This holiday season, stuff their stockings with all the goodies and we have some great suggestions for you. From fog blockers to mini bags we have something for all your stockings this year.
These tiny, pocket-sized tins each contain 50 cards with questions, activities, games, and trivia questions to enjoy with your family. These are fun to use for family get togethers, family night, or video calls during the pandemic. Though there are over a dozen varieties, I got a look at “How Well Do You Know Me?” and “Happy Holidays.” Some sample questions and activities from those include: “Would I rather spend a year in a foreign city or a year in a cabin in the woods?” and “What’s my most often worn or favorite piece of clothing?” (‘How Well Do You Know Me?’), and “Double Feature” (plan a movie night) and “Make a Care Package” (‘Happy Holidays’). For the game-based ones, keep score or just have fun with it! For the activity ones, the cards include more description, but I wouldn’t want to spoil them for you. A great gift for anyone who likes to break the ice, or for home-bound families who are out of ideas to entertain themselves, After Dinner Amusements are a great gift idea. Check out the whole line.
Despite our protestations to the contrary, it looks like facemasks are here to stay—at least for a little while longer. So why not do all you can to make them more comfortable? Silicone cord locks are inexpensive, easy to install, and they go a long way in making elastic ear loops fit better, especially for our smaller mask-wearers.
While not as universally useful as cord locks, adhesive nose clips can make practically any mask more glasses-friendly. These flexible aluminum pieces can be applied—inside or out—to your mask to provide a tighter seal and prevent escaping breath from fogging up your glasses.
It is true that good things come in small packages, especially when that package is a Snow Pet. From the mystical land of Snowy Falls, each Snow Pet is patiently awaiting a new owner. Contained within a snowball, you wake your snow pet up by adding water through the snowball’s hard shell. Once the water pours into your snowball, a chemical reaction causes the ball to burst open, snow falls everywhere, and your snow pet appears. Videos and pictures of this toy simply can’t do it justice, it is preposterously fun, and exceeded the expectations of every member of my family. It is not as messy as you would think such a toy would be, and it is definitely far more delightful and entertaining than such a small thing should be.
Playtime does not end with that first “explosion.” Once revealed a snow pet can be used and re-used in a variety of ways. The figure can be used for creating stories with the other pets, or as a pencil topper, they are also the ideal size to be used as replacement board game pieces. The snow can be dried out in order to recreate the chemical reaction, and can then be kept and re-used in much the same way you would use kinetic sand. If you happen to open a rare pet, your snow will include chunky glitter. This was a big crowd pleaser for my small crowd. If your kids love playing with slime but you hate it (can I get an Amen) then this will be perfect for all of you. The initial run of these toys contains eight characters, along with eight rare icy counterparts, which is a variation on the regular character. The second run is called the “gold edition” and is available only at Michaels as of December 4. Let the obsession begin.
It seems that all the good building toys come from Denmark. Our family favorite for stockings for the past few years has been these Christmas themed Mini Maker tubes from Plus Plus. There is a wide variety to choose from, but it’s the Christmas ones that get me all Holly Jolly this time of year. You can follow the directions, free style it, or head to the community forums to find all kinds of plans to follow for your Christmas wonderland. Plus Plus is BPA and phthalate-free and each piece measures 20mm x 12mm. The tubes fit perfectly no matter what size your stocking is. They are great for on the go use if you actually have any Christmas traveling to do this year, and great for having on hand when kids are getting antsy around the dinner table. I have a penchant for the Candy Cane myself, but my kids, well, any building toy becomes some kind of Minecraft game, and Plus Plus lends itself perfectly to that. The design and flexibility actually make these small toys suitable for a wide variety of interactive gameplay. Great for improving dexterity and fine motor skills in both young and ageing hands, there will be a tube or two in all of our stockings for the foreseeable future.
Whether you’re buying for a single dedicated tabletop gamer or your entire gaming group—full disclosure: I picked up these bad boys for all the members of my family who participate in our weekly D&D campaign… because I am an awesome DM—spellbook card holders are an inexpensive and incredibly handy gift. The 30 transparent sleeves inside each book hold between 30 and 60 standard-size official spellbook cards with ease, and each also comes with a set of 45 dry erase cards that can be quickly tailored to include your character’s unique racial traits and magical items.
Disney Shadowed Kingdom’ is a small-box cooperative game for 2 players. In the game, you choose your favorite Disney character and team up to dispel the Shadow polluting The Kingdom, while you journey to discover lost Magic.
Using simple mechanics, this family game for ages 8+ requires memory, strategy, and a bit of luck…especially as you’re not allowed to communicate with the other player regarding what cards you’re playing! For fans of Disney that don’t mind a slightly darker (though not scary) look at the Magic Kingdom, consider ‘Disney Shadowed Kingdom.’
The HP Sprocket is a great little hand held printer that syncs via an app on your phone and prints out wallet sized photos so you can scrapbook or make memories anywhere you go. The ZINK paper requires no ink so you don’t have to worry about expensive ink replacements.
Sprayzee makes a wide range of scented sprays for the bathroom, shoes, or any other room in your house. Give a gentle hint of a shoe spray to your loved one who might need a nicer smelling pair of shoes.
Cut the top of your cans off and make them cups with Draft Top. Perfect for anyone that likes to throw in some lemon or lime into their soda but don’t necessarily want to waste a glass to do it.
JuJube makes washable bags for the bag geek at heart. The Wonder Woman 84 collection is full of color and great textures and embelishments. This bag if perfect if all you want to carry is your phone, wallet, and maybe a few essential make up items.
Svaha USA makes fun geeky clothing for all genders. I really like their infinity scarves with a pocket to put my cellphone or cash in.
Gunnar’s VERTEX blue light blocking glasses are designed to create harmony with your eyes, face, and digital device. You get contemporary fashion with protection from the blue light of your computer or gaming device. The holiday bundle includes the glasses, cleaning spray, carrying pouch, cleaning cloth, and a 12-month warranty.
Switching to rechargeable batteries is great for the environment, but sometimes it can be a hassle tracking down the charger (or having to replace it). Pale Blue Earth’s batteries (available in various sizes) have a micro USB outlet built right into the side, so you can even charge them up with your phone charger. They also have charging cables that include multiple plugs so you can charge up to 4 batteries from one USB outlet.
This little spray bottle may not look exciting, but it could be the handiest thing you get in your stocking this year, if you’re tired of your glasses fogging up because of your face mask. Spray a coat of this onto your glasses, give it 5 minutes to set, and you’ll get about a day’s worth of clear vision even while masked up.