Christmas and the Holidays this time of year are generally suppose to be all about the family, and most importantly, to keep a little bit of magic inside every child’s heart. Continuing the legacy of this “magical” time of year can be daunting for many parents, yet probably the easiest way to placate a child’s sense of wonder and excitement is through gifts, lots and lots of gifts. Gifts under the tree, gifts at school, gifts for all the days of Hanukkah, gifts on display and gifts filled with promise and hope, only to be placed aside or thrown out during Spring Cleaning. Yes, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year, especially if you own a business that caters to the passionate flow of consumerism that spikes just a couple of weeks before a pagan-turned-Christian holiday that is celebrated by people religious and not, alike.
All jokes aside, giving, rather than receiving, should melt anyone’s heart of ice. In fact, giving increases happiness, so I guess the more you give, the better you feel, which is what most charities are trying to bank on during the frenzy of shopping season. While I know some people that love the idea of waltzing through each and every store for hours on end, I personally hate to be in such close contact with so many other people getting in my way, or taking the last of the item that I was reaching for. I become irate over not being able to find a parking spot, and then become even more frustrated when some person decides to ignore my blinker, and ram their car into the last parking spot in the outer regions of the mega-plex that is the mall. By the time I reach the first store, I am already grumpy, exhausted, and am about to punch the next sales person that asks me if they can help me with anything, while continuously following me around the entire store like I am some kind of dark and shady meth addict about to steal something of no significant value.
However, I have adapted to the hazards of this season by doing a lot of shopping online, especially through Amazon.com, and other local retailers that are able to provide me with hours of screen entertainment without the need to actually go and brave the scary and packed world outside. I have found some pretty awesome gifts that most likely would take me months to find at a retail store, gifts that are more unique and personal than just a mad rush through Target, throwing shit into my basket, just so I can feel good about myself for giving everyone on my list a piece of something shitty, that they most likely will throw away. Money well spent, high five.
After the entire debacle of finding gifts, wrapping gifts, giving gifts and filling up on way too many sweets, I think all adults deserve a little something for themselves. Especially if you are on a tight budget, and have a lot of people on your list, like I do, I suggest getting everyone something simple, and sometimes unique, like stocking stuffers, and then throw in a little something for yourself, because you deserve it too, and remember, giving increases happiness (even if it is to yourself?). Below is a list of my top ten stocking stuffers, that are sure to make the adults in your life feel special.
- NeoBalls - professional sculpture neodymium magnet spheres, with colorful Polymer coatings and precise Electroplate coatings. This company aims to to provide you great quality magnet spheres, at awesome pricing, with minimal fluff. Couple of things to note, these are NOT TO BE SHARED WITH CHILDREN, or anyone else that thinks that putting these magnets into their mouth is a smart idea. I have had the pleasure of playing with these little magnetic building spheres, and have had hours of fun – they are like adult Legos.
- Burt’s Bees Products - while this may not be a unique gift, this company is all about natural products, like lip balms and lotions, and even gift packs to make things as simple as possible for a busy holiday shopper. You can feel good about the products you are gifting, as well as their undying support for the preservation of honey bees around the world. This gift is eco-friendly, awesome, and you can either buy it directly from their site, or go to your nearest drug store.
- Nature Box - you can buy just a single box, or sign up someone on your list for a couple months worth of snack goodness. This company is all about healthy snacks, in a box, sent to your door step. It’s the perfect gift for food lovers, health nuts, and the people that live a couple states away. College students would appreciate this gift as well.
- Got a couple of home cooks in your life? Give the gift that I guarantee will be used on a weekly if not daily basis, the rub-a-way-bar. It’s a stainless steel bar in the shape of hand soap. Rubbing the bar removes any odor from your hands — great for use after working with onions, fish, or garlic.
- Here is a 3 for 1 type of idea for those tea or coffee fanatics in your life. First off, I am all about the good organic stuff, so I would recommend Numi Organic Teas. This company has many gift ideas, and I love their tea, so there. While there are many coffee choices to choose from, I would personally suggest Grounds for Change, since they are organic, and fair trade, and have a variety of tasty coffee and coffee related gifts to offer. Just to round things off, how about an awesome travel mug that is bpa free, and actually works at keeping your drinks warm, all day, everyday? Try out the selection of Thermos travel mugs, they won’t disappoint. My husband has a couple he uses, and he won’t use anything else for his hot beverages.
- While there are many power tool companies around, my experience in home repairs and remodeling has made me love and appreciate Dewalt. Not to be a brand snob, but Dewalt tools are amazing, durable, and some of the best made out there. While a huge power tool may not fit into a normal sized stocking, there are plenty of smaller gadgets to choose from, such as hand tools and sets as well as lasers and instruments.
- I haven’t forgot about the people that have a deep love for the outdoors. Smart Wool is not just a company that makes the most wonderful socks in the world, but they also sell apparel and accessories that are made for the kind of person that would rather sleep outside, under the stars, than get a swanky hotel room in the city. Another great company to look at is GoLite. I have a bunch of their warm weather shirts, and a tent, and a couple of other camping related items that make my pack ten times lighter and me ten times more comfortable.
- Microbrew of the Month subscription - if you are feeling generous, and full of love, and are already a bit tipsy, why not give the gift of delicious alcohol to someone else? The Beer of the Month Club is a great company, with affordable monthly subscriptions that make this kind of gift one that keeps on giving, month after month. If beer is not your thing, you can go the more sophisticated route and sign someone up for a wine of the month subscription. My mom actually did the wine subscription as a gift for my dad a couple of years ago, and no other gift made him as excited after that one. Plus, I got to join in on the fun the next month, when they got a whole crate of fermented grape goodness.
- TisBest is the place to go if you are feeling charitable this season. For those in your life that just want help others, you can give an empowering gift to your loved ones to support good causes they are passionate about. The TisBest Charity Gift Card is a donation gift that works like a conventional gift card but instead of buying stuff, the recipient “spends” the TisBest card by selecting which of our 300+ charity partners receives the money. You can even personalize any TisBest card with your own message and image, and the company itself is a non-profit organization.
- Honestly, gift cards are also a great way to go, because who doesn’t love a little bit of extra cash in their lives. You can appease almost anyone with this kind of gift, like the music lover, or the bookworm, or even the elusive and hard to shop for sports fan. Plus, most large stores like Target or King Soopers, carry dozens of different gift cards to choose from. If you are seriously running out of time, and still have lots of people on your list, make it a one stop shop kind of day and rack up the gift cards…..if you are worried about not being personal enough, first off, you should have started shopping way earlier, and second, it’s free money, to buy whatever you want, which most people prefer now-a-days.
Good luck out there, and remember, simple is always the way to go.