Last minute Stocking Stuffer present ideas needed for an 18 yo girl.
December 21, 2017 2:30 PM   Subscribe

My niece is staying with me this Christmas, like a good Aunt & Uncle we're giving her what every teenager wants, a chunk of cash for Christmas. But her pile of presents looks bare with just the envelope & card so I'want to put together a Christmas stockings full of little things so she has something to actually open on the morning when everyone else is opening things.

What the heck do 18 year old girls like that would work as a stocking stuffer and preferably can be bought Amazon Prime to arrive Sunday. I can do a mall run if necessary for a great idea, but get anxiety from crowds so would like to stick to Amazon if possible.

I've thought of the obvious hand creams & lip balms but what brands do teenagers like? She is not particularly geeky, which is my strong suit trend wise so I have no idea what she might like as the last time I spent a lot of time with her she was 13 so I'm sure her tastes have changed so any and all suggestions welcome.

Yes I checked the tags & Gift ideas wiki but they all seemed to be for bigger present ideas.

Thanks in advance.
posted by wwax to Shopping (27 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Bath & Body Works stuff is pretty popular with teens. My teen daughter has also asked for bath bombs...which I had to look up. ;)
posted by pantarei70 at 2:36 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: - novelty socks
- for lip balm or hand lotion, you could look at brands available at, like, Urban Outfitters or Anthroplogie, or splurge on l'occitane or just do Burt's Bees
- if she does any plane travel, a luggage tag can be a nice little thing
- this might skew a little young but a set of gel pens is a nice cheap gift
posted by vunder at 2:46 PM on December 21, 2017

Is she into makeup? Makeup kits, brushes and tool boxes to hold supplies are always needed. Headphones or ear buds are nice to have extras of.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 2:48 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Bath bombs from Lush if you have one at your mall
small makeup items or samples (like from Sephora)
Small funny toys like the mini hatchimals (for fun! put one in your stocking too and you can "hatch" them together)
Sheet masks - especially the ones with animal faces
pens - nice japanese pens
small notebooks or journals
nail polish
hair scrunchies or headbands if shorter hair
mini toiletries
charging block
a calming pillow spray
essential oil
posted by RoadScholar at 2:53 PM on December 21, 2017 [8 favorites]

Best answer: Every late teen and 20's woman I know has some sort of water bottle.
Seconding the pens and notebooks for bullet journaling-- maybe some washi tape as well.
If you know what model phone she has, a fun phone cover.
Lots of the students I have all seems to have some sort of pen case as well-- something cute and fun. They all have tons of stickers on their laptops. It is a thing (I work at a college).
posted by oflinkey at 2:57 PM on December 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I'm not sure what your price range is, but here are a few ideas (mostly around $10-15, some less).
-Makeup palettes -- ELF makes good stuff for the price. I like this or this (Target also carries a lot of ELF's stuff and I think has some exclusive gift sets)
-Seconding sheet masks or other in-home "spa" products (LUSH is great if you can get to one).
-Bluetooth speakers -- you can go basic or get one that lights up or such (and if she already has one, I've found it's great having more than one). Note: I'm not necessarily recommending any of those -- just showing the range of things.
-Extra earbuds are also great
-Candles or LED candles if her parents look down on open flames.
-Speaking of that, copper string fairy lights. Or ones that can do multiple colors (I own that set and like them -- you do need batteries, though).
-Cell phone tripod & remote and a selfie ring-light (she may already have that -- and once again, just examples). I have similar things and I've found they're great for all photos -- not just selfies.
posted by darksong at 3:16 PM on December 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: keychain flashlight (not sexy but so useful)
definitely candy and/or gum, especially fun varieties that are hard to find locally
seconding nail polish if she likes that sort of thing
n'thing good pens
funny slippers
mascara (again if she likes makeup - you're supposed to replace it so often that everyone who wears mascara is probably overdue to switch it out. Maybe a novelty/colored/sparkle/tubing version if you don't know what kind she likes)
adult coloring book and colored pencils
trashy magazines (if you think you can guess what sort she might enjoy)
cards - either fancy normal playing cards, or something like set or anomia or cards against humanity
scratch off or other lotto tickets

If she'll be off to college or living independently soon (or is already):
a nice pairing knife
a little screwdriver set
posted by snaw at 3:18 PM on December 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Generic teen age girl stuff given you havnet outlines her interests much:
Sheet masks from Skin Food or Sephora

EOS lip balm or tinted Burts Bees

Books: The Snow Child is a lovely book that appeals to a wide range of people. There are also a lot of mysteries with female protagonists out lately, Girl on the Train, Gone Girl etc

Pop-sockets and hangers are amazing, everyone loves them. But the name brand, it's worth it. $10 each

If she an athlete, those grippy headbands are awesome and quite expensive so a nice gift. Under Armour makes a good one so does lululemon and Nikes are ok. Thick bands for short hair or bangs and thing bands for long hair that's in a ponytail.

Sunglasses. Smaller sunglasses are coming back into style.

Silk or satin pillow cases. Soooo nice for your skin and hair. I buy satin so I can wash them a lot.
posted by fshgrl at 3:26 PM on December 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Bubble bath/bath bombs or shower bombs
Funny socks or slippers
Glitter nail polish
Inexpensive earrings (if she has pierced ears)
If she has any pets at home, little cat or dog toys or other things for said pets
A portable phone charger -- you can get super cheap ones at the drugstore

Also - if you go on Amazon, at the very top of the page is a clickable line labeled "New & Interesting Finds on Amazon). I'm not sure to what extent mine are personalized to me, but when I click on it I get lots of categories with stuff that I feel like teenage girls would probably love. So this could be fun for just getting inspiration + options.
posted by rainbowbrite at 3:31 PM on December 21, 2017

Best answer: Starbucks gift card (I. e. more cash)
If you want her to have something to unwrap you can wrap the cash and card up in a box withinaboxwithinabox. Throw some bells or beans or something in there so it makes noise. Or wrap said cash up in a crepe paper surprise ball, pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters etc on the outside with bills getting bigger as she goes in.
posted by BoscosMom at 3:36 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh also, if she plays a sport, something relevant to that sport -- for example, tennis balls for a tennis player.
posted by rainbowbrite at 3:39 PM on December 21, 2017

I have no contact with actual 18yr olds, but the above list made me a bit sad. Why not support a potential budding feminist or intellect. Searching amazon for feminist gifts for teens may be barely productive.

A set of feminist playing cards
Awesome women in history desk calendar
An issue (or subscription to) Ms Magazine
A travel scrabble board
Books (as recommended above)
posted by lab.beetle at 4:03 PM on December 21, 2017 [9 favorites]

Scratch off lottery tickets were always in our stockings.

Plus good office supplies.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 4:47 PM on December 21, 2017

The amazon prime stocking stuffers seem really overpriced to me. I would probably try to hit up a Target during an odd time of day to avoid the crowds. Or even a drugstore, like CVS. Slime or putty are fun. A blank journal and some pens. EOS lip balm and lotion. Chocolate. A fun winter hat, like a slouchy beanie or something with a Pom Pom. A novelty bank. A tote bag. A scarf.
posted by MadMadam at 5:00 PM on December 21, 2017

My mother started a tradition of giving my sister and I a Christmas ornament in our stockings. That way when we were ready to move out, we'd already developed a small collection of Christmas ornaments for our own trees. Local craft fairs/farmers markets are great sources for bath bombs and great smelling soaps. A battery backup that can be used to charge electronic devices is nearly always welcome.
posted by peppermind at 5:03 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have no contact with actual 18yr olds, but the above list made me a bit sad. Why not support a potential budding feminist or intellect.

Yeah most 18 year olds are not into gel pens, plastic figurines or sparkly nail polish. That's more the 11 to 13 age range and even then a particularly girly 11-13 year old.

18 is an adult, adult gifts are more appropriate. Books, generic make up or body care, small luxury items, tech gadgets, gloves or hats etc.
posted by fshgrl at 5:34 PM on December 21, 2017 [9 favorites]

Best answer: Not to derail, but I am an adult, a feminist, and an intellectual. I love bath bombs, sparkly nail polish, gel pens, and scented candles. Jeez.

My ideas: a fun card game (I like SushiGo and Monopoly Deal), a basic Swiss Army knife, fancy chocolates, enamel pins.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 5:44 PM on December 21, 2017 [26 favorites]

Best answer: The card game is a total win. A note - if you have family traditions, like in our house, everyone gets dried mango and beef jerky in their stockings - then make sure you include her in the tradition. An orange in the toe of the stocking is an excellent filler.

I have to pack 5 stockings each year on a budget, so my trick to pad up gifts is to buy small sale things, then wrap them nicely, preferably in their boxes. They end up looking bigger and part of the joy of Christmas is undoing ribbons and ripping wrapping paper. You can get away with plain coloured paper (tissue paper is amazing for awkward shaped drugstore gifts) tied up with colourful thin ribbons that you curl with the edge of a scissor or bundle up with washi-tape. You end up quickly with a big stack of fun to undo parcels that sort of match and are super cheerful.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 8:26 PM on December 21, 2017

Best answer: Milani baked blush in Coralina (these are beloved by the youtube beauty community. Wayne Goss, a professional make-up artist w/ 3 million subscribers called this blush one of the best of 2017 and a "sexy bitch.")
Sheet masks (more cheaply bought at Target where you can buy one or two rather than a set)
EOS lipbalm sphere in sweet mint (again, likely best a Target run. There are lots of other kinds, but sweet mint is this year's best)
invisibobble hair ties in her hair color
beautiful playing cards, or a tarot set
These adorable and hilarious socks, or search 'novelty socks women' for a huge array. Love the Wonder Woman socks, but if she's not geeky maybe they wouldn't land?
Lastly, if she's 18, she probably has a lot of IKEA and other furniture assembly coming down the pike. A hex key set will get her going.
posted by missmary6 at 9:17 PM on December 21, 2017

Heck, depending on how much you're willing to go, get her a FIXA electric screwdriver set or similar. It does more than Ikea furniture, it can even drill.
posted by fiercekitten at 10:11 PM on December 21, 2017

Neon mini Sharpies!
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 10:57 PM on December 21, 2017

Best answer: There is no wrong way to be a woman, FFS.

My daughter will be 18 in April. Here's what she requested for Christmas (this is her list, verbatim):

Converse sneakers (pink, black, or red)
that book we saw about animal behaviors
Nail Polish
bath bombs
makeup/Sephora gift cards
Neil deGrasse Tyson's book
new phone
fun geeky stuff (you know what I like!)
Copic markers
art stuff (charcoal pencils, another sketch pad, pre-stretched canvases)
astronomy book (something with pictures from Hubble and descriptions of the stars)

She is a hardcore feminist, will be majoring in a STEM field in college, and can break concrete blocks with her hands (Taekwondo). She also loves makeup, nail polish, dressing in very girly clothes, and can't get enough sparkly shit.

If you feel like you don't know her well, can you stalk her social media for a bit to see what she posts about? Can you ask her parents? Do you have any other nieces/nephews who might be closer to her that you can ask?

For stocking stuffers, we get both kids pretty much the same things (we also have a nearly 21-year-old son): some kind of small vinyl figure collectible thing (this year it's Gravity Falls, for Reasons), assorted candy/chips from our international market (Japanese, British, German), fun socks, nice pens/pencils for school, and an ornament for the collection which will be ready for them when they have their own Christmas tree.
posted by cooker girl at 6:53 AM on December 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Do you have a way to find out a little bit more about her tastes? Her parents, her social media, her Amazon wish list? That could help steer you.

I am artistic, crafty, and geeky, and I am also into makeup and sparkly things, and here are some cheap things that I would like/have liked that are small and relatively cheap.

(Note: my mom used to feel bad that people didn't have enough presents to open and just go to the dollar store to bulk up the present count, but that resulted in a lot of cheap crap you didn't really want and had feign enthusiasm for, that you threw away or gave away as soon as you could, so resist that temptation.)

-some holiday food treats, like a candy she particularly likes in a dollar store tin or a box of her favorite grocery store cookies that are HERS ALL HERS
-Lush bath bomb
-Lip balms that are a step up from chapstick - like Burt's Bees, or even better, a natural one from Trader Joes or Whole Foods or the like - that smell good. I have five million lip balms at all times.
-makeup is pretty expensive for its size and unless you know her tastes/colors it's easy to give something useless. If you want to go in this realm, I'd suggest looking at makeup tools. The Beauty Blender makeup sponge is pretty universally beloved but it's $20: my YouTube research suggests that the Real Techniques version (available at Wal Mart for like $6) is the best of the cheap alternatives.
-If she lives on her own or is soon going to, I know when I was starting out I was SHOCKED at how much things like toiletries and OTC medicine cost. You could stock a medicine cabinet with stuff like generic OTC painkillers, antacids, allergy meds, bandages, cotton pads etc - you could wrap each thing by itself and include a plastic caddy or case to carry it around in.
-novelty or just warm/fuzzy slipper socks
-you can buy a subscription to Teen Vogue for like $5 and it's great for when you want to read about both serious current events and how to rock a rainbow highlighter in the same magazine
-I freaking love gel pens now, I loved them when I was that age, the more colors and finishes the better. The premium gel pens for artists/colorists/scrapbookers is the Japanese brand Gelly Roll (available on Amazon and also in craft stores) but for everyday writing I find that Papermate InkJoy gel pens are amazing. Don't buy knockoff/dollar store gel pens unless they are really well reviewed, a skipping gel pen is sadness.
-Especially if she is in school, planners are a Big Thing in crafting right now. If she's into planners she likely has one already, but the decorating supplies might be appreciated: washi tape, stencils, small stickers, etc. Keywords to look for are "planner" and "bujo" or "bullet journal".
-Tons of people are into adult coloring books now, and it could be a fun present that is also an activity. There is a VAST range of themes available for this. A good generic choice if you don't know that she would love one about cats, curse words, unicorns with jobs, etc is one of the geometric/mandala/celtic ones that is mostly just abstract designs.
-Small-value ($5) gift cards to Starbucks, Amazon, and iTunes are the most universal small-value gift cards I know of, unless you know for a fact that she doesn't use iTunes or doesn't drink coffee.
-someone at my work gives everyone a dollar scratch-off lotto ticket in their Christmas card, which is fun. One year I won $250 and bought a pair of nice earrings, which made me something of an office celebrity, heh.
-If you know what kind of phone she uses, extra chargers are always handy. I have extra Lightning cables upstairs, downstairs, at work, in the car, you name it. Same with USB plug adapters for house outlets and cars.
-If she wears makeup, Neutrogena (I don't think I spelled that right but you know the brand I mean) makeup remover wipes in the blue package are pretty universally beloved.

Alternately, if the concern is just that she have things to OPEN, you could break her chunk of cash into multiple packages of different shapes, each containing a different amount.
posted by oblique red at 8:01 AM on December 22, 2017

Best answer: Will she be striking out on her own within the next year or so? If so, here are a few things I remember needing to have my own versions of for the first time
-office supplies (mini stapler, paperclips, binder clips, organizational tools, envelopes)
-tools (may be a little big for a stocking? My two most-used in college were a stapler and a mini tape measure)
-kitchen tools (spoons & such, peelers, paring knives, etc.)
-duct tape
-medical (first aid kit, thermometer)
-extra chargers & good power strips (with USB ports!)
I know thermometers and whatever are...unsexy, but if she's in the growing independence stage, it's SO useful.

If that's not the plan, then some of the above may still be useful, but I'd definitely recommend the "good consumables" route. Or the generic adult stocking stuffers - Buzzfeed's gift guides are pretty good and pretty much all amazon-driven.

Also, the prices on those little things from amazon can be a little high. I'd also recommend Target, bigger grocery stores, CVS, TJmaxx/Marshalls, Ulta, even IKEA. But if that's not doable, it's not doable.
posted by mosst at 10:18 AM on December 22, 2017

Best answer: travel sized toiletries, a compact mirror, good tweezers, candy, fix-a-flat, car ice scraper, cool socks, tea, cough drops, honey, salt and pepper shakers, novelty shot glass that references some memory of hers, cool mug, nail files, coin purse, credit card/ id holder, nice badge lanyard if she uses one for school or work, cool keychain, real sharpies, good scissors for paper, good scissors for fabric, a small mending kit, mini flashlight, shoehorn, back scratcher, Tide pen, purse tissue packs, little hand sanitizers form bath and body works, those little circle things to convert regular bra straps into racer back style (they sell them at CVS and such), an exotic fruit (or a pomegranite), summer sausage, index cards
posted by WeekendJen at 12:26 PM on December 22, 2017

Best answer: I just did this (for an older age group -- 25 to 30). Off to Wally World, and into makeup bags I added....
In the see-through section:
A mini scrubby in a favorite color (the white scrubby and three of the bottles were placed inside).
A glittery X-mas clip-on decoration in the same color (fun as a hair accessory for the wild half-hour while unwrapping other gifts and taking candid pictures).
Some random small ribbon bows (because X-mas!)

Inside I took out the packing paper and added:
A toothbrush holder, a gel eye mask, soothing soap, an excellent lotion that I use when working with drywall and concrete, and some tinted lip balm.

All useful, a step above goofy gag gifts, and nothing that tries to replace their usual makeup purchases like a favorite body mist or shampoo.

For the man in my oldest daughter's life, I wrapped up a nice wallet with some money. Again, he can use them both and I have no clue about his grooming routines.
posted by TrishaU at 2:21 AM on December 23, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I sort of ended up combining a few ideas from different lists figuring she'd end up liking something. Ended up doing a combination of beauty products (face masks & lip balm brand she can't get back in Australia), tiny bluetooth speaker for her phone as she loves music, a multitool, a Christmas decoration, a couple of silly things and a wad of cash in the toe of the stocking.
posted by wwax at 8:56 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

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