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The season of holiday decorating is in full swing, and you’ll likely see several houses decking their interiors with lights, wreaths and ornaments to get into the holiday spirit.
Christmas stockings are a common holiday decoration to put up next to the tree or fireplace, and more traditional households may place small gifts inside as “stocking stuffers” to add to the main set of presents. Although some people may consider stocking stuffers to be a last-minute gifting idea, they can go well beyond your typical gift cards and lotions — stocking stuffers can serve as an exciting opportunity to surprise your friends and loved ones with unique and meaningful gifts without having to break the bank.
To help you comb through the array of potential stocking stuffers this holiday season, we perused Select shopping guides with an eye toward reader favorites and picked some highly rated stocking stuffers that are worth considering.
The best stocking stuffers in 2021
To help you find the best stocking stuffers this holiday season, we rounded up highly rated gift ideas based on our previous coverage and Select reader interest — all currently under $25.
This hydrating lip mask comes in a compact container and features a small applicator so your hands don’t ever have to touch your lips. It’s rich in antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, according to the brand, and comes in a variety of flavors like Vanilla, Sweet Candy and Gummy Bear.
If you want access to Alexa but don't foresee needing the larger speakers, the Echo Dot can be a great compact option to consider. It's more affordable than the Echo and just as convenient for checking the weather, making phone calls and adjusting smart home controls, according to Amazon. If you’re looking for a newer (albeit slightly larger) Echo Dot, Amazon launched the fourth generation of the device last year.
Dangle It lets you upload a photo to create a custom air freshener — so it can look like anything from a lovable pet to your giftee’s face. You can choose from over a dozen different scents, including Citrus, Vanilla, Bacon and Coffee, and you can also select how you want to crop the photo, whether you want to include just their head or their entire body.
For the over-21 crowd, miniature alcohol bottles can be fun gifts that fit snugly inside stockings. Several wine and liquor stores like Total Wine sell compact individual bottles of various alcohols, ranging from 50-milliliter bottles of liquor to 187 milliliters of Champagne and other wines. Alcohol sets — like this one from La Marca Prosecco that comes with three 187-milliliter bottles — can help you knock out stocking stuffers for multiple members of your family and friend groups.
If your giftee is interested in astrology, these Astrological Coasters can help them put their star sign on display around their home. The coasters, sold individually, come in two colors — White and Charcoal — and you can, of course, choose one of the 12 star signs. They’re also made from durable concrete and feature felt feet on the bottom to prevent them from sliding around and scratching your table, according to the seller.
After receiving a scalp massager in my stocking one year, this is now my go-to gift: It’s relaxing and can be used on your head, neck and shoulders, according to manufacturer. This scalp massager has 20 flexible prongs, and, though they’re made of metal, each prong has a rubber bead at the end that makes it smooth to the touch, according to the brand.
The Knit Cuffed Beanie from Carhartt is made from 100 percent acrylic rib knit fabric and comes in a variety of colors, including Dusk Purple, Dark Brown and Black. It also features a fold-up cuff and a Carhartt patch in the center. Though it’s a “one size fits all” style, the brand says this beanie has some stretch.
Stojo’s 16-ounce Collapsible Travel Cup, made from food-grade silicone, does exactly what its name suggests: It can collapse to just 2 inches in height for easy storage and travel. The dishwasher-safe cup comes apart for easy cleaning and features a silicone straw and temperature-resistant sleeve so you can use it for both cold and hot drinks, according to the brand. You can also choose from a variety of colors, including Lilac (purple), Sage (green), Peony (pink) and Steel (blue).
These claw clips, which have made a comeback thanks to recent social media trends, come in a pack of four and are available in a variety of color combinations. The large clips, which measure about 4.3 inches in length and are made from a matte plastic and resin material, are designed to have a strong hold for thick hair, but can also work well with thin hair and most other hair types, according to the brand.
You really can’t go wrong with cozy socks during the cold winter months. Lined with lavender and vitamin E, this crossover between a sock and a slipper is designed to provide a moisturizing and soothing feel to your feet, according to the brand. These socks contain traction bumpers to keep you from sliding around, while the smooth toe seam can help to minimize irritation and prevent bunching, the brand says.
This bracelet doubles as an essential oil diffuser — you can place three to five drops of your favorite essential oil on the locket’s reusable and removable felt pad and secure it in place with the magnetic closure. It comes with eight felt pads in different colors like pink, blue and green, so it’ll feel — and smell — like a new bracelet each time. And to reuse them, the brand says you can rinse the pads with cool water and allow them to dry.
For the hot sauce lover in your life, this Tabasco Hot Sauce keychain lets you take a miniature bottle on the go — you can simply unscrew the cap and dispense it when needed. It comes with a protective silicone case and an aluminum carabiner to attach to your keys, pocket, backpack and more. The bottle itself is tiny — only about 0.08 ounces — but can be refilled.
A great gift for music lovers, this playing card deck features an illustration of a famous musician on each card, ranging from Madonna and Taylor Swift to Elvis Presley and David Bowie. The suits are split up by genre: Hearts are pop, spades are rock, diamonds are folk and country, and clubs are soul, blues and R&B. They also feature music royalty as the king and queen of each suit, like Beyonce and Prince as the queen and king of hearts, respectively.
Select writer Zoe Malin called these highly rated eco-friendly straws “lightweight, durable and easy to take on the go.” Made from stainless steel, these straws come in a pack of 16, and each one features a food-grade silicone tip so you don’t have to touch the metal. The tips can be removed for easy cleaning and come in a variety of colors. You can also choose different colors for the straws themselves, including Gold, Rainbow and Rose Gold.
This compact, 2-ounce candle from NEST Fragrances can burn for up to 28 hours, according to the brand. The brand sells mini candles in multiple scents, including Cedar Leaf & Lavender, Grapefruit, Pumpkin Chai and Moroccan Amber, and they can also be purchased in additional sizes like Classic (8.1 ounces) and 3-wick (21.2 ounces).
To reflect the cold weather, these fun “beer coats” have a metallic lining on the inside and a nylon exterior that can help maintain your drink’s temperature while keeping your hands warm, according to the maker. They measure about 3 inches wide and 6.5 inches high to fit most cans, and you can choose from four color combinations, including Navy/Yellow and Red/Tan.
Hot chocolate can be a beverage staple during the holiday season, and this tin from Williams Sonoma can be a good one to consider if they love the rich drink. The brand says its hot chocolate is produced from bittersweet chocolate shavings rather than cocoa powder for intense flavor and a smooth texture. Williams Sonoma offers three hot chocolate flavors to choose from — Classic, Double Dark and Salted Caramel — and you can purchase marshmallows in fun designs like Mini Snowflake and Mini Snowman to pair with them.
One of the best gifts for coffee lovers, this whole bean dark roast blend from Blue Bottle is Malin’s go-to for making cold brew. You can choose between a 6-ounce or 12-ounce bag, or Blue Bottle also offers a subscription service that you can customize to ship weekly, biweekly, every three weeks or monthly.
This grooming kit equips multiple tools to keep a beard healthy, including beard balm, oil, a bristle brush and a natural wood comb for both the beard and mustache. The beard oil features a blend of jojoba and argan oils to moisturize the beard, while the beard balm helps style without making it stiff and crunchy, according to the brand.
Similar in use to a foam roller, this massage therapy ball set can be used for self myofascial release to help relieve pain and tension by carefully massaging sore areas of the body, according to Acupoint. The brand says these can be used on the lower back, neck and mid-back and underneath the foot. The set comes with two therapeutic balls similar in size to tennis balls, according to the brand. They come in a mesh bag so you can take them on the go.