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 gifts are that little more intimate and personal than the grand present opening around the Christmas tree. But how do you gather caring Xmas gifts that will surprise and delight without breaking the bank?
The key for those without an unlimited budget is to include a couple of extraordinary items, some mid-priced goodies, and some favourites. In other words, a portfolio of choices. You can go for a random 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. A novelty pair 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 Sockshop. Team it with a monthly subscription, monogrammed slippers, and you’ve got a surprising slant on an old classic. It’s perfect 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 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 wrappers to budget buys. You can include foot sprays, hard skin removers, scrubbing brushes and nail clippers.
- Accessories: You can get insoles for cushioning, odour control and insulation. An assortment of blister and fast heal plasters are a practical product for the keen walker.
- Novelty gift? 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 or a foot-shaped bottle opener on Etsy.
Suppose you go out shopping for foot-themed Christmas stocking fillers. In that case, 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 dwarf bottles available from all the biggest brands.
Sipsmith with the iconic swan label produces classic craft gins like the London Cup, London Dry Gin, and various flavours. Famous gins like the London Cup are available in 5cl bottles.
Around the festive season, you can get special packs of miniature whiskey bottles, vodka, brandy, port, and wines. Or you can purchase single mini bottles from a variety of outlets. These petite 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 to produce a wide selection of holiday cocktails or concentrate on a single signature drink. Cocktail thoughts include:
- Instruction book or a beautifully presented recipe.
- Alcohol–miniature bottles.Mixers– cans and bottles.
- Bitters–a wide choice of unusual botanical’s as well as the standards.
- Garnishes–available in mini 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 packing. 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 correct 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 or various drinking games. You can source them as a bundle 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 gist ranging from mouse mats to T-shirts and everything in between.
Men’s accessorising 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 phones), which makes personalised cases an ideal Santa gift for most men.
A unique credit cardholder with a coin section in this personalized cardholder with a wooden case. Aluminium inside the case keeps them safe from accidental use. 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 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 ideal for personalised gift ideas for him to use every day. Even the budget-friendly sort 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. Multitools, novelty electronics, and innovative gizmos from John Lewis make you feel that someone had too much time on their hands.
NFC tiles are–tiny devices 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 from Amazon, he can tag the bits that matter and the those that go missing–no more running around looking for keyrings.
Wireless Phone Charger
Although wireless 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; 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 devices, turning your mobile 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 electronic games, multitool and peculiar robotic fish or insects. Devices can vary in price from modest to substantial, but there are plenty suitable for men.
The holiday season is when you treat your loved ones to more luxurious foods or have a festive twist. These modest treats make excellent favourites.
Caffeine Stocking Fillers
You can buy luxury beans, ground, bags or Christmas pudding flavoured instant to stay with the point. You can put together an Irish coffee kit (glassware, miniature liqueur) or a selection of stuff. Check around; you can acquire bottles of syrups with Christmassy flavours.
Although an Espresso maker is a substantial item, scoops, bag clips, and milk frothers are all the correct dimensions and shape for beverage-related inspiration. Plus, you can add 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 personalized 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 herbal blends. You can obtain hot and cold infusions with a world of flavours to explore.
Helping to fill in the spaces, then spicy snacks with a gourmet twirl from Howdah have a choice of Indian flavours.
Spicy Indian style snacks from Howdah complement the craft beers giving 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 a scorching hot sauce. The chilli pepper grows in the UK, and farms are dedicated to pursuing this fiery fruit. Offering reasonably priced sauces, beers, rubs and days out to enjoy the whole chilli event.
Most people have fond memories of their favourite candy from childhood–advertising campaigns use this nostalgic emotion to sell products. 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 seek golf tees, golf balls and other extras. It doesn’t matter what the sport is; you can purchase either fan merchandise for armchair enthusiasts or smaller favourites for active participants.
Packets of seeds (heritage and unusual varieties) and gardening accessory bits like plant labels, dibbers and ties are useful fillers for gardeners. Handy kitchen utensils 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 making it better or acknowledging that this hobby is something they enjoy doing with themed mugs, clothing, and fittings.
Time off at Christmas allows a while to sit and assemble a kit. Perhaps remembering the magic of childhood Christmases when your man got an Airfix aircraft, Lego or Meccano set.
Limited edition Lego kits create excellent fillers for the man of any age. Micro or Nano blocks allow you to build the architectural wonders of the universe or a series of dinosaurs on a smaller scale. Wooden 3D puzzles build static or moving models, and Metal Earth produce metal sets to build anything from dragons to spaceships.
Construction sets cross over into the adult creations with kits to build models or create a 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 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 the 25th, so think about the inner child. Christmas is when it is acceptable to drop a few years and play the game for teenager fun. If you can race it or shoot it and it’s a reasonable price, you’ll probably find that it’s the greatest thing he unwraps.
You can lavish loads on high-priced “boy’s toys”, but you don’t have to waste a fortune for half an hour of entertainment.
Game and Puzzle Stocking Stuffers
Travel games are always handy–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 playing cards and some poker dice.
Jigsaw puzzles, magic tricks, and enigmas all are affordable. Providing either a few minutes of mental challenge or hours of concentration to work out how to solve a puzzle game. Pocket puzzles and games are good, enjoyable and relaxing.
The great idea is to have lots of small gifts ranging from peculiar to a luxurious surprise and include a few great items to round out the collection. This is the chance to go for the handmade soaps, a beard oil product, 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
You can tuck in a big surprise among all the humble items–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 put 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 of booking a holiday period off? Create an IOU certificate–a trip to X with a good guidebook to bring it alive.
The Man Cave and She Shed have become part of modern acceptance that sometimes we like to own objects because we like them. A man cave Christmas stocking filler can be anything from a fancy name plaque to an artistic item created from wheel nuts.
A sign for the door, a Dad’s Tin for those random bits, what fits his space in your house depends on the manspace. There are plenty of useful gifts that fit the classification of Man Cave treasures.
Cheap and Cheerful
Cheap and cheerful things round out an original stocking to give that Christmas morning practice of unpacking a treasure trove of great 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 humour.
Useful cheap gifts include–tubes of sweets, chocolate money, stationery, bath bombs and kitchen or car products, along with party favours for children (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 unexpected.
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 humour.
Sometimes it is more economical to create a Christmas gift idea or a set rather than buying them as premade stuff at an inflated price. Careful packing and presentation elevate a few simple objects into luxurious gifts. You can get packaging like drawstring sacks, boxes and small jars. Or you can recycle packaging with some glue and wrapping paper to turn them from trash to gift boxes.
Browse stores, and you will get lots of favourites to put together yourself from affordable components. If you are crafty, you can be King or Queen of the stocking stuffer ideas depending on your crafting skills. Excellent DIY bits include:
- Home-made treats–sweets (like fudge), biscuits, jams, and pickles.
- Scarves, hats and gloves or mittens. Any helpful 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 feeling of excitement and anticipation. A dollop of love goes into a stocking, along with all the quirky pieces and little luxuries. Good gifts establish memories year after year.