Our Favorite Stocking Stuffers for 2020

Photo by Andrew Malone via Flickr.

Along with some fun new finds this year, we have been yearning for the comfort of our childhood favorites from back in the days when you found a silver dollar and an orange in the toe of your sock. Here are some recommendations from the L.A. Beat for great treats old and new.

Live Succulent Cocktail Ring

Barrio L.A. is a site that inspires you with pictures of Los Angeles, and also runs a mail order business for local goods. We immediately fell in love with this succulent ring from a designer in Mar Vista. At first we thought it was plastic, but it is actually a collection of tiny living, breathing plants! They are best maintained by lightly spraying with water and allowing for sunlight weekly. Rings will last between 3-12 months depending on care. Each ring is made to order by the designer. please allow 3 days for it to be made & shipped. $16.00 – Elise Thompson

Terry’s Chocolate Oranges

My grandmother always made sure to include a chocolate orange in my holiday stocking when I was a kid growing up in 1970s Louisville, KY.  I was so happy to find them as an adult at Trader Joe’s in Los Angeles. They’re segmented, and it’s so fun to crack them open, just like they were at my Grandmom’s during Christmas. Pro tip: the dark chocolate version is vegan! You can order them for $8.25 from Amazon if you are avoiding stores. – Lucretia Tye Jasmine


Fred Float Tea Infuser

What could be cuter than a giant unicorn float? How about a teeny weeny one floating around in your teacup? This whimsical tea infuser is sure to brighten someone’s day whether they can make it out to the pool or not. Cost Plus World Market has a selection of adorable tea infusers shaped like sloths and narwhals. It’s my one-stop stocking stuffing store (say it three times fast) where I can also get international candy, hot sauce, fragrant soaps and weird little toys. $11.99. – Elise Thompson


“Labyrinth” Face Mask


For those of us feeling nostalgic but also keeping it real for 2020, here’s a fun little gift from FoursideMerchSo on Etsy: a “Labyrinth” movie poster face mask. For anyone on your list that wants to rep their love of Bowie, fantasy, Muppets or just plain keeping their germs to themselves. “You remind me of the babe!” $17.79. – Simone Snaith


Idaho Spud Candy Bar

One treat that I like to send to my friends from up here in Boise, Idaho is, of course, an Idaho Spud. No—it’s not a potato! It’s a candy bar, still made in the same factory in downtown Boise it since 1909. The Idaho Spud Bar has been continuously made since 1918, and is a tasty combination of a light cocoa-flavored soft marshmallow center drenched with a dark chocolate coating and then sprinkled with coconut. If you’re ever up here, you can tour the factory, see the old photos and wrappers and some of the old equipment. Otherwise, you can send a unique stocking stuffer to all your friends–the Idaho Spud Bar can be ordered in boxes, or bags of mini bites can also be ordered for those who want to use them as stuffers. All together, the taste is delicious and perfect for a sweet stocking stuffer. $1.25 for a bag of Spud Bites, $11.99 for a dozen mixed candy bars. – Ed Simon

The Office POP Figure! Dwight as Belsnickel

Entertainment Hobby Shop Jungle in Little Tokyo has all kinds of pop and anime figures and keychains. The Office series also has Dwight as the Scranton Strangler and Jan with her wine glass and candles, but I thought it would be nice to pick one that is in keeping with the season. So I present Belsnickel, a dark companion to Saint Nicholas, kind of like Krampus. But more Dwighty. The keychains are a better size for stockings, but they didn’t have Belsnickel. $11.99 -Elise Thompson


Cinderella Mice Decal


Here’s a wee gift for a Disney fan on your list, and it can double as a housewarming gift. It’s a wall decal of Jaq and Gus Gus, escaping into their mousehole with a key to rescue “Cinderelly,” from WTFandom on Etsy. Whether it’s in a kid’s bedroom or just a cute detail in the living room, this will put a smile on a lot of faces. $4.00. – Simone Snaith



Numi Flowering Tea

These tea leaves are sewn into tight little buds, and when hot water is poured over them they slowly start to blossom into magical flowers. This simple refill box is fine if you feel confident the person will just use a coffee carafe or something, or you can also buy them the matching little glass teapot. Where else–at Cost Plus World Market for $4.79. $15.99 with glass teapot. – Elise Thompson



The Helpless Doorknob Cards by Edward Gorey


Edward Gorey is perhaps the greatest illustrator of 20th century America. His clever drawings combine the amusing and the morbid, resulting in charming characters and unusual, short storylines. In fact, they are often one-sentence storylines, which is why the idea of The Helpless Doorknob is genius. Each of 20 flashcards is printed with a single drawing and sentence. You shuffle the deck and come up with an original story each time. Leave it up to Gorey to come up with something so capricious! $10 at Soap Plant or Amazon. – Elise Thompson




Macintosh’s Toffee

As the child of Canadian parents, Christmas brought all kinds of special goodies. There was nothing like Amazon, or even the internet, so everything arrived in parcels from relatives in Alberta and British Columbia–jars of my uncle’s smoked salmon, little mandarin oranges (Which, in retrospect, were probably illegal to send across borders), and best of all–candy! Smarties and Cadbury could be found at Highland Games and British import stores, but Mackintosh Toffee was a special formula made in Canada. They were sold in bars, which were solid blocks of hard toffee. When you bit into it, your teeth would literally get stuck and you would have to struggle to get free. It took two or three tries to get a bite. I am recommending the more reasonable individually-wrapped candies, mainly because you have to buy around 10 bars to get the toffee shipped. But if you have kids and a good dental plan, consider splurging for the bars; the best part was always the challenge. $10.45. – Elise Thompson

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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