Monday, December 22, 2008

Guys-- It's Not Too Late to Get the Stocking Stuffers Right!

Okay, so this blog is called Stuff Kimmy Likes for a reason-- I write about stuff I like. Admittedly, I don't speak for every girl on the planet, but I am willing to share some tips that I think might be beneficial to the general population.

So here's what I have to say to men about Stocking Stuffers for their girlfriend/wife. [Ladies, feel free to forward a this to your guys.]

Guys, I cannot stress enough that this is a hugely under-used way to score major points with your lady every year. Sound impossible/ridiculous/like I might be wrong? Believe me when I tell you that I'm not wrong about this. Think about it-- stocking stuffers give you a chance to show her in some tiny, inexpensive ways that you are paying attention to the little things. Which your girl loves, as you know. So I am going to tell you how to do it, while keeping the Hassle Factor at a minimum.

Here's the key:
It's NOT about filling a stocking with cheap crap. She'll be onto that quicker than you can say "book of Life Savers and an orange." No, it's all about things you know she enjoys. It could be anything. This is much easier than you think, as I'm going to show you. Consider me your Stocking Stuffer Wingman.

Where to go for the best results: The Drugstore.

Gentlemen, your local drugstore is where you can hit the stocking stuffing jackpot. Seriously, I don't know any girl who couldn't find a handful or three of little things she'd like to have. [Note: for every specific product I suggest, I'm posting a link where you can see a picture, so you'll know what to look for. Print everything out, if you think it will help you.] Now grab a basket, and let's get this done.

You can start at the very front of the store, with the

Does she chew gum, or is she an Altoid girl? Does she like candy bars, or does she go more for gummy bears? Stop for a second and think about what she snacks on during a road trip, or what she gets when you go to see a movie. If she likes Reese's Cups, she might like the yummy new Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares. In my world, you need something salty and something sweet. So what's her favorite kind of potato chip? You could include a snack bag, or a mini can of Pringles. (Note-- if she's watching her weight, don't go crazy with the snacks. I know they can take up lots of room in the stocking, which I am sure is part of your goal [insert eye roll here], but you don't want to undermine her efforts to maintain a healthy diet.)

Next up, with no groaning from you, let's think about Beauty Stuff.

Don't panic, either. I know that most CVS stores usually have someone in the department to answer questions, so if you get stuck, just ask someone for help. (No matter what drugstore you're in, I'd venture a guess that you can get assistance.)

Okay. Does she file and/or paint her nails? Then look for polish colors she might like. If you're not comfortable about selecting colors for her, remember that many women use bolder/brighter colors on their toes, so you really can't go wrong. My friend Lynn loves the new nail polish pens that she got at CVS, so look/ask for those. Also, the very best Top Coat (translation: clear polish that speeds up drying time) in the world is called Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, and they carry it at many drug stores-- it's a fabulous treat, and a must-have for any girl who paints her nails. A nail file is a safe bet for anyone, whether they are into nail polish or not.

Does she use lip balm? Nivea has a new Kiss line I particularly recommend-- especially the Kiss of Moisture one in the dark blue tube. There are several varieties in this line, and they're cheap, so you can get a couple for her to try.

Does she like hand lotion, or taking care of her feet? Curel makes some great products in their Targeted Therapy line-- the Fast Absorbing Hand & Cuticle Cream is fabulous. My current Foot Faves are the Blue Foot Smoothing Disk from Sally Hansen/LaCross-- you'll find it with the nail clippers and files, and Kerasal Foot Ointment, which is in the foot aisle (where the insoles, foot sprays, and that kind of stuff are).

If she uses body wash, Dove has a Go Fresh line of great-smelling products like Grapefruit  Lemongrass. If you find a wash she might like, snag one of those pouffy mesh sponge thingies to go with it.

A good, safe beauty bet is in the Burt's Bees section, where you'll find lots of cutely packaged, high quality, natural goodies that most any girl would enjoy.

Next up is the Travel Sizes section.

Don't miss this aisle, because she will use these items for much more than traveling-- she can keep these little goodies in her desk at work, in her purse, in her glove compartment, or in her gym bag. Small containers of Q-Tips, baby bottles of body lotion, hand sanitizer, or even a purse size pack of Kleenex is good. They usually have those tiny lint rollers, too-- who couldn't use one of those?

Let's move on to the Office Supplies

This section seems boring, at first, but they have all sorts of pens, highlighters, post-its, notepads, etc. Don't just grab anything that's on sale-- go for the cute things that you can see her wanting to use. Just about anybody can use a small notepad for their purse. Cute sticky notes make great bookmarks.

Off to The Magazine Rack

Does she like to crochet? Get her a magazine about crocheting. Is one of her favorite actors on the cover of a magazine? Grab it! (The amazing Tina Fey is on the cover of Vanity Fair right now, for example.) If she likes to cook, Martha Stewart's tiny "Everyday Food" magazine is fantastic. O Magazine is a safe bet for any Oprah fan.

The Medicine Aisle

'Tis the season... to get sick. She's probably been running ragged, trying to make the holidays go as perfectly as possible for everyone, and her body might be ready to crash. Grab some Airborne. If she's already sick, get her something to make her more comfortable, like tasty throat lozenges. If she's been headachey, get her a Head On stick, or some Be Koools (yes, with three Os). The key here is to Think Soothing.

Miscellaneous Things to Check Out

Go down the Seasonal Aisle, just in case something jumps out at you that your girl might think is cute. I once found some adorable little bitty salt & pepper shakers shaped like Santas in the Seasonal Aisle at CVS that I still love. The key here is cute-- not tacky/ugly.

Also, if you aren't on a budget, you can check out the Gift Card display. If she loves to read, maybe a Barnes & Noble gift card. Does CVS carry iTunes cards? If so, that's a score for any iPod user. Starbucks, restaurants, movie theatres. Any of these would be great additions, and perfect invitations to go out (possibly even with you!).

Finally, The Greeting Card Aisle

Take a minute and pick out a card for her. In it, you can tell her a couple of things that you think are special about her, and include it in the stocking. Seriously-- I know it sounds gross, but TRUST ME, grasshopper. She will be so touched, and you will get major bonus points for it. Just do it. I wouldn't steer you wrong.

What Not To Do

I'm adding this section at Lynn's suggestion. Here are the things you do NOT want to get her. Nothing to suggest that you think she may need to improve her appearance/hygiene, like self-tanner, acne treatment, or mouthwash. Nothing to address any PMS or moodiness. No cleaning products or pest control. No batteries.

Good luck and have fun!!!

Buying gifts that people will enjoy is really rewarding. I hope I've given you some ideas that will help you stuff the best stocking ever. As long as you are thinking of what she likes during the whole process, you should be successful.

Feel free to leave a comment to let me know of your success, as well as any other suggestions that I've left out.

Otherwise, happy holidays!


P.S. If time is not an issue for you, and you're not opposed to going to a mall, there are also tons of great Stocking Stuffers to be found at some other stores, like Origins (my personal favorite), Bath & Body Works, and Sephora. In strip malls, look for Bed Bath & Beyond, ULTA, and The Container Store.

P.P.S. Just got another awesome suggestion from Ashley-- SCRATCH-OFF LOTTERY TICKETS. Woo! What a great idea!


Jen said...

Great blog entry!

An exception to the no batteries rule--if she is always having to replace the batteries in something, or if you have a gift for her under the tree that requires batteries, then having them in the stocking is okay--thoughtful, even. However, they MUST be the right type and size batteries, so get it right!

KimmyDarling said...

Excellent point-- if she needs batteries, get them. BUT... don't purposefully try to use them as space-fillers in the stocking. Because you don't wanna throw an Ick into her Wow with a big pack of D batteries, when she's just oohed and ahhd at all the cute stuff she found before she got to them.

Anonymous said...

Great ideas Kimmy. I am not a guy, but these are great to use for the daughter in law!


LMHDesigns said...

ohhh the headache stick... perfect excuse for no more "Sorry dear, not tonight..." :D'


KimmyDarling said...

Mike, that's hilarious. My husband doesn't read this, but if he did, he might disagree, since he married The Migraine Queen... ;)

Gladys said...

I LOVE this. Thank You Kimmy.

One of the bestest things my son ever got me was at the CVS. It is a 'grooming' stick and a 15X mirror.

Kat said...

What great ideas! I will second your suggestion of scratch off tickets. We always put those in the girls stockings each year.

This year Michael and I decided to not do stockings for the adults - just the kids. I had to explain to the girls that Santa was economizing this year :-)

Lynn Huddle said...

Love the finished entry! I am feeling slightly famous. I wonder if anyone at my family Christmas get together will ask for my autograph?

I too LOVE the lottery idea. Stamps and a roll of quarters are a plus for the college age girl.

Finding Normal said...

Great ideas!

Drugstore Diva said...

I love this- I'm sending my hubby a link and telling him to keep it in mind for next year. It's never too early to start shopping, ya know? ;)

The Lush List said...

Very good idea!!!(some guys really need it!)

The Diva said...

Thanks for bringing this to our attention again. I'm forwarding it to Waylon. :-)

Bergen said...

these are great ideas! Also fun would be a gift card to Starbucks, the movies, Sephora or even folded up really small inside a little box or bag- a $20 bill! or $5, whatever your budget is! The other idea that's is cool is to put a piece of wrapped jewelery that she won't be expecting in the stocking somewhere in the middle of the stocking. That is such a treaT!

John said...

Great job! I'm going for it..