Well, it’s the final part of my Holiday Guides for 2017. And this one is my absolute fave: stocking stuffers.
I don’t know about you, but I take stockings very seriously. A fact that stems back to my mother (as all good — and bad — things do), whom always used our stockings as one giant CVS run. (For the Brits reading this: imagine Boots, if Boots had a specific smell that only smelled like Boots). Our stockings were brimeth over with toothbrushes, tic-tacs, shampoo, band-aids (yes, really), socks, and whatever else Mom needed to stock us up on.
Our ancient animal head stockings (mine a mouse; sister’s a reindeer; brother’s a bear) were so full that, more often than not, my mother would keep most of the items in a CVS bag underneath our hanging stockings on the mantel. You know, just in case we weren’t sure where the stuff came from.
I loved stocking stuffers so much as a kid — the sheer delight of opening something a total surprise, akin to a treasure chest — that it was always my favourite part of Christmas. Even more than the food and, as an adult, even more than the mid-morning mimosa.
Now, more often than not, I spend Christmas away from my family (always with Stag, of course, because there is no Christmas without him). But I made it very clear to him that we, as a couple, take stockings very seriously.
Because us, though, you’ll more likely find our stockings stuffed with artisanal jams than CVS-brand shampoo. Sorry, Mom.
Stocking Stuffers from London
1. Wild & Wolf Folklore Hand cream (from Feather and Nest) // 2. Stoneglow Juniper Berry & Cedar Candle (from Source) // 3. Geo-Fleur Living with Plants Book // 4. Mini Land Chocolate Collection // 5. Source Flamingo Bottle Opener // 6. MAiK Flower Socks // 7. MOA The Green Balm // 8. DO Breathe Book (from Luna & Curious) // 9. Nikki Strange Mystic Mountains A5 Notebook // 10. Nathalie Bond Organics Lip Balm (from Feather and Nest) // 11. Estella Bartlett Sunburst Hoop Earrings // 12. Hopscotch Nailpolish
When putting together this stocking stuffer guide, I realised how many of the London brands featured here are close to my heart. While freelancing in London, I was fortunate enough to work in the same office as The Do Book Co, the team of which became not just office buddies but friends of mine. Their books are insightful, intriguing, and I can attest personally that so much soul goes into making them. The range offers something for everyone, making them wonderful stocking stuffer gifts.
Throughout the eight years I lived in London (predominantly East London), the shop I frequented most for gifts was Source in Spitalfields market. It’s a treasure trove of home accessories, clothes and gifts, featuring small brands and big labels alike. One of my favourite London brands that I discovered here is Estella Bartlett, who make beautiful, timeless, and affordable jewellery. I sent my best friend back in New Jersey plenty of pieces from her collection.
I also can’t speak highly enough about Hopscotch, a lifestyle brand I discovered a few years ago at a Christmas market. Their Cedar + Pine candle was in my bedroom in London for years. The stationery of Nikki Strange is some of the most beautiful I’ve encountered — at the most affordable prices. I’m asking for the entire Celestial Skies collection for Christmas.
Stocking Stuffers from San Francisco
1. Facial Tumeric Soap (from Concept Forty-Seven) // 2. In Haus Press ‘Move to the Mountains’ Print (from Little Paper Planes Shop) // 3. Friend in Cheeses Jelly Trio Pack // 4. Elizabeth W Citrus Spice Bath Fizz Ball // 5. Olivine Among the Waves Lotion (from Little Paper Planes Shop) // 6. Elizabeth Street Cosmetics Lipstick (from Anomie) // 7. Ferme a Papier Succulents Notepad // 8. Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates Classic Hot Chocolate // 9. Morning Lavender PomPom Beanie // 10. Morning Lavender Gold Bow Bangle // 11. Craft + Foster Guava and Fig Candle Tin (from Concept Forty-Seven) // 12. Modern Citizen 2018 Planner // 13. L’Aromatica Choose Your Own 3 Samples Kit
For me, stocking stuffers are all about stationery and food. And boy, are there some amazing brands producing these things in California.
Ferme a Papier is probably my favourite discovery on this list. What beautiful illustrations! And the prices are incredibly reasonable, especially for the prints (a few have made my Christmas wishlist). We live not too far away from the Ginger Elizabeth chocolate shop, and I’ve resisted the temptation to go in and buy everything so many times. San Francisco is amazing on its food; just step one foot into the Ferry Building, and you can finish your Christmas shopping for foodies.
I’m such a sucker for independent boutiques that sell interesting, independent brands, and both Morning Lavender and Anomie are my dreams come true. Honestly, I could have put so many more items from each of those shops on this list; I stuck at one or two each. But if you’re looking for stocking stuffers (or even just gifts), I’d highly recommend an online browse.