun than socks. Here are my picks for The Best Stocking Stuffers.
Note: Gifts are listed by price, from low to high. All items' prices are listed as they were at printing. Prices are subject to change.
Cap Zappa - Bottle Opener & Cap Launcher $2. A bottle opener that, after faithfully completing its beer-cracking duties, loads the removed cap in a firing chamber and readies it to transition from carbonation keeper to deadly projectile. Well, maybe "irksome" is a better descriptor than "deadly". It doesn't sound quite as cool, but in a way makes the Cap Zappa more fun because, unlike deadly, irksome typically does not lead to life in prison.
Pencil Time Pencils $2.75. Do you know what time it is? ... It's Mother Fucking Pencil Time! Going back to school? It's Mother Fucking Pencil Time! Leaving the kids a list of chores? It's Mother Fucking Pencil Time! Filling out your order at Umami Sushi? It's Mother Fucking Pencil Time! Keyboards, touchscreens, voice assistants - that's a bunch of pansy-ass bullshit there. Over here, we're hard core. We got wood. We got graphite. We got rubber. We got hand cramps and callouses on our middle fingers. We. Know. Cursive.
3-inch Telescope $3.75. Modeled after old style sight enhancers, the bite-size telescope is retractable, with the 3" size denoting its length at full extension. A loop on top enables attachment to a key chain, zipper, or necklace. Though I'm not exactly sure what practical use one could find for this miniature piece of metal and glass, my understanding is that telescopes are good for getting close-up views of things that are far away.
Naked Lady Golf Tees $4. Not only are these Naked Lady Golf Tees shaped and molded like NAKED LADIES, but according to their manufacturer they are also "virtually indestructible." So your favorite (or least favorite) golfer can pretty much take them (or put them) anywhere.
Japanese Kit Kat Bars $4.50. Why are green Kit Kats so mesmerizing? Because they look like Grinch Kit Kats? Their flavor is Matcha Green Tea, so they can't possibly taste like anything resembling good, but they'll definitely deliver the novelty effect. And might be a less obvious coal substitute for the stocking of someone you don't like very much.
OXO Good Grips Electronics Cleaning Brush $5. Help me, help me, it's the 2-Headed Monster! That's what dirt and dust will be saying when they see the OXO Good Grips Electronics Cleaning Brush coming for them. This double-sided cleaning tool tidies up phones, computers, cameras, circa 2005 VCRs you keep around out of pure love, and other electronics, clearing off dust with a silicone wiper and a retractable brush.
Slice Ceramic Safety Cutter $6. Slice makes kinder, gentler tools in soothing hues to perform some of life's rigorous and thankless tasks. Such as opening boxes and impossibly-sealed packages. Hacking through shrink-wrap. Clipping coupons. At least those are the primary orders of business for Slice's ceramic Safety Cutter. With a microscopic blade that's nearly as hard as diamonds, the Safety Cutter serves as an effective and easy-to-use slashing tool that just as effectively and easily avoids slashing its slashers themselves.
Sloth Tea Infuser $6. Uh oh. Mr. Sloth dozed off with his ass hanging in a cup of boiling water. And, mmmm, in contrast to skunk ass, sloth ass smells amazing. Like peachberry jasmine sutra. Or is that tranquil strawberry dream?
Butter Savers $7. Reusable end caps for your sticks of fatty goodness, Butter Savers solve a small but important first world problem. Well...no...not really important at all. They're more like a solution to a minor inconvenience that will save you some dairy waste, and maybe the wrath of your wife. At least on the topic of butter storage.
Solar Spark Lighter & Fire Starter $7. a pocket-sized parabolic mirror able to catch and focus the sun's radiant energy right into the heart of its metal coils. To activate, just point the Solar Spark disc towards the sun, scream "I summon the breath of Ra!" as loud as you can, hope Ra is in good spirits and not all moody and emo like he was in Stargate, and watch your flammable item catch fire in seconds.
Bacon Lanyard $8. This strip of polyester cured pork fat will make every mouth in the meeting water, and I'd probably warn any recipient to take it off before their next one-on-one to avoid awkward gawking and the boss / employee making a move to chow down on their chest.
CashStash Waterproof Emergency Cash Capsule $9. A waterproof capsule sized to fit a keyring and hold a single bill. Its contents can serve as anything from an In Case Of savior to an everyday financial security blanket, giving those who carry it the peace of mind that they still have a dollar to their name.
Smuggle Your Booze Sunscreen Flask $9. Next summer's music festivals, baseball games, and days in the park with the kids are about to get a whole lot jollier. Instead of SPF 30, this innocuous bottle of responsible adult sunscreen contains room for 8 fl. oz. of ABV 40. The Smuggle Your Booze sunscreen flask is easy to fill, no sweat to hide, and possibly the #1 way to stick it to The Man selling 12-ounce plastic cups of Bud Light for $11. And if anyone asks why you're pouring sunscreen in your Coke, just give them a superior smile and tell them you're creating a UV ray barricade from the inside out.
Squeeze-a-Bean Edamame Fidget Toy & Keychain $10. I know some of you are sick of fidget spinners, but this Squeeze-a-Bean Edamame keychain is a different kind of fidget toy. A most satisfying kind if the three-pea pod's popping action accurately replicates that of the real thing. That of the best part about waiting for my sushi to arrive. Squeeze, suck, toss, squeeze, suck, toss, it's almost a zen race to see how fast I can empty the first bowl and fill the second. Poppin' 'mame delivers at least as much calm and stress relief as spinnin' snitches.
Squatty Potty Unicorn Gold Toilet Spray $10 to $15. For all the ladies out there who want a unicorn. And the ones who want pure gold. And especially those who claim their shit don't stink. Now they can have it all. Even cooler than the science of matches, fans, and Febreze for dousing out the stench of your doodies is the science of real gold and essential oil barriers blocking it from entering the room in the first place. Squatty Potty says Unicorn Gold's 100% colloidal gold nano-particles attract and kill odors on contact, both inside the bowl and above the water's surface.
Medieval Weapon Push Pins $11. This set of cork board penetrators will accurately reflect the exceptional organizational skills, admirable valor, and proud geekiness of all who use them. Hatcheting a note to the wall about the counterintuitiveness of putting glasses in the dishwasher right side up may also prove to be a more effective way to achieve resonance with the message's recipient.
Star Wars Lightsaber Thumb Wrestling $11. How do you declare a thumb war in Wookieespeak? Yeah, that's right, 1, 2, 3, Raaawwwrrr! Time to suit up, buckle down, and probably tie one on, Cornelius, because this Christmas morning is all about challenging the fam to a lightsaber duel. From the knuckles down.
Scented Croissant Stress Toy $11. A slow-rising, stress-relieving memory foam pastry that emits wafts of fresh-baked croissant when you squeeze it. Adios, fidget toys.
I Could Eat a T-Rex Spaghetti Measurer $11.50. Whether you're hungry enough to eat a T-Rex, or just need a quick coupla bites of the child from the family he's terrorizing, this clever kitchen tool will measure out the precise amount of meaty flesh you need to achieve satiation. Meaty flesh, in this case, being spaghetti noodles.
Know Your Knots Bandana $14. Colter Co. makes a whole bunch of bandanas, but my favorite is this square of Know Your Knots. Fifteen different illustrated rope-looping how-tos decorate the front of the bandana, making it a useful and easily stuffed addition to your survival kit or day pack, or any outdoorsman's Christmas stocking.
BenShot Bullet Shot Glass $15. BenShot hand-sculpts all of these bullet-impaled shot glasses (and rocks glasses too) in their Wisconsin studio. When the glass hits temperatures of 1,000+ degrees F it becomes malleable, at which point BenShot shapes and fits it with real 9mm bullets. Each 1.75-ounce shot glass is made to order, and usable for drinking. Who wants a round?
Firebiner Carabiner & Firestarter $15. Firebiner design sticks to the traditional oblong shape and spring-loaded closure of a carabiner. The firestarter addition is subtle from a visual standpoint, the little flickable wheel situated at the tool's bottom left corner. But give a purposeful, Price-Is-Right-style spin along its (replaceable) flint and you'll be able to ignite anything from your campfire after a day of hiking to your nephew's birthday candles after some kid douses all the matches in the pitcher of lemonade he took out trying to whack the pinata.
Fire Missiles Cigarette Lighter Button $15. A cathartic button for your road rage and, ironically, a healthier insert for your car's cigarette lighter slot than a cigarette lighter. Oh no...wait. I just read the Fire Missiles button actually "functions as a cigarette lighter on some vehicles." Some vehicles? Guess smokers will have to leave it up to the fates and karma to decide whether they should be lighting up while driving or not.
Money Duck Soap $17. Know someone who could be a little more diligent about washing their hands? Or their body? Just remember, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Or, in this case, you catch more hygienic kids and friends with cash than pure glycerine. Money Duck Soap is exactly what it sounds like: plain old bars of duck-shaped soap stuffed with real dollar bills. Or five dollar bills. Or tens, twenties, or, they say, even the odd fifty.
Hydrapak Stash Water Bottle $18. The 750ml Stash Bottle from Hydrapak collapses easily for space-conserving transport thanks to its soft walls and molded top and bottom that snap together when the bottle is flat. In addition to sporting a minimal profile, each Stash Bottle is also stackable, designed to nest with other Stash Bottles for efficient storage of multiple units.