For our team members who celebrate Christmas, the ritual of reaching into a stocking to reveal gift after gift from a seemingly bottomless collection of tiny bizarre objects is one of the most enchanting parts of the holidays. Even as adults, we love waiting to uncover what our loved ones have snuck into the knitwear on our mantles. Here are a few of the items we'll be sharing in stockings this year; hopefully they help inspire you!
Little puzzle things by Areaware are probably the stocking gift we are most excited about this year. An assortment of random foods and objects are turned into tiny 8"x8" puzzles that are so deliciously fun we can hardly stand it. How about a honeycomb ice cream cone? A spiky durian fruit? A teal-outlined fish? A perfectly cooked tail-on shrimp? Each puzzle is eccentric, exceptional, and can be completed in less than 20 minutes. We can't get enough of them!
Now we'll get a little spicy. SOS Chefs in New York is one of our favorite spice shops in the City and they carry an outstanding collection of pepper flakes packaged in simple 1oz and 2oz jars with black lids that make incredible stocking stuffers. We tend to favor the bright acidic Aleppo pepper, stunning Cheveux D'ange chili threads, and earthy, chocolatey Urfa so, naturally, these are go-tos when we select culinary gifts. SOS Chefs also offers a host of peppercorns that are gloriously diverse in flavor and appearance and make epic stocking stuffers as they make a subtle but rousing rattling sound!
Getting a bit weirder on the spectrum of gifts, we fall down the conspiracy rabbit hole and end up with Birds Aren't Real, a movement that "exists to spread awareness that the U.S. Government genocided over 12 Billion birds from 1959-2001, and replaced these birds with surveillance drone replicas, which still watch us every day" (1). Whether you are suspicious of the beady-eyed feathered creatures circling your home or not, you can't deny that this brand is fantastic. While we aren't fully on board with their government surveillance theory, we love how fully fledged—pun intended!—their argument is. Seriously, check out their FAQ page and you'll undoubtedly be impressed. Birds Aren't Real sells some pretty fantastic merchandise including sticker packs that make amazing stocking stuffers. We'd be lying if we didn't admit to distrustfully eyeing avifauna every time we see a sticker!
With the validity of the Birds Aren't Real conspiracy theory is still up in the air—more puns!—we come back down to earth with this next pick: aesthetic rocks! Not only do rocks and minerals add an unexpected and intriguing weight to stocking but they also make magnificent natural paperweights and table decorations. In the past we have gifted Iceland spar quartz, lapis spheres, amethyst, azurite, and malachite but essentially all minerals offer unique and idyllic beauty. Ironically, even anthracite coal is gorgeously and hypnotically reflective, although when added to a stocking it may make your loved ones question if they've been naughty!