Stocking success

Your guide to stuffing a stocking and showing up Santa


Stockings are one of the better things about the holidays. Stuffing them requires imagination and knowledge of the receiver beyond a specific list of desired presents, and you have a small space to prove you have it. If you’re stumped, here are a few ideas for what to stuff in those stockings so you can prove that Santa’s elves aren’t the only ones capable of putting one together.

Sweet stuff

Candy is a tasty way to fill some space in a stocking, and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory on the Pearl Street Mall has a convenient selection of pre-packaged, bulk sweets.

“The bulk candy is buy three, get one free,” says Tess Gardner, a longtime worker at the shop. “The packages are great stocking stuffers because they are small, half-pound pre-wrapped bags.”

The stocking stuffer section includes chocolate Santas and presents, “Reindeer Corn,” “Jingle Bell Jells” and Hanukkah-themed chocolates shaped like menorahs and dreidels. They even have dog-safe, chocolate-covered bones if you are planning to let Fido join in on the festivities.

Kid stuff

Toys are generally a safe stocking stuffer for kids and won’t cost much. Go classic with a yo-yo or a small puzzle; get smart with a set of flashcards or a word game like SLAM, which requires rapid-fire spelling of four-letter words; or go for a novelty with bizarre Band-Aids. These gifts can range from 40 cents to $10.

Stuffed animals are also good for kids, especially the younger ones. Jackalope and Company has Colorado themed animals like mountain goats, moose, elk, cougars, buffaloes and, of course, jackalopes. These range from $6.99 to $12.

“For CU supporters, we also have a stuffed football that unzips and reveals a CU bear inside,” says Hilary Barr, manager of Jackalope and Company. “They are more than adorable and great for kids.”

Feminine flair

It is easier to find stocking stuffers for the ladies than you might think. Fuzzy socks or a scarf are simple, female-friendly items that can be found at craft fairs and an array of local shops. Cosmetics are another option, but stick to lip or eye makeup, because skin shades vary and are difficult to match.

Lush, a handmade soap and cosmetic store on the Pearl Street Mall, has an overwhelming offering of bath and shower products that would make fun stocking stuffers for the girls.

Check out the bath bombs and bubble bars. These small, solid forms of bath salts and bubble liquids come in a wide variety of scents and colors. All the products are handmade, and some include features like sparkles, essential oils, or are made in cute shapes like the Gingerbread House or the Magic Wand — a favorite of Julie Berne, an employee at Lush. Prices range from $4.95 to $10.95.

If you are buying for multiple stockings, Berne suggests looking at the bath collections that come in decorative tins.

“With the sets, you can get a great variety of products for a little less money and pick which products go to which person,” Berne says. “Plus the tins they come in are pretty cool.”

Adult stuff

Stockings for adults don’t necessarily need to include only practical items — gag gifts and toys can also be included.

Buckyballs, which are a set of small, powerful magnets that can be formed into stress balls, animals and shapes of any kind, have been popular this year, says Jason Lloyd, an employee at Into the Wind.

“These are popular because they come in a small package and they are the ‘everything toys,’” he says.

“The limit with Buckyballs really is your imagination.”

And an imagination-stimulating toy is just the thing for your cubicle-bound gift recipient.

Buckyballs range from $29.95 to $34.95, depending on the style you select.

For guys and gals with a sense of humor, try an adult-rated gag gift. Jackalope and Company has an array of clever — and sometimes slightly naughty — pajamas, boxers, aprons and oven mitts, all easily stuffed into a stocking and priced around $20.

“My personal favorites are the ‘making a moose in the kitchen’ mitts and aprons, or the funny holiday boxers,” says Barr. “There are boxers that say ‘nice bells’ with Christmas ornaments, and a pair with a buffalo covering up its crotch that says ‘In the buff.’ They’re great.”