The AGBC Gift Guide to Particularly Perplexing Stocking Stuffers 🧦

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Background image via Dan LeFebvre on Unsplash

We've almost made it through the year, but there's one last task that can push anyone's mental limits: Trying to choose last-minute gifts!

Don't get caught empty-stocking'd! Our list has a few fine suggestions to confuse and surprise those you love.

Storm in a bottle

Kikkerland ST71 Storm Glass via Amazon

Your loved ones will go goof for this… test tube weather thing. It does look a bit festive, kind of like a tiny pile of snow sitting in a tube of liquid sky. They should really put a snowman in there and turn it into a snowglobe, but for now it's a type of weather predictor made popular in the 1860s. Temperature changes will crystalize the liquid inside in different ways, which you can read according to the instructions on the side. Wikipedia does say to keep it away from sunlight, so it's likely to be less than accurate if you stick it on the windowsill like in the Amazon photos.

Wine bottle multi-tool

Bin 8 Multi Kitchen Tool via Amazon

This bottle full of kitchen gadgets actually looks pretty useful, but I like the idea of putting an elegantly-wrapped bottle of wine in someone's stocking, only to have them unwrap this colorful combo. It's a funnel, a lemon juicer, a spice grater, an egg masher, a cheese grater, a can opener, an egg separator, and a measuring cup, all nested together to look like a wine bottle that is pretty enough to sit on the kitchen counter instead of buying 8 separate tools to junk up your junk drawer. Wrap it in one of BuiltNY's $7 wine bottle carriers to add another layer of fun to the wine bottle joke, but make sure they know this counts as two presents.

Mushroom farm in a box

Back To The Roots Organic Mushroom Growing Kit via Amazon

Your kitchen window that faces a brick wall may not be sunny enough to grow houseplants, but it may be perfect for a fungus box! This mushroom growing kit comes with a brick of growing medium that is pre-colonized with mushroom spores that are ready to grow as soon as you soak the brick in water and give them some air. It's a bit pricey for a few handfulls of mushrooms, but if you get a bale of hay and follow the instructions in this Amazon comment, you may find yourself selling artisanal mushrooms at the farmer's market in no time!

Universal socket spinner

RAK Universal Socket via Amazon

There are only about two times a year when an apartment-dweller will need a socket wrench to build or adjust something, and invariably the bolts will be two different sizes both times. Keeping a full set of sockets in a hallway closet is a luxury only afforded to those who can afford an apartment with a hallway closet, so save space with this single universal socket adapter that will mash down on a variety of bolts, nuts, and picture hangers when you need something twisted, and will take up way less space than an entire socket set during the rest of the year. If you don't already have a ratchet wrench, you can also upgrade to the full tool set that includes a comfortable wrench and a set of interchangeable screwdriver heads.

Bodega starter kit

Cookies, Chips & Candies Variety Pack via Amazon

Honestly, anyone whose stocking you're stuffing likely doesn't want another plastic gizmo to clog up the landfills, but who doesn't love a snack? Surprise all the merry-wishers in your life with this 50-piece box of chips, cookies, and candy. Stuff every stocking with an assortment of bodega-y snacks or simply wrap this huge box as a present from Santa and let everyone dig for their favorites on Christmas day or at the office party. Buying in bulk will knock down the price, too: For a box of 50, each piece is 48¢, but super-size it and upgrade to the 150-piece box and each piece will be 40¢.

Well, my shopping's done! 💁


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