This gift guide is part L.A. Times 2022. The complete guide can be found here. You may be compensated by the L.A. Times if you buy through any of our links.
Growing up, my mom could curate a Christmas stocking like nobody’s business. A piece of maple candy or a chocolate bar, a small, memorable gift, and a fist-sized navel Orange were always included in the stocking’s last items. It could be a gold or silver coin. It could be a small condiment, seasoning or gadget (garlic salt was always a huge hit in my house), but they were always special.
In the spirit of those first-in/last-out nifty gifts, here’s a roundup of smallish items — most clocking in at 3 inches long or under — perfect to stow in the toe of a stocking. (Pro tip: You’ll need to remove most of these items from their original packaging to make them fit. If that’s the case, set the packaging aside and hand it over once the stocking has been destuffed.)
Space pen for Chrome Bullet Fisher Space Pen
On board NASA’s manned space flights since the Apollo 7 mission in 1968, Fisher Space Pens are appreciAted for their ability to write on almost any surface in all kinds of conditions (including over grease stains, underwater and in zero gravity). The Chrome Bullet is a beautifully sleek and minimalist compact-sized writing implement that’s small enough to tuck into a pocket or purse, ensuring there’s always a pen within reach whether you’re making a grocery list for the family or signing autographs for the fans.
$27.20 at Amazon
Aventurine crystal pillow
The quartz variety used here is believed to be a lucky stone. “brings optimism” “stimulates renewal on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels,”According to Open Eye Crystals’ website, the store is a metaphysical supply shop in L.A.’s Carthay neighborhood. “When someone comes into the store and asks for an overall good stone for everything, I put this in their hand,” says the shop’s owner, Madison Young. It’s a good choice for the crystal-loving people in your life. You can also try: black tourmalineAnonymous “etheric vacuum cleaner”This crystal helps to clear any negative energy and is a great stocking stuffer. It looks almost like a lump of coal or a polished piece of metal. Open Eye Crystals in your local bricks-and mortar shop is a great option for crystal shopping.
$22 at Open Eye Crystals
LACMA Chris Burden ‘Urban Light’pin
There is no better way to express your feelings than by telling someone. “you light up my life” than to give them a tiny cloisonné enamel pin depicting Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” (2008) installation of 202 working streetlamps that’s become one of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s (and the city’s) most Instagram-worthy spots. LACMA’s pin offerings also include three individual lamp styles from the installation (with glow-in-the-dark lights), as well as pins based on other pieces in the museum’s permanent collection including “White Cat,” “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” “Peony Still Life.”LACMA Members receive $1 off the retail price
$10 At LACMA Store
Jabra Elite 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
The tiny, discreet earbuds are less than a nickel and as reliable as possible. Designed for the sporty set, they’re sweAtproof, waterproof and designed to stay securely in your ears, no matter your activity level. Features include one-button active noise cancellation, 24-hour battery life and a charging/carrying case that’s small enough to stash in your pocket.
AeroSpaced By Higher Standards 4-piece Grinder
This pint-sized, milled-aluminum weed grinder doesn’t do anything spectacular. The grinder grinds small pieces of cannabis into a more consistent, finer product which provides better quality. What makes it special — and a good choice to gift to the traveling herbal enthusiast — is its super-small size; it stands at barely 1.6 inches tall and 1.6 inches in diameter. It can be used to slice a bong or bowl with just a couple of twists. Magnets embedded within the lid ensure that it closes securely. The second chamber holds any pot pollen particles that may remain for future usage.
$21.95 at Higher Standards
JINsoon DewNail lacquer
Perhaps you didn’t know, but neutrals are very popular right now. JINsoon describes this nail varnish as “a” “dreamy sheer white reminiscent of organza fabric,”This makes a great stocking stuffer. And, like the rest of the 60-plus hues in founder Jin Soon Choi’s offerings, it’s vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and manufactured in a certified Cosmetics Good Manufacturing Practices lab, so your gift of dewy nails comes without a thumbnail’s worth of guilt.
$18 At JINsoon
Pelican Protector Series Stick-on Mount for Apple AirTag
One of last holiday season’s coolest stocking stuffers was Apple’s AirTag, a quarter-sized way to keep tabs on everything from your book bag on the other side of the classroom to your luggage on the other side of the world. The only problem is: Not every item worth tracking has a secure place to stow the worry-stone-smooth device — or attach the popular third-party key-ring holders designed to snap around them. Imagine your beloved sunnies and bicycles or skateboards. Enter Pelican’s plastic stick-on mount, a two-piece silicone holder, barely bigger than a postage stamp, that sandwiches the device and sports a sticky square of adhesive on the back. There are a range of colors available, such as black, gray, and orange.
$19.99 At Amazon
Pig & Hen Vicious Vik men’s bracelet
Handmade in Amsterdam using braided Dutch sailing rope and maritime-inspired, stainless-steel D-shaped shackles, this men’s bracelet is a slim, subtle, put-on-once-and-wear-forever, goes-with-anything style that doubles as a good luck charm. That’s because the brand’s name was inspired by the custom of Dutch mariners in the 1600s who would get their feet tattooed with images of the two animals to protect themselves from bad luck at sea. (They’d noticed that often the only things left floating after a shipwreck were crates of pigs and hens.) There are many options for the bracelets, including a wide range of colors and patterns in rope and hardware. These bracelets are presented in a beautiful wooden box that features the Pig & Hen logo.
$99at Pig & Hen
Victorinox Joshua Tree National Park pocketknife
One of the Swiss Army Knife maker’s Classic SD knives (the SD stands for “screwdriver”It measures only 2.3 inches and has seven functions (scissors/tweezers/nail file, scissors/tweezers, and nail files). The knife can be carried on a keyring, in a purse or briefcase. The artwork on it makes it difficult for nature lovers to let go. That’s because Victorinox has collaborated with Doug Leen (a.k.a. Ranger of Lost ArtHe was an artist and conservationist who is best-known for silk-screening posters of Works Progress Administration national parks. To emblazon knives with park-inspired retro-nostalgic artwork, he also served as a ranger. It includes Joshua Tree (pictured), as well 11 other parks like Yellowstone and Everglades, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Glacier.
TartufLanghe truffle salt
This family-owned company serves up a variety of truffle-enhanced products, including white truffle honey (its bestseller) and Tartufissima (a pasta with a truffle core), but when it comes to pairing tiny and tasty, you can’t get much better than its super-cute, super-small 30-gram jars filled with hand-harvested sea salt from Guérande flecked with bits of black truffle. Because it kicks up almost any foodstuff a few notches (especially pasta, egg and meat dishes), do yourself a favor and order a few for yourself as well as the stocking you’re stuffing. There’s free shipping on orders over $99, or swing by the Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market & Restaurant at the Original Farmers Market in L.A., which stocks this version and the brand’s slightly milder white truffle salt.
$13.50 at TartufLanghe
Tiffany & Co. Classic Money Clip in sterling silver
One of the most memorable — and consistently useful — gifts I’ve ever received was given to me years ago by my future father- and mother-in-law. It’s a sterling silver money clip from Tiffany & Co. No longer and slightly wider than a pack of gum, it orders the chaos of whatever slightly rumpled dollar bills I have on hand and makes me feel like an absolute baller every time I reach into my pocket to pay a bar tab or tip a valet. If you want to go all out on the old-school vibe, you can have it engraved with the recipient’s initials.
$250 at Tiffany & Co.
Clare V. Mushroom charm
In case you didn’t know, there are some news about the “shroom boom,”You will find anything mushroom-related all over the place these days. Leathers made with mushroom-fiberA fungi-print runway resembles psilocybin microdosemania. The charm has a 14-karat-gold-plated, greenstone-head mushroom stem. A carabiner clasp makes it easy to add to any chain, or you can create an entire bracelet with some of the L.A.-based brand’s other charming charm offerings, including hearts, strawberries, pineapples and even sardines. (Bonus – There are a few Clare V. boutiques throughout the Los Angeles area, including Santa Monica and Silver Lake.
$65at Clare V.
Irene Neuwirth Petite Gumball Studs
Local fine-jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth’s playful Gumball Collection is chock-full of orb-shaped eye candy, from chrysoprase necklaces to gold rings studded with turquoise spheres, but it’s the petite stud earrings in 18-karAt rose gold, each set with a bubblegum pink opal, that strike the sweet spot between whimsy and understated luxury. The brand’s flagship store on Melrose Place makes it a good last-minute option. Because you totally didn’t forget, did you?
$880at Irene Neuwirth
Aquaphor Lip Treatment Ointment
Hailing from the East Coast, where winters are seriously cold and dry, there was hardly a holiday stocking in our household that didn’t include some tube, tub or tin of skin- or lip-soothing ointment, whether it was Burt’s Bees, Bag Balm, ChapStickSometimes, you can make your own potion. In keeping with this tradition, you might consider putting a tiny (.35-ounces), tube of Lip Repair oil in your toes. It’s fragrance- and paraben-free and packed with vitamins, shea butter and chamomile essence. Oh, and it’s dermatologist-recommended, so don’t take our word for it.
$4.22 at Amazon
Tabasco Pepper sauce miniatures 30-pack miniatures
“I got hot sauce in my bag. Swag,” Beyoncé famously informed us in “Formation,”You can follow her lead and spice up your stockings with one or more McIlhenny Co. Tabasco hot sauces. Its distinctively shaped bottle may have been shrunken down, but the 1/8-fluid-ounce serving inside packs the same 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville heat unit punch that will liven up everything from tacos to omelets to the Bloody Marys you’ll be whipping up for that post-stocking-opening brunch. Did we mention it’s also gluten-free, halal and kosher too? They ship in packs of 30, which means you’ll be able to stash some hot sauce in your own picnic basket, briefcase, lunch box and, yes, bag.
$23.92(24 count) Walmart