Being a list of stocking stuffers for men, specifically, this post will play into gender stereotypes to some extent. Definitely don’t overlook the possibility of dipping into the list of women’s stocking stuffers, too, if you want to break out of that. (Note that, while this list is broken into categories for ease of reading, some items could easily fit into more than one category, so consider the categories somewhat fluid.)
Food & Related Items
Food is one of the most obvious things to put in a stocking. Candy is a traditional choice, but other snacks also make good stocking stuffers. Think about fruit, jerky, protein/energy bars, crackers or chips, small bags of granola, nuts, etc.
Okay, so hot sauce is also food — but it isn’t the variety you eat on its own as a snack. If your recipient is the kind of guy who likes to put hot sauce on everything, then his own personal bottle of a basic sauce is a good option. Whether or not that’s the case, a bottle of an unusual hot sauce or other condiment can also make for an interesting and unexpected stocking stuffer.
Gum and mints are grouped together because they’re both used for freshening breath. Stuff the stocking with your recipient’s favorite flavor — is that spicy? Minty? Fruity? Or for an out-of-the-box option, toss in flavored toothpicks.
A cup of coffee isn’t a good stocking stuffer, although a favorite bottle of soda (pop) or beer might work. Better options for stuffing stockings, though, are dry forms of drinks: hot cocoa packets, tea bags, coffee beans, water flavoring packets, or protein powder.
Straws or Toothpicks
Office Supplies & Electronics
Pens, pencils and associated supplies (like pen refills, ink, and pencil leads) make good stocking stuffers. Solid basics are good, because everyone goes through them. Or you could go a little fancier and get a fountain pen, a space pen, or a nice refillable ballpoint pen.
Stamps are one of those things that are easy to forget about until you actually need them. Especially if you pay most of your bills online and don’t need them routinely for that. Make sure your man is all stocked up by tucking a book of postage stamps into his stocking. You can go with a basic style (which you can usually get at any grocery store checkout) or find something in a fun design (which you’ll probably have to get at the post office or through the USPS website).
I know; most of us have calculators in our phones and computers nowadays. At our house, though, we still find it helpful to have a calculator handy at the desk when the phone is not nearby. And the toddlers usually swipe them to use as pretend “phones,” so they seem to always need replacing! If this is a frequently-stolen item at your house, too, you might even check at the dollar store.
Sticky notes are a great size to fit in a stocking, are super-versatile, and come in a huge variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and styles. Try basic regular or mini sticky note pads, practical variations like see-through or tabbed styles, or even fun & funny novelty types.
A small notebook for a stocking stuffer can take many forms. It could be a traditional pocket-size spiral notebook. It could be a bound Moleskin-style notebook. Or if you want to go really different, check out the reusable Rocketbook Everlast mini.
Another useful stocking stuffer is a pocket calendar. These come in checkbook-size varieties. If he already has a favorite planning calendar, then consider a reference calendar like a credit card-style pocket calendar, a yearly calendar on a sticker or magnet to keep handy, or a perpetual calendar.
Memory Cards or Thumb Drive
Phones, tablets, cameras…all of these can benefit from expanded memory. And of course there’s the frequent need to transfer files. This makes memory cards and thumb drives excellent options for stuffing stockings. Memory cards are pretty basic, and the most important thing is making sure you get the right size and style for whatever device the card is intended for. Thumb drives, though, are available in basic styles, classy styles, and playful, quirky styles.
mp3 Player Accessories
Phone Camera Accessories
The advent of cell phones (with decent cameras) opens up some fun possibilities for accessories to these cell phone cameras. There are clip-on specialty lenses, ring lights (for selfies), telescopes, and magnifying glasses. Or look for miniature tripods or selfie sticks.
Adapters for various cords, plugs, etc. also fit beautifully in a stocking. These can be especially helpful for favorite older devices that you want to make compatible with newer technology. Consider, for instance, dual phone jacks (splitters), cassette adapters for hooking an mp3 player to the car, chargers for the cell phone, adapters to convert one type of connector to another, etc.
Lookin’ Good & Feelin’ Good
Despite easy access to clocks via cell phone, a wristwatch or pocket watch is still a classy choice. (And an athlete might appreciate a wristwatch ias more convenient to “carry”while running, etc.) If he already has a watch, you can consider a strap or chain.
At first blush, “jewelry” doesn’t seem like a very “manly” stocking stuffer suggestion, but there is plenty of guy-friendly jewelry. Tie tacks and cuff links are, perhaps, the most obvious choices, but there are other options, like chains, shark tooth necklaces, guy-friendly essential oil diffuser pieces, silicone wedding bands, and paracord or leather bracelets.
Sunglasses are often thought of as a summer accessory, but they’re just as beneficial in winter — especially if it snows a lot where you are.
Especially if your guy has a furry pet, help him stay business-presentable by tossing a lint roller into his stocking — either full-size or mini. (Or for a more eco-friendly option, go for a lint brush.)
Shoes and their care provide another opportunity for stocking stuffers. Help him keep his shoes looking great, whether formal or casual, with shoe care products like shoe polish, leather conditioner, and/or new laces. Or include a shoe horn if getting the feet on in the morning is a challenge.
Obviously, the suitability of this suggestion will depend on whose stocking you’re stuffing, but if it’s fitting, undies make a good stocking stuffer.
Socks or Slippers
Keep his toes toasty and feet buffered against the cold floors with warm socks or slippers in his stocking. If you want to spend a little more, you can get extra-thick or heat-trapping thermal socks. (If his feet are on the larger side, slippers might be pushing it for being “stuffable” in a stocking, and you might need to stick with socks.)
Keep the top half of your recipient toasty, too, with outerwear accessories such as gloves, hats, or scarves. These items don’t have to be winter wear, necessarily. Think, too, about options like batting gloves, work gloves, doo-rags/du rags, and tactical scarves.
When it comes to hair care, shampoo is the obvious choice — and conditioner, if the guy whose stocking you’re stuffing uses it. But depending on what he generally does with his hair, there may be other options. Hair gel, a comb, a curl/twist sponge brush, hair grease, etc.
Skin care is often thought of as a female concern, but men have skin, too, and it’s just as susceptible to dry winter skin, biting winds, and the like. Consider adding some lotion, hand sanitizer, and/or lip balm to his stocking.
While you’re at it, if your recipient travels at all, you can add to the stocking travel-size versions of any of his regular toiletries. Or travel-size containers to fill from his regular bottles.
In other words, small items for the relief of physical stress. This might include the kind of stress balls you squeeze in your hands, and rolling massagers. It could also include things like textured balls meant to massage the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or whatever else you roll it over, as well as the kind of chiming Chinese stress balls (baoding balls) you roll around in your palm.
Nail clippers are one of those things that, like pencils and stray socks, seem to just disappear no matter how many you buy. Make sure your guy always has what he needs to trim his nails by putting fingernail and/or toenail clippers in his stocking. (If you want to get really fancy, you can throw in a whole nail care kit.)
A full-size flashlight is probably a bit heavy and unwieldy for a stocking, but flashlights come in a variety of styles and shapes that are smaller and fit nicely in a stocking. And can you ever really have “too many” flashlights? Mini tactical flashlights, small LED flashlights for a key ring, and lights made to hang inside the hood of a car (or other awkward places) are just a few of the options available. If being hands-free is a regular need/challenge, consider a headlamp.
First Aid Supplies
Similarly, over-the-counter medications can make good stocking stuffers. There are “old standbys,” like acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) and ibuprofen (e.g. Advil), but depending on your recipient’s needs, there are also other options, like Icy Hot, Lactaid, and Gas-X.
Essential Oils and/or Supplements
— A Perfect Gentleman (@aperfectmale) February 29, 2016
Batteries make an especially fitting stocking stuffer if you are giving gifts that require batteries — then just fill the stocking with the sizes that will be needed. But batteries are such a staple, anyway, that they’re useful stocking fillers regardless. In most cases, AA’s and AAA’s are probably going to be the most useful.
Not all tools will fit well in a stocking, but mini screwdrivers (either small “regular” screwdrivers or tiny “precision” screwdrivers), small wrenches, and all-in-one tools are examples of a few that will. Or you may be able to pick up additions to tools he already has — bits for a drill, sockets for a socket wrench, etc. Keep an eye out on end caps and special displays of the hardware store for some of these items.
Seeds (and bulbs) can be good stocking stuffers for a gardener, or someone who just wants to try his hand at planting. You can do vegetables, herbs, or flowers. These are often available on displays near the doorway at the supermarket and at smaller hardware stores. And the dollar store usually has a small selection, too. If you want something more unusual (potentially a very fun addition to a stocking), you might have to look online or order through a catalog.
Other gardening supplies, like gardening gloves, peat pellets, or small plant pots, can also be used to stuff stockings.
Norwex cloths have so many uses, everyone can benefit from them. Use the Envirocloths at home, stash in a briefcase or desk drawer for wardrobe emergencies, pack in a travel bag, etc. The travel ones are a great size for packing — and for stuffing into stockings — and come in a package of four that you can break up among those you’re stuffing stockings for.
If he likes to shoot, he probably goes through ammunition in a hurry. Keep him stocked by adding some to his stocking.
Small Camping Supplies/EDC
Small camping supplies and “everyday carry” (EDC) items can be fun and functional fillers for a stocking. Items such as a compass, pocketknife, lighter, or fire starter are some basics you can start with.
I know, you don’t think “men” when you think about night lights. But everybody likes to not stub their toes when they get up during the night to use the bathroom. Just something basic to light the bathroom or hallway is a perfect choice. Or appeal to his geeky side.
I’m trying to keep this list PG, but it wouldn’t be complete without pointing out that items related to fun in the bedroom can be ideal stocking stuffers for the right recipient — so use your imagination. (And your judgment. These are obviously not suitable for every guy with a stocking.) Start with basics, or get more creative.
Other Small Games/Pieces
Even if the man you’re filling a stocking for doesn’t play RPGs, dice, cards, and small games go well in a stocking. There are add-on packs for card games like Magic the Gathering and The Game of Things. Or try a book-based solitaire RPG.
If your recipient is a musician, music accessories make great stocking stuffers. Which items you include will, of course, depend on which instrument(s) he plays, but to give you some ideas, consider: guitar picks or pick holders, capos, replacement strings, rosin, tuners, reeds, valve or key oil, polishing cloths, etc. (Small instruments can go in a stocking, too, like a harmonica, small rhythm instruments — or a pitch pipe for the singers.)
Hobby supplies, like instrument accessories, will obviously vary based on what the recipient’s interests are, but thinking about what small items might be related to his hobbies can give you some ideas. Does he enjoy painting his own miniatures? Then maybe include some detail paintbrushes. Does he draw? Try drawing pencils or pens (or an eraser or tortillons/blending stumps or…). Woodcarving? Include small blocks of wood. Home brewing? Toss in bottlecaps. You get the idea.
Many collectible items, like cards (baseball, football, Magic the Gathering, etc.), coins, rocks, and stamps, are small and will fit easily in a stocking. Storage accessories like card sleeves and coin holders are also suitable as stocking stuffers.
Pocket-Style Nature Guides or Maps
Stuff his stocking with pocket-style nature guides — either small paperbook books or something like the laminated brochure-style guide from Waterford Press (see examples below). Or with a map. Most people probably don’t use printed maps of cities and states much anymore, given the advent of GPS and online maps, but maps of hiking trails or other destinations (zoos, etc.) may be welcome.
Books and magazines make great stocking stuffers. Just check the sizes on books first. Trade paperbacks are a perfect size; some other books might be too large to fit. Comic books are a good fit, too. Magazines can be rolled.
Not only reading material, but also reading accessories make good stocking stuffers — especially for avid readers. Check out bookmarks, reading lights, book darts/line markers, book weights, or doohickeys you wear on your thumb to help hold a book open.
Small Toys or Puzzles
Toys might not be the first thing you think of for grown men, but all the men in my life enjoy toys! Especially unique or gadgety types (or toys that make animal noises). Try tops, gyroscopes, interesting fidget spinners, LED spinner wands, etc. Or mini puzzles, like peg games or metal brainteasers.
Small Kaleidoscopes or Teleidoscopes
First off, what’s the difference? A “real” kaleidoscope contains small pieces of something that form the designs when the barrel is turned. A teleidoscope has a faceted or similar lens that creates designs out of whatever you look at through it (Think telescope + kaleidoscope). (You’ll rarely see it labeled that way, though, except from a high-end company.) Either one makes a good gift and fits well in a stocking.
A few of the things already mentioned are “science-y” things — like gyroscopes and kaleidoscopes — but science-y things in general make excellent stocking stuffers if they’re small enough. Think of the kinds of things that are sold in a science museum gift shop, like magnets, magnetic putty, kinetic motion doodads, and build-your-own solar gadget kits.
Favorite Themed Show, etc.
If he has a favorite show, look for small items related to that show. You can, of course, include DVDs of the show itself, but there are other options, too. There are Funko Pops of characters. There are stickers/decals. T-shirts, though fitting those into a stocking might be a stretch. Books about the show. And definitely don’t overlook favorite quote gear.
An ornament makes a fitting stocking stuffer, since the stocking will be “opened” right at Christmas and the ornament can be put straight onto the tree.
Gift cards can be awesome additions to a stocking. Typically, when putting them in stockings, you’ll be using lower amounts, so think about places someone might spend just $5 or $10. Fast food, coffee, Amazon (mp3s & ebooks are often just a dollar or a few dollars each), iTunes, etc. (And although they may not have handy cards to tuck into a stocking, don’t overlook the possibility of credits to a favorite digital site or application, like Steam. You can tuck a little note into the stocking.)
Cash is always a win. You can do change for the parking meter, international currency for fun, or plain old “paper dollars.” To make it a little more interesting, consider dollar bill origami or a puzzle box. Or roll it and tie it like a scroll.
Letter or Note
A personal note makes for a very affordable stocking stuffer, and can be greatly appreciated. Depending on your recipient, you might choose to include a love letter, a note of encouragement, well wishes or blessings for the coming year, a handwritten card with a favorite quote, etc.
Small Picture Frame
Last but not least, give him a small picture frame or photo album (often called a “brag book”) — with or without pictures already in it. (Check the dollar store, which often has these in stock.) You could even make the coupons from the previous suggestion to fit in a small photo album, so it’s two gifts in one.