A carefully packed Christmas stocking with thoughtful gifts perfectly suited to the man in your life sparks more joy than the main event in many cases. The best are that little more intimate and personal than the grand present opening around the Christmas tree. But how do you put together caring Xmas gifts that surprises and delights, without breaking the bank?
The key for those without an unlimited budget is to include a couple of high-end items, some mid-priced goodies, and some favourites. In other words, a portfolio of gift choices. You can go for a random product assortment or theme them around an interest or topic.
If you are looking for inspiration for the classiest little presents, check out our top picks. We have the best, the surprising, the amusing.
Sock it to Him
If men and socks at Christmas isn’t a meme, then it ought to be. Fun socks are practical and useful. A pair of novelty socks that play a tune or light up might not survive beyond the day, but they spread some seasonal cheer.
Don’t discount the humble sock–opt for a luxury pair from the London Sock Company. Team it with a monthly subscription, slippers and you’ve got a surprising slant on a classic gift theme. It’s an ideal gift for the snazzy dresser, the professional and the athlete.
If your man is interested in hiking, rambling, running and any other activity that put some mileage on his feet, consider putting together foot pampering favourites:
- A pair of socks: There are plenty of sensible choices–hiking, sports and even water socks.
- Foot care products: These encompass handmade organic products in eco-friendly packaging to budget buys. You can include foot sprays, hard skin removers, scrubbing brushes and nail clippers.
- Accessories: You can get insoles for cushioning, odor control and insulation. An assortment of blister and fast heal plasters are a practical product for the keen walker.
- Novelty?: In keeping with the foot theme, you can include a foot cleaning bathtub mat in the shape of a foot. Foot-shaped post-it notes and a personalised gift of a foot-shaped bottle opener.
If you go out looking for foot-themed Christmas stocking fillers, you will spot them everywhere you look from affordable to high-end luxury products. Don’t forget new slippers when pampering him.
A Tipple or Two
While the 30-year single malt is best for under the fir tree, you have plenty of miniature bottles available from all the best brands.
Sipsmith with the iconic swan label produces classic craft gins like the London Cup, London Dry Gin and an array of flavors. Popular gins like the London Cup are available in 5cl bottles.
Around the festive season, you can find gift packs of small bottles of whiskey, vodka, brandy, port and wines. Or you can buy single miniature bottles from a variety of outlets. These miniature bottles give you the option of putting together a themed cocktail gift for the Mixmaster in your life.
A cocktail-themed present can cover any budget. You can mix and match products to produce a wide selection of holiday cocktails or concentrate on a single signature drink. Cocktail gift ideas include:
- Instruction book or one beautifully presented recipe.
- Alcohol–miniature bottles.Mixers–small cans and bottles.
- Bitters–a wide choice of unusual botanical’s as well as the standards.
- Garnishes–available in small jars.
- Equipment–shakers, muddlers, ice cube makers.
- Paraphernalia: Swizzle sticks, straws and paper umbrellas.
The quality items in this seasonal gift include a flagon or two of a quality craft beer in eco-friendly packaging. Suppose you can track down craft beers from a local microbrewery to add in that element of surprise. As well as the beer, you can go for a classy bottle opener and an excellent pint glass because craft ale tastes better from the right shape vessel.
You can also throw in an organic cotton bar towel featuring brewing facts or pairings with food. Other excellent alcohol related gifts include coasters and assorted drinking games. You can buy them as a pack or print some out.
Some funny stocking filler ideas with a craft beers theme include magic tricks with bottles. You can buy or print out instructions or a host of things with an alcoholic theme ranging from mouse mats to T-shirts and everything between.
Men’s accessorizing can be functional, unusual, or high-end and luxurious. Plus, these are excellent for a man’s festive gifts.
Wallets, Card Holders and Coin Purses
The gradual decline of cash and cheques means most people pay with cards (or phone), which makes personalised card cases an ideal gift for most men.
A unique credit cardholder with a coin section is this personalized gift card holder with a wooden case. An aluminium inside case keeps your cards safe from accidental use, and laser printing on the wood gives you plenty of options for initials, handwritten messages, and images. It’s a luxury sure to surprise and delight him on Xmas breakfast.
Leather wallets and coin purses are still popular with men who carry a mixture of cash, cards and documents like a full driving license.
Cuff Links and Tie Pins
The best-dressed gentleman’s accoutrements are making a comeback in offices and nights out. Both offer you a budget stocking filler or a high-end hand-crafted gifts for men. The choice is staggering covering all interests and tastes.
As an alternative to a bulky wallet, a money clip keeps your notes together and in your pocket. A plated steel money clip is a personalised gift that your man can use every day. Even the budget-friendly ones at around £5 look high-end, and the plated steel means they are robust and long-lasting.
Go Gadget Man
Although women also have their inner geek, most small stuffers on a gadget theme aim at the male market. There are multi-tools, small electronics and innovative gadgets from John Lewis that make you feel that someone had too much time on their hands.
NFC tiles are near field communication devices–little gadgets that connect to a receiver and announce their presence when you’ve mislaid your car keys, the TV remote or the dog. With NFC tags, he can tag the things that matter, and the ones that go missing–no more running around looking for keyrings.
Wireless Phone Charger
Although wireless phone chargers are not as fast as a direct connection, they are a handy place to leave your phones overnight or when not in use. That way, you need not keep thinking about charging your Apple iPhone.
You can turn your smartphone into a portable fan, a macro camera, a microscope or use it to power some fairy lights or a miniature astronaut. Some gadgets use the mobile as a power source, and some enhance the mobile’s capabilities like speakers, headphones and selfie sticks.
The amount you can fork out ranges from under a fiver to several hundred pounds for high-end music industry gadgets turning your phone into a studio recorder.
You can pick up a waterproof fully functioning shower radio for under £15. If your man likes to catch up on the news or the football results while showering, this is the device for him. It is purpose-built to be showering safe rather than relying on a potentially hazardous alternative arrangement.
Other gadgets include small electronic games, multitool and unique robotic fish or insects. Devices can vary in price from modest to substantial, but there are plenty of gifts suitable for men.
The Christmas season is when you treat your loved ones to food products that are more luxurious or have a festive twist. These small treats make excellent favourites.
You can buy luxury beans, ground, bags or Christmas pudding flavored instant to stay with the theme. You can put together an Irish coffee kit (glassware, miniature liqueur) or a selection of products and stuff. Check around, you can acquire small bottles of syrups with christmassy flavours.
Although an Espresso maker is a substantial gift, scoops, bag clips and milk frothers are all the right dimension and shape for a beverage-related ideas. Plus, you can add in a mug (perhaps one that changes design when you put the boiling water in like this one).
Some men like cappuccino, some like Earl Grey and some like both. The world of tealeaves offers an infinite variety of loose teas, pyramid bags, infusers, blends and apparatus. You can have personalised gifts (tea mug with a family photo?). Or curious gifts like an infuser in the shape of a manatee or a frog on a lily leaf.
Tealeaf ranges from the traditional (English Breakfast) to the fermented (Pu-erh) and through herbal blends. You get hot and cold infusions and a world of flavours to explore.
Helping to fill in the spaces, then spicy snacks with a gourmet twirl from Howdah give you a choice of Indian flavours.
Spicy Indian style snacks from Howdah complement the craft beers to give you the whole “pub” encounter in a bag.
For Man vs Food chilli sauce is the hero or the nemesis depending on your man’s approach to scorching sauce. The chilli pepper grows in the UK and farms dedicated to the pursuit of this fiery fruit. Offering reasonably priced products like sauces, beers, rubs and days out to enjoy the full chilli event.
Most people have a fond memory of their favourite candy from childhood–advertising campaigns use this nostalgic emotion to sell product’s. You can track down almost any childhood favourites from barley twists to pear drops made traditionally, and a personalised jar or tin. Christmastime is when you can indulge your sweet tooth and your fondness for when the big guy in the red suit struggles down your chimney.
A rich source of affordable things in the field of special interests and hobbies. For the keen golfer, you can put together golf tees, golf balls and other extras. It doesn’t matter what the sport is; you can find either fan merchandise for armchair enthusiasts or small favourites for active participants.
Packets of seeds (heritage and unique varieties) and gardening accessory bits like plant labels, dibbers and ties are useful fillers for gardeners. Small kitchen gadgets like timers, ginger graters and melon ballers suit the keen cook. You can also throw in some exotic ingredients and spice blends.
Most hobbies have product ranges that make it better or acknowledge that this hobby is something they enjoy doing with themed mugs, clothing, and fittings.
Time off at Christmas allows a while to sit and put together a kit. Perhaps remembering the magic of childhood Christmases when your man got aircraft kits, Lego or Meccano.
Small Lego kits make excellent fillers for the man of any age. Micro or Nano blocks allow you to build the architectural wonders of the world or a series of dinosaurs on a smaller scale. Wooden 3D puzzles build static, or moving models and Metal Earth produce metal kits that slot together to make anything from dragons to spaceships.
Construction kits cross over into the adult world with kits to build models or create an useable item like a working clock.
Toys for Boys
Remote controlled cars and drones you can fly, range in size and price, making them excellent. You can add in guns that shoot foam balls or darts, balloon modelling, indoor fireworks, and anything you can race from wind-up penguins to cars on a track.
There was a medieval tradition of misrule around Christmas so think about the inner child. Christmas is when it is acceptable to drop a few years and play with the game fun for a teenager. If you can race it or shoot it and it’s a reasonable price, you’ll probably find that it’s the best thing he unwraps on Christmas morning.
You can lavish loads on a high-priced “boy’s toys”, but you don’t have to waste a fortune to give half an hour of entertainment on Christmas morning.
Games and Puzzles
Travel games make ideal gifts–you can find games for one (like solitaire) or remembered favourites like ludo, Othello, and Chess. Alternatively, you can stick to the basics and put in a pack of cards and some poker dice.
Small jigsaw puzzles, magic tricks, and enigmas all are affordable. Providing either a few minutes of mental challenge or hours of concentration in trying to work out how to solve a puzzle game. Mini puzzles and games are good, enjoyable and relaxing.
The idea is to have lots of small gifts ranging from funny to a luxurious surprise and also include a few useful items to round out the collection. This is the chance to go for the handmade soaps, a beard product lotion, handmade razors, and any other product that might amuse the man in your life.
If you are thinking nostalgic, check out soap on a rope, a modern spin on a classic bathing gift product–eco-friendly with a clean lime fragrance.
Leisure With Loved Ones
Among all the small items you can tuck in a big surprise–an adventure like drift racing or an air balloon ride. If your budget permits a weekend break for the two of you in a city like Lisbon. It is a unique gift for after you pack away the ornaments and lets you both rest and recuperate.
Lisbon is a destination that caters for most tastes from the warm sun, birdwatching, golf and sightseeing. But you may prefer a city break at home or in some other country away from the kids.
If you don’t want to pre-book because you need to book a holiday period off? Put together an IOU certificate–a trip to X with a small guidebook to make it real.
The Man Cave, and She Shed have both become part of modern acceptance that sometimes we like to own objects because we like them. A man cave stocking filler can be anything from a fancy bottle opener to an artistic item created out of wheel nuts.
A sign for the door, a Dad’s Tin for useful random bits. What fits in the Man Cave in your house depends on the Man Cave. There are plenty of personalised gifts that fit the classification of Man Cave treasures.
Cheap and Cheerful
Cheap and cheerful things round out a stocking to give that Christmas morning practice of unpacking a treasure trove of gifts. Part of the enjoyment is the trashy side of Christmas–the party poppers, the silly hats, and the gag gifts. A lot of it may end up in the bin on Boxing Day. But that doesn’t matter because it is the experience of opening them that counts.
You can pick up your cheap and cheerful bits in the supermarket, discount store, and online. Look out for plastic bathing toys and the odd tacky gift if it fits his sense of humor.
Useful cheap gifts include–tubes of sweets, chocolate money, stationery, Christmas crackers, bath bombs and kitchen or car product’s along with party favours for kids (plastic whistles, spinning tops and stretchy figures). Think of these as part of the packaging. Don’t spend too much but have pleasure finding offbeat and an unexpected gift.
DIY Stocking Fillers
You can apply a little creativity–wash out a fancy jar and fill it with sweets. You can label chocolate-covered raisins as “reindeer droppings”. Or use coloured jelly beans and call it “unicorn sh*t”, depending on your sense of humor.
Sometimes it is more economical to put together Christmas gifts and kits rather than buying them as a premade pack with an inflated price. Careful packaging and presentation elevate a few simple objects into luxurious gifts. You can buy packaging like drawstring sacks, boxes and small jars. Or you can recycle product packaging with some glue and wrapping paper to turn them from trash to gift boxes.
Browse gift packs, and you will get lots of favourites for kits to make up yourself from affordable components. If you are crafty, then you can be King or Queen of the gift filler ideas depending on your crafting skills. Excellent DIY bits include:
- Home-made treats–sweets (like fudge), biscuits, jams, and pickles.
- Scarves, hat and gloves or mittens.Any useful article–aprons, oven gloves.
- Novel hand warmers.
- Gag gifts -use your imagination.
- Juggling balls. Keyring tags.
- Anything else you enjoy making.
They are not just for kids, but they bring out the child in all of us, taking us back to that magical Christmas morning feeling of excitement and anticipation. What goes into a stocking is a dollop of love along with all the quirky pieces and little luxuries. Gifts make Christmas memorable year after year.
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