Let me tell you about a parenting lesson I learned the hard way—it involves a young child and Santa. In December 2020, I had a wise three-year-old son and a tiny four-week-old. I was just doing my best to survive on little sleep and four to five cups of coffee a day.
I had done my Christmas shopping before the baby was born, but I forgot about the stocking stuffers. Thankfully, I managed to fill my older son's stocking on Christmas Eve, but left everyone else's empty thinking he wouldn't notice. Boy, was I wrong. He had lots of questions about why mommy, daddy, and the baby were on Santa's naughty list.Now, stocking stuffers for everyone are on the top of my holiday shopping list.
For years, the only time I got new socks or underwear—arguably the most practical gifts—was in my Christmas stocking (thanks, mom!). Similarly, I like to fill my family's stockings with useful gifts. For that, I turn to my favorite store, Trader Joe's, for baking kits to keep my kids busy over winter break, gummy-flavored lip balm for the teens in my life, and moisturizing hand creams for every mom I know, including me. All finds are under $9, most under $4.
Trader Joe’s Stocking Stuffers for Kids
Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Stirring Spoon ($0.99)
Anything that comes in under a buck is a win in my book. Plus, these will keep my kids occupied when it feels like the 100th day of winter break and I am out of activities.
Trader Joe’s Stickers! (Free)
The highlight of my kids’ week is getting free seasonal stickers at Trader Joe’s. My favorite stocking stuff hack? I ask for a few extras for sneaking into their stockings and I tell them Santa shops at TJ’s too.
Dark Chocolate Orange ($3.49)
I love the nostalgia of this classic chocolate-covered orange; plus, my kids love smashing it apart!
Candy Cane Joe-Joe's Dark Chocolate Bar ($1.99)
My kids are big fans of dark chocolate—these are mixed in with crumbled cookies and peppermints—and this festive offering does not disappoint.
Chocolate Peppermint Loaf & Baking Mix ($3.49)
I may be somewhat of a micromanager in the kitchen, so my kids love being able to use baking mixes all by themselves without me butting in about proper flour sifting techniques and how best to mix without over-mixing.
Trader Joe’s Stocking Stuffers for Teens
Handmade Candy Cane with Cocoa Center ($1.49)
Plain old candy cane? Not for Trader Joe's and the coolest teen you know! These are filled with chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Covered Minty Mallows ($3.79)
These chocolate-covered and mint-flavored marshmallows are perfect for s’mores or for a festive addition to hot cocoa.
Ranch Seasoning Blend ($2.99)
I don’t know much about teens, but I do know they like ranch-flavored things.
Gummy Bear Flavored Lip Duo ($6.99)
I learned on TikTok that teens know way more about skincare than I did at that age, and it shows. This lip care duo is perfect for the skincare enthusiast in your life; it contains a lip balm and an overnight lip mask.
Trader Joe’s Stocking Stuffers for the Family Chef
Truffle Hot Sauce with Black Truffles ($7.99)
Fancy hot sauce has its own shelf in my fridge, and I can’t wait to add this black truffle-infused bottle to my collection.
Organic Balsamic Vinegar of Modena ($5.99)
You can’t beat the price of this pantry staple. It’s good on everything from salads to pizzas to cheese boards and even ice cream!
Olive Wood Spoon ($2.99)
In my humble opinion, the wooden spoon is the kitchen's hardest working and most underrated tool. These olive wood spoons are beautiful and will stand up to years of heavy use.
Smoked Paprika ($2.49)
Smoked paprika adds a lovely smokiness and brings a depth of flavor you can’t get from other spices. This one comes in a colorful, gift-worthy tin—it will brighten up any kitchen!
Trader Joe’s Stocking Stuffers for Cocktail Lovers
Triple Ginger Brew ($3.99)
If you feel extra generous, pair this ginger brew with a small bottle of spiced rum for the ultimate Dark and Stormy.
Organic Date Syrup ($3.49)
I love to use this to sweeten cocktails for its dark butterscotch-like flavor.
Sparkling Pomegranate Punch Beverage ($3.99 for 4 cans)
This holiday mixer makes a beautiful cocktail. Add your favorite spirit or embrace your inner 1980's spirit and whip up a white wine spritzer.
Trader Joe’s Stocking Stuffers for the Mom That Deserves It All
Someone please send this list to my husband, so I don’t have to buy my own stocking stuffers this year.
Winter Wake Up Tea ($2.79)
This is a seasonal product that may not stay on the shelf for long, so I’ve already stocked up on many boxes. It’s black tea with a touch of cinnamon and ginger—the perfect midday pick-me-up!
Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream ($4.99)
‘Tis the season for the skin on my hands to be dryer than the Sahara. This cream is super thick, but not overly greasy.
Pomegranate Castile Hand Soap ($3.99)
I have sensitive skin that gets pretty dry in the winter. Combined with compulsive hand-washing, my hands are sandpaper by March. This castile soap is excellent for sensitive skin and isn’t as drying as traditional hand soap.
Head to Toe Moisturizing Balm ($3.99)
A fact I know to be true: moms need balm. All kinds of it—lip balm, face balm, baby diaper balm, and Trader Joe’s Head to Toe Moisturizing Balm does all of the above and more.
Trader Joe’s Stocking Stuffers for Wellness Enthusiasts
Peppermint & Tea Tree Shampoo Bar ($3.99)
No plastic waste and a mermaid on the recyclable packaging? Sign me up.
Bee & You Propolis Raw Honey Throat Spray ($8.99)
This is a lifesaver for cold and flu season. Whenever I feel that dreaded tickle in the back of my throat or after my child coughs directly in my face (oh, motherhood!), I spritz this into my mouth.
Organic Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea ($2.79)
This is a sick-day staple in my household—the ginger is revitalizing. For soon-to-be moms: this tea helped me tame the nausea during my two pregnancies, so I’ll be a lifelong fan!