There’s nothing like waking up on Christmas morning and ripping open a giant, beautifully wrapped present under the tree. But don’t forget your stocking stuffers too! Big-ticket gifts are exciting, but the most useless gifts really do come in the smallest packages. And as long as they’re small enough to fit in a holiday sock, you’re technically allowed to give them as gifts, so here are the five most meaningless presents that would not be acceptable under any other circumstance.
Wooden Toothbrush (Anthropologie, $12)
Give your friends and family a fancy wooden toothbrush! This vintage-style teeth-cleaner has a lovely Victorian aesthetic, but much like 18th century dental hygiene, is also pointless to use in the real world. The recipient already keeps an extra value pack of Oral-B toothbrushes sitting under their sink, but since this novelty item fits inside a felt sock with their name on it, they can’t really feel disappointed at this terrible, impersonal choice. That’s just the magic of stockings!
GooglePlay Gift Card (Walmart, $10)
Wow, an iTunes gift card would’ve been worthless enough, but this? For all you know, there aren’t even $10 worth of apps to buy in the GooglePlay store. While this present given in its own right would normally scream, “I don’t know anything about you!” it’s alright so long as you stuff it in a cute argyle stocking. Hooray! You’re now absolved of your thoughtlessness. After all, this gift is tiny, and that’s what really matters.
Beer Bottle Opener Ring (QVC.com, $8)
Nothing says, “I drunk shopped on QVC at 4 am last night” like a tacky ring that opens beer bottles. Wearing this serves absolutely no function unless you’re a bartender, which is not true of anyone you’re giving gifts to. But because it’ll be pulled out of a fun sock featuring an appliqué of Santa Claus smooching Rudolph, it’s going to spark a feeling of mild delight in the giftee. Then they’ll immediately put this toy where it belongs—in a junk drawer with all the other sad artifacts of late capitalism. That’s what Christmas is all about!
Mixed Towelettes (Herban Essentials, $15)
This is the wet fruit-scented gift that your friends will neither like nor dislike, since they probably feel pretty neutral about anti-bacterial wipes! Consider filling all their stockings with these moist towelettes to let them know you barely made an effort. Hopefully they’ll be too thrilled at the concept of mini presents stuffed inside an accessory to notice you bought these at CVS an hour ago.
VHS Copy Of Gremlins (eBay.com, $2)
The original Gremlins is a great gift, whether you put it in a stocking or not. Though your friends can’t actually watch a VHS tape, you didn’t totally screw up! Just looking at their copy should remind them of Kate’s monologue about her dad dying in a chimney dressed like Santa Claus, and that’s all anyone needs this holiday season. And if they don’t like it, who cares? It’s a stocking present, so it doesn’t count!
These trivial gifts have the kind of anything-goes charm that says, “I put this in a stocking so just enjoy, okay?” Pick them up in the last few days, minutes, or seconds before you gather with loved ones.