If you’re like me, you look forward to Christmas, but not the poundage you’re destined to pack on from all the goodies. To that end, I’ve been choosing alternate stocking stuffers for years. I get sick of chocolate by Halloween, so by the time Christmas finally rolls around, I don’t want to see one more bon-bon, truffle or chocolate orange. NO MORE.
However, in my family, a stuffed stocking is non-negotiable. You either take your damn candy with a smile or you’re a Grinch! But substitutions are allowed…
To that end, I’ve made a list of alternate items I’ve placed on my stocking list over the years. One of your Grinches might like them!
You can’t go wrong with Numi. Every flavor is delicious. They’re also the perfect shape for wrapping.
Freeze dried strawberries and bananas
Dried bananas can be quite hard and dries strawberries can be chewy or sour or both, but freeze drying is a different process. They’re delicious!
Dried fruits and nuts
Apricots, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, walnuts, pecans, papaya, pineapple, almonds, dates, figs, anything you can imagine. Dress them up in decorative jars with a pretty ribbon or piece of fabric. Don’t just chuck a bag of trail mix in there because THAT’S CHEATING.
Bag or single-serve pouches, doesn’t matter. Starbuck has great little packs of single serve instant coffees called Starbucks VIA. They’re my favorite.
Herbs and spices
Small, delicate jars of saffron, vanilla bean, organic curry, or smoked chipotle. I love chives but they’re kind of expensive so I hoard them like gold. Any herb or spice your Grinch desires is good, but again, ribbons, wrapping and attention are required. A stocking shouldn’t look like a bag of groceries.
Honey and Jams
A squat jar of gourmet fig preserves or a thin bottle of Tupelo honey is better than any peanut butter cup.
Drop an alcohol miniature of Devil’s Cut, Tequila Rose, or Baileys Irish Cream in there and you won’t want to cuss your relatives out by lunchtime. You’ll be laying under the tree, but whatever.
We have now moved into male stockings. No, not that kind.
Or you can do what I do sometimes, and tell your family and friends if they simply must buy you a box of holiday candy or drop something into your stocking, you’d rather have an iTunes or Steam card. Given the average price of a box of candy (and how long it lasts around my house) I’d much rather have a gift I can enjoy for more than *38 seconds 🙂
*candy-devouring time approximate.