Every year, there is a lot of chatter about what to buy for the men in our lives. Be they husbands, boyfriends or Dads, men can be hard to buy for! Now, I know each guy has different tastes, but I know we can do better than ties and golf stuff, right?! Following my post on The Best Stocking Stuffers for Guys, I put together this Shopping Guide to the Best Christmas Gifts for Guys that involves both gifts my husband has asked for in the past, or currently has on his wish list, plus a few ideas of my own.
- Bluetooth speaker – my husband asked for (and received) the UE Mini Boom for his birthday. He did his research on options and hit on this amazing bluetooth speaker that we use either in our office or move around wherever we want some extra music! Since it’s bluetooth, you can play from your phone or any bluetooth-enabled device.
- Car Tech Toys – there are a lot of toys you can buy for cars, depending on your guy. Whether it’s accessories for the car itself or, in my case, tech gadgets. Our top recommendations include the Portable Smartphone Mount, which clips onto your vents!, an extra charger (variable depending on your car) or an audio cable so you can play music or podcasts or get audio directions directly from your phone
- Cards Against Humanity – even for non-gamers, this entirely inappropriate game is perfect as a gift! Bonus: you can give expansion packs in future years!! They make great stocking stuffers ;)
- BBQ Rotisserie – you can buy a brand-specific rotisserie for your BBQ, but they are super expensive. You may find a universal rotisserie like this one works for you. My husband got this last year and though it doesn’t fit as snugly as a super expensive option would have, it still works. We roast TWO chickens at a time on it!
- Home Brew Kit – my husband wants to brew his own beer, but space has always been an issue. He recently discovered the Box Brew Kits which are not only super amazing looking, but don’t require a lot of space. If you don’t want to give a DIY kit, I highly recommend a selection of craft beers! You could even invest in a couple of growlers and pre-fill them with a local beer.
- Clothes – when it comes to clothes, I like to buy something that will actually get worn, but is nicer than what my husband would typically buy for himself. Wether this is a nicer pair of jogging pants (like Lululemon) or a great sweater (Banana Republic has the most flattering ones in a variety of styles!) or a new fleece jacket or something of that kind.
- Pedicure – because, have you seen his feet? Well, he may deny he needs it, but team up to get him to go with another guy pal if you think that will get him there. Trust me, he’ll thank you. There are salons that offer men’s pedicure options.
- Tickets & Gift Certificates – this one is really personal. Does your guy like sports, theatre, movies, music, trips? Is he a foodie? Scour sites like Groupon for deals, or grab tickets to a coveted event and wrap it up in a larger box. If you have kids, secure your babysitting as part of a “date night” package.
Here’s hoping these gifts are a hit with the guy in your life!
Buying gifts for the men in your life can be difficult, without adding in the pressure to make those gifts smaller to fit in a stocking. If your husband (boyfriend / brother / dad) are as hard to shop for as my husband, here are some tips on stocking stuffers that have been a success for us in the past! Unfortunately, I cannot share this year’s list, since my husband is known to sometimes read my posts.
My goal with a stocking is to give useful items that go beyond your typical deodorant & bath products and specialize on inexpensive but high end alternatives. Yes, you can add in the deodorant or socks or boxer shorts, but most people can come up with those ideas on their own. This is how I make my husband’s stocking special.
- A small puzzle or game. I know my husband likes to fidget, so a brain teaser or even high end putty can help him relax. If you are a gaming family, there are smaller options out there like Bananagrams or even expansion packs for well-loved board games
- Premium food & drink items – like spice rubs, hot sauce, locally-made jerky or his a local craft beer. Last year I found a mini bottle of bourbon maple syrup that was a great addition! For Vancouverites, my husband’s favourite jerky is from the Jerky Baron.
- An ornament of his very own, since let’s face it, most of the ornaments are not ‘his’. I’ve given R2D2 and the flying spaghetti monster ornaments in the past.
- A magazine that suits his interests. For my husband, that was always Sci-Fi, though you have endless choices in this department!
- A gag gift – because that’s what makes stockings fun! Last year I gave sriracha candy canes, though apparently Ianiv secretly wished for the hot cock boxers.
- BBQ tools are a common theme for us, either a spice or rub or a tool that may need replacing. We seem to need a new brush every year or two!
- Good quality chocolate and candies! Aside from a favourite chocolate bar, my hubby gets some premium chocolates and a bag of assorted candies from our favourite local candy store
- Scratch & Win tickets are a must for us! It’s the one time a year we indulge in these and it’s so much fun!
- Touchscreen gloves are so amazing. I love the ones I received last year! If you want basic gloves, they come pretty inexpensively, though higher end options would make a good under-the-tree gift
I hope these gifts hit home with you!
Remember, even though these gifts are for the grown men in our lives, it doesn’t mean they have to cost a fortune! My rule of thumb is that if the gift is expensive, it should be given under the tree, no matter how small it is! Santa is not getting credit for my thoughtful gifts, thank you very much. ;)
See also my Guys’ Guide to Stocking Stuffers for Her, a great list to share with these men in our lives!
If you have a 2-year-old, you know they are right on the verge of some major developmental milestones. Between age 2 and 3, their interests completely shift and they leave behind being a “baby” or “toddler” and move right into being a “preschooler.” Their interests and capabilities can emerge very quickly! Providing them with toys and tools that are open-ended can give them hours (and years) of fun. So, when it comes to putting presents in a stocking for a 2-year-old, I focus on things that are both fun for now and for later in addition to any chocolates or candies that may sweeten the deal.
Having had a 2-year-old already, I know that these items are both fun for a 2 year old and can last for several years to come! The BEST STOCKING STUFFERS FOR A 2-YEAR OLD are:
- Stickers of their favourite characters! A great tip for using stickers with little ones is to remove the “background” sticker portion, which allows them to easily pull up individual stickers on their own.
- A book that will still grow with your child. The Pete the Cat series is fantastic right past Kindergarten. Other favourites of this age include anything Robert Munsch or non-fiction books on farming or seasons or particular interests of theirs (like trains, cars, instruments etc). Damien is getting Stick Man this year.
- A musical instrument like a maraca, bells, recorder, kazoo or harmonica
- Play-Doh tools. Our favourites are a good solid roller, scissors and a fun press. This s a great basic kit you can disassemble to put in a stocking! Dollar stores often have knock-off sets that work as well.
- Scissor skills begin around age 2. Get a good set of scissors with a wide finger grip, metal pieces and that are not too dull (or you will end up frustrating your child) are a great investment. Some sets come with fun crimpers and other shapes.
- Pocket Etch-A-Sketch makes for a great car or restaurant toy. The larger Etch-A-Sketch is a classic toy, but I love mini items!! Both my 2 and 5 year old are getting one this year.
- Fun art supplies like glitter glue or smelly markers (my choice this year)
- A bath submarine or other small bath toy – this submarine has been a favourite bath toy for both of my boys, even though we have never introduced the baking powder!
- Bath colours or bubble bath – we take bathing seriously! Bubble bath, colour tablets, shaving cream to paint with, bath crayons, and bubbles to blow in the the bath are all great gifts to fill stockings!
See also my Stocking Stuffers for a 5 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for a 4 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for a 1 Year Old, and a Guys’ Guide to Stocking Stuffers for Her.
I spend the whole year thinking about and purchasing the perfect gifts, big and small, for my little family. If you’re stuck thinking beyond the standard chocolate and candy fare, or want to go a different route, I bring you a list of mostly gender-neutral stocking stuffers your 5 year old will love! These are items already stored away for my 5-year old boy, Aiden!
I am one of those people who shops for Christmas all year long. I have drawers and bins stashed around the house filled with gifts and stocking stuffers for everyone. I keep track of all my ideas and purchases in an app, so I know both what I have and what I think would be good to purchase. This year I’ve filtered out my best ideas and bring you the TOP GIFTS FOR A 5-YEAR OLD! Customize these items to girl or boy and you’re set for Christmas!
- Pencil Sharpener – You can never have enough of these, particularly ones that catch the shavings. My son loves to sharpen his pencils and pencil crayons, so this year I got him a special train-shaped one at an antique store, but any sharpener will do!
- Lego Minifigures are a great way to expand the play of your Lego set, plus it’s exciting to see what you’ll end up with!
- Pocket Etch-A-Sketch makes for a great car or restaurant toy. The larger Etch-A-Sketch is a classic toy, but I love mini items!!
- Cubebot brain teaser puzzle, mini is a recent find of mine from a local toy store. My son was enamoured with the little cube that transforms to a robot and it comes in a variety of colours
- A Calendar is great for your child’s room or the fridge. Children love to know when special events or days are coming up, plus it’s a great way to reinforce days of the week, months and reading skills.
- A travel size game like Qwirkle allows you to expand your gaming library without infringing on your storage space. Many travel-sized games are not actually more difficult to use, but offer the benefit of more compact and sturdy packaging (zipped pouches or tins). Qwirkle is a game I’ve wanted for a while!
- A wallet or coin purse is a lot of fun for your child, but also helps them learn how to manage their money. Whether they are spending their own money or you offer them a chance to pay for their own items (like a lunch or ice cream you would have usually paid for on their behalf), it’s a fun chance to learn!
- A kids magazine or chapter book like Flat Stanley, Geronimo Stilton or Magic Tree House. These are great introductory chapter books for parents to read or for early readers
- Lego Creator kits come in all sizes. The small ones like the train are great because they fit in the stocking, but can be used over and over creating the 3 different models. So much more open-ended than a single set would be!
I believe that you can give quality and useful gifts in a stocking without having to break the bank. You can find many quality art supplies at dollar stores, from stencils to glitter glue and pencil crayons, and even some games and books. If you avoid the poor quality dollar store toys and instead focus on items of use, you can create hours and days of fun for very little!
See also my Stocking Stuffers for a 4 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for a 1 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for a 2 Year Old and a Guys’ Guide to Stocking Stuffers for Her.
If you are looking for uncommon gifts, you may just find them at UncommonGoods! I was lucky enough to be able to choose a gift for Aiden this holiday season, which he in turn was lucky enough to play with before Christmas! It took me a long time to narrow my list down from all the wonderful options at UncommonGoods, but I’m happy to share with you some of my Top Uncommon Gifts for Kids, as well as a review of the two toys we received.
Uncommon Gifts for Kids
- Pallina – as pictured with the family on the left, the goal of this game by Hape is to remove the colour sticks without letting your own coloured balls fall. This was an easy game to introduce and offered us a fun alternative to board games during family game time. Aiden loved how hands on the game was and it’s a quick game to play several times. It’s definitely a little larger than I expected though!
- Ogobild Hub – as pictured with Aiden on the top right, the Ogobild Hub is a construction toy with endless possibilities. Add feet, wheels, loops, propellers and more! Although at first the pieces are hard to put in, your little engineer will soon be inspired to create endless creatures and contraptions. Aiden quickly moved past his desire to create a creature exactly like on the box, which he’s yet to do with Lego. I call this a win!
- Custom Book Adventure – create a custom pirate adventure or a custom fairy book with your child’s name, hair colour, home town and more. How cute is that?! This is one of my top picks for next year!
- Storymatic for Kids or Rory’s Story Cubes – bring out the creativity in your kids by encouraging storytelling with prompt cards or blocks. I think these games could get many years of play, which is hard to come by. This is a for sure gift for next year from us!
- Make Your Own Snowglobe – I’m a little obsessed with DIY projects, so I love this kit. If your child likes to make things with Play-Doh or clay, I think they’d be ready for this kit.
- Stormy Seas Balancing Game – we have a similar game with a sailboat and it’s fun to challenge problem-solving on where to balance the items. Nothing complex – just a quick game.
UncommonGoods was founded in 1999 in NewYork and endeavours to feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts that are environmentally friendly – half of what is sold is made by hand, and a third is recycled or up-cycled. I spent a lot of time browsing the website wishing I hadn’t already finished my Christmas shopping! Luckily, I added a few ideas to next year’s list (and yes, I do have an app for that).
If you are looking for some unique Christmas gifts, particularly some funky stocking stuffers or other gifts for women, you may just find them at UncommonGoods. If you have read my Guys’ Guide to Stocking Stuffers and are still searching for the right gifts, check out this scarf and the Storymatic game – both of which fit my stocking stuffer tips!
Disclosure: We received toys for review, the opinions of which are my own. I was not asked to create a list post or in any way promote additional goods. I just like them!