Stocking Stuffer Block -- Help
November 26, 2013 11:45 AM   Subscribe

So, every year I can't figure out what to put in my beloved Bear's holiday stocking, and this year I have total Stocking Stuffer Block. I so don't want to delay getting shopping for this done. Details about him below.

He's a dedicated gardener, very good with home projects, including hard ones like electrical and plumbing projects, a fabulous cook, rather artistic, and very interested in music, particularly blues and jazz. He's also nuts about Allsorts licorice and chocolate covered raspberry sticks and bridge mix, but he has diabetes 2.

The thing is, he has tons of tools, an enormous music collection, every kitchen tool you can imagine, and in general, a lot of stuff. (We're older, it piles up eventually.) What can I get him that feeds his passions that he doesn't already have?
posted by bearwife to Shopping (26 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
How about one of those Irish hats? He could wear it in the rain; to dry and reshape it, you just put it over a coffee can.
posted by Cranberry at 11:54 AM on November 26, 2013

Maybe take a look at Restoration Hardware's Stocking Stuffers?

A couple things that struck me were the Retro Safety Glasses, the little book Handyman in Your Pocket, and the Lift-Up Apron.
posted by dotgirl at 11:57 AM on November 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

Packets of seeds.
posted by brujita at 12:06 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Lawn Claws are one of those things you're amazed no-one invented before. I never want to pick up piles of leaves without them again
posted by IanMorr at 12:07 PM on November 26, 2013

New or unusual oils, spices, or salts.
posted by deludingmyself at 12:09 PM on November 26, 2013

Great suggestions so far. What kind of Irish hat do you mean, Cranberry? The tweedy flat cap style?
posted by bearwife at 12:09 PM on November 26, 2013

How about heirloom seeds , a small garden planning notebook and a potmaker for starting the seeds?
posted by Requiax at 12:11 PM on November 26, 2013

This year, I've taken to giving Mr Telophase small things that might help him in daily life, like these silicone caps for beer bottles, as his favorite seasonals often come in sizes greater than 12 ounces, and he doesn't drink all of it at once. I'm also getting him this magnetic wristband to hyold nails and screws when he's puttering about the house.

My mother once gave him a "gift certificate" she made in Word for a trip to a local brewery for a tour, plus dinner. (It was paid for by me telling her how much it cost and her reimbursing me.)
posted by telophase at 12:20 PM on November 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

How about some interesting spices from Penzey's? I love their Arizona Dreaming and the Country French Vinagrette.
posted by kestrel251 at 12:21 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Experiences rather than things? Maybe tickets to an upcoming live music performance, or a botanical garden or garden show. Consumables like Bag Balm (great for garden-chapped hands) or lovely locally-made herbal soap or salve.
posted by evilmomlady at 12:23 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Unusual spices or condiments? Like super awesome mustards or something? My mom was recently raving about some south american cumin salt that blew her mind.
posted by that's candlepin at 12:27 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

I can give you stocking stuffer-sized garden tool advice.
If he doesn't already have a hori-hori (aka soil knife) get him one. Immensely useful.

If he doesn't already have Felco pruners, get him a Felco #2 pruner. It will last at least a decade and parts are replaceable.

I don't know the region you're listed as living in in your profile in terms of plants so I can't give good advice on that.
posted by sciencegeek at 12:41 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Consumables are good when you've already got lots of stuff. Maybe an interesting flavor of tea or hot chocolate, or gourmet coffee. Or look in the snack/treat aisle of trader joes, maybe get ginger chews or chocolate covered marshmallows or licorice mints. Tickets to a live music show would be good, too.
posted by JenMarie at 12:48 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Unusual spices or condiments?

Yep, absolutely. My mother and I have both done this for our spouses for years. Different varieties of hot sauces are key for mine, who loves such things. My dad always got a little jar of caviar and a tin of smoked oysters in his stocking, also.

Does he play an instrument, as well as being into music? He might enjoy a harmonica, especially as a blues/jazz fan--you can get a basic Hohner Old Standby for under 15 bucks. My husband keeps one in the car and plays when he's waiting for things.

Not within your categories, but everybody always needs and appreciates good thick socks in winter, and they take up nice stocking room.
posted by dlugoczaj at 12:51 PM on November 26, 2013

Well, if you do go the "stuff" route, Kevin Kelly's "Cool Tools" blog contains a wealth of tools, many of them in the stocking stuffer price range, all neatly categorized. Here is the page for gardening tools; and here, a great post on tools under $10 for cheap gifts.

I've been known to buy packs of extra-powerful magnets as little gifts as well. My favorite source is SuperMagnetMan.
posted by duffell at 12:53 PM on November 26, 2013

5 or more colors of electrical tape.

Your basic electrical tape is black, and it's great for most electrical applications, as well as solving the problem of a check-engine light that won't go out. However, there are applications in which you want to have multiple colors because you have numerous wires inside one cable, and sometimes those cables are not color-coded for anything, so you do the color coding for yourself. The rolls are much smaller than the normal roll of black tape, because you don't use them as much.

They're cheap, small, and not something he'd likely buy unless he knew he'd need them, but he could certainly find a use for them. It's the stocking-stuffer trifecta!
posted by Sunburnt at 12:57 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

I always have good luck at World Market.

Bamboo mini puzzles
interesting seasonings and spices
Stainless Steel Spork
Jaw Harp

Uncommon Goods has some neat things, too
Other items: Cool post-it pads, pocket calendars, pocket knife/multi-tool, Pocket Ref, yo-yo, socks, Survival Kit in a Can, puzzle books, fancy beef jerky, lottery tickets/scratch tickets, silly putty, sample sized mens nice products (soaps, etc).
posted by KogeLiz at 1:06 PM on November 26, 2013

Our family mostly defines stocking stuffers as consumables, usually one step up from what you'd buy for yourself. Teas and coffees, fancy salt and spices, snacks, nice soaps, hand warmers, very nice pens.

For a handy person of this description, I'd also think about heat-shrink tubing, cable ties, or electrical tape in a bunch of colors, Suguru, seeds, twine, batteries, teeny clamps that hold delicate work, or any number of many-handy-uses-for-one-tool things--swiss army knife or whatever. Think Geek's under-10$ section often has things like this mixed in with the fandom-of-the-week stuff.
posted by tchemgrrl at 1:10 PM on November 26, 2013

Take a look at Lee Valley Tools:

And Sugru!

Whiskey Rocks? Nice beer glasses? New pen knife?
posted by barnone at 1:14 PM on November 26, 2013

The thing is, he has tons of tools, an enormous music collection,

He does not yet have the Billie Joe Armstrong/Norah Jones album Foreverly. Aside from that give him tickets. Minor league baseball tickets, local indie music tickets, tickets to a weekend away with you and/or with his buddies, tickets to a show he'd want to see in a roadtrippable town, made-up tickets that he has to redeem during official winter/spring/summer/fall of the coming year.
posted by headnsouth at 1:24 PM on November 26, 2013

Keep 'em coming! Re the alcohol related ideas, I should have mentioned he's been a recovering alcoholic for over 30 years.
posted by bearwife at 1:46 PM on November 26, 2013

How about a fat bag of macadamia nuts in the shell?

The shells are thick and very hard, and more perfectly spherical than those of any other nut I'm aware of, and they keep the nut from going rancid, which has been at least a minor issue with every shelled macadamia I've had no matter how packed-- plus, they're rarely seen and he may not recognize them at first; I didn't.

And they might give him a chance to use some of his many tools. After half a dozen macadamias, one of the legs of our nutcracker was totally bent and I had to get out the vice-grips.
posted by jamjam at 3:54 PM on November 26, 2013

My dad is diabetic, and he really appreciates when I get him sugar-free chocolate and candies. The candies are available at larger drugstores, and often fancy chocolate shops will carry a few sugar-free varieties.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:31 PM on November 26, 2013

My mother-in-law always put a magazine in the stocking. Go to a book store that stocks a lot of different titles and pick an oddball magazine that looks like he might find it interesting.
posted by CathyG at 4:32 PM on November 26, 2013

Give him a $25 gift certificate to Kiva. He uses it to go online and decides who gets his micro loan. When the money is paid back, he's notified and can go to the extensive list and pick someone else. I gave this to my daughter several years ago and she's loaned the same money to 9 different small business people all over the world. Very solid, very satisfying.

(I'm sorry, I'm still unable to figure out how to post a link. It comes out weird every time.
Type in )
posted by kestralwing at 9:07 PM on November 26, 2013

Thanks, all!
posted by bearwife at 11:04 AM on November 27, 2013

« Older Designer bag too expensive: looking for similar...   |   Attempted Mugging Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.