It's that time of year again!
Hustling and bustling and shopping and cleaning and decorating and cooking and wrapping and OH MY GOD THIS IS EXHAUSTING!
Yes, exhausting. But still fun. Especially when you're giving gifts you know that your recipients are going to love.
Many of the gifts listed here have been tried and tested by me, a professional marketing writer and editor working out of a home-based office for almost 20 years.
Many I discovered while searching for a solution to a concrete problem, like “How can I keep these cords from turning into a jumbled ball in my bag?” and “Isn’t there a decent set of headphones I can plug into my phone for calls?”
Others I discovered through my fascination with office supply stuff – all things paper, pens, and notebooks.
A few of the gift choices might stretch the stocking a little, but the stretch is worth it.
And a few are gifts I’d like for myself <wink, wink, hint, hint>.
Ready? Here we go.
I'm a bit of a notebook fiend.
Okay, more than a bit.
I love notebooks, journals, and anything having to do with writing.
So it is with great joy that I recommend Code&Quill notebooks, particularly the Softcover Traveler Notebook.
The cover is, as advertised, soft and flexible. I just ran my hands over my white Traveler now. Even after feeling it for a while, the best description I can come up with is that it feels like what I imagine the underbelly of a lion would feel like.
That probably doesn't help.
Even if I can't describe it, I can tell you that it doesn't feel cheap.
Inside you'll find alternating dot and line indentation pages. I write on both the same. It makes no difference to me.
The pages lie flat while you're writing. A major win.
But the best thing ... the most amazing thing ... is how pens seem to glide over the paper effortlessly.
Really. I had no idea notebook paper could be this good.
And now I'm spoiled forever.
The Traveler is 5.50 x 7.70 inches; if you'd like something larger, check out the Monolith, available on the Code&Quill website.
Tell 'em Renae sent you.
Nah, just kidding; they have no idea who I am.
Any writer, blogger, notetaker, or listmaker will thank you for the Traveler or any other notebook from Code&Quill for that matter.
Have you ever been working on something ... a report, a project, an idea ... and found yourself getting fed up with your own take on the subject?
If you're a writer, you might understand.
I mean, there are only so many ways one can describe a widget.
That's where the Creative Whack Pack comes in.
Billed as a "creative thinking workshop in a box," the deck provides 64 different cards with 64 different strategies to be used individually, in meetings, or in a workshop setting.
With creativity stimulators like "Make a metaphor," "Change its name," and "Look somewhere else," the pack helps you see tired topics in new ways.
I keep it handy and pull it out whenever I need to lift myself off the floor after wrestling with boring content for a boring product.
(Hey, sorry ... I write stuff for products and services for a living. It's bound to happen.)
The Creative Whack Pack Card Deck will fit nicely inside a stocking, bringing the promise of sweet release to any idea person in your midst.
Another rendezvous with smooth, soft deliciousness.
Seriously, if you're into notebooks, then this Leuchtturm1917 notebook will set your heart 'a beating.
The cover -- gorgeous! Shiny! Shinier than she appears in the image.
The paper -- creamy, bleed-proof, acid-free, lined, and numbered, with space for the date at the top of each page.
Pens ice skate, dance, and swirl across it like an Olympic gold medalist.
The bookmarks -- two of them to keep you doubly organized.
The back cover -- a durable accordion-style folder inside to keep your notes and biz cards in order.
The book as a whole -- hefty feeling, with 251 pages that lie flat when open. Two index pages in the front are ready for your bullet journalling. Measures 5.75 x 8.25 inches.
I love this Leuchtturm notebook, and would like to fondle its silver and gold mates as well. Maybe my Santa-self will buy them and put them in my stocking. 😀
What blogger, writer, or very fine person does not want to improve their vocabulary?
Here's a fun, affordable, easy way to do it in 2019, with the 365 New Words a Year Desktop Calendar.
Each day gives a new word, sample sentences, and details on pronunciation, word origin, and history. And because the calendar sits on your desk all day long, you'll have a much better chance of retaining new words.
I can't entirely vouch for this product--yet. It's a gift for myself and will go into my stocking! Check back with me next year!
According to Google Translate, that says, "I love these pens!" in Japanese.
Even though I love pens and notebooks and other office stuff, it wasn't until this year, through the amazing SCRIBEdelivery.com service, that I discovered the magic of pens produced for the Japanese market.
This particular pen arrived in my SCRIBEdelivery envelope without much fanfare. It didn't look like much. A Pilot? Eh. I had no expectation whatsoever when I pulled off the cap.
But then, when I set pen to paper, I was stunned! The lines were so fine. So clean! I'd never had a pen write like this before.
I looked up this Pilot Hi-Tec-C marvel online, and quickly found it on Amazon. As I read and learned about the 0.3mm pens, I connected the dots. I realized that the Japanese need such 0.3mm fine-lined precision for writing those beautiful characters!
Could you imagine trying to write those Japanese characters with a clunky, ink-blobbing, medium-sized ballpoint? If I were doing the writing, I'm sure it'd be an illegible mess.
Get them for your kids. For your friends. For your clients! For your neighbors!
Stuff every stocking with these pens!
And if you use these Hi-Tec-C black 0.3mm ballpoints in one of the journals I mention in this gift-giving guide ... WOW. You'll find yourself infused with a doubly amazing writing delight.
While looking at the black 0.3mm Pilot Hi-Tec-C pens, Amazon was kind enough to show me the colored set you see here, the Hi-Tec-C Maica ballpoints. In color.
Of course I had to buy a set.
And although the line comes in at 0.4mm instead of 0.3mm, you'll hardly notice. They write as beautifully as their black-inked counterparts. Only prettier.
The Pilot Hi-Tec-C Maica set will make a great stocking stuffer for the creative in your life!
A little backstory...
You might be thinking, "What? A fidget spinner? Why does anyone need that?!?"
I thought the same thing, until I bought a spinner for myself just to see what the big deal was about. (The one pictured is not the one I bought originally.)
The very next day, as I sat listening to a webinar, I grabbed my new spinner and ... spun away.
I must say, I was impressed with how quickly and smoothly the spinner turned. I set it to spinning, and then waved it around, feeling the force of it shifting in my fingers. I spun it again and again, mesmerized by the seeming perfection of the motion.
I kept on spinning it throughout the webinar. That's when I decided my spinner was a keeper. It now had a home in arm's reach on my desk so I could use it while listening to audio.
Now -- as to the D-FantiX Fidget Spinner Cube pictured. I'm sharing it with you here in this gift-giving guide for several reasons.
First, its spin is MUCH finer than my first spinner, which cost $5 in the checkout line at Michael's.
Second, the colors and shapes. Do they remind you of something? Like, maybe ... a Rubik's cube? That's because this is a cube spinner. The pieces move oh-so-smoothly, and you can mix them up and solve the puzzle, just as you would a Rubik's cube. There's a video on the product's Amazon page, so you can check it out.
Third, I'm also sharing this particular spinner because it comes in a nice package, almost as if it were a wedding ring. In a clear, plastic box. There's a storage bag for the spinner as well.
The last reason I'm sharing is because I received this spinner as a gift from my son, a Rubik's cube fanatic. Did you know there are cubes in different shapes, sizes, and configurations? And there is such a thing as a cubing competition? I had no idea such things existed! When my son discovered that his university didn't have a cubing club, he founded one. And now he and other club members participate in all sorts of competitions.
But here's the thing. When this son of mine was home from college over the summer, he showed me HIS cube spinner because he knew I was using a spinner in the office. I mentioned how awed I was by his because it felt so much better in my hands than my original spinner.
Then, the next time he was home on break, he said, "Mom, I got you something."
I opened up the package and there was a cube spinner! This cube spinner! I was so touched!
Until he told me, "Yeah, that was the one you played with when I was home last time. I thought the pieces turned a little roughly, so I ordered another one."
He gave me his reject, although it turns out that the roughness he originally felt had gone by the time he gave it to me. Lucky me ... lucky him!
Want to stuff stockings with boosted concentration, improved focus, and soothing spins? Check out the D-FantiX Fidget Spinner Cube.
One of the tricks I tell clients who struggle with writing -- and anyone else who will listen, really -- is to set a timer for 20 minutes, and then write just for that 20 minutes.
See how you feel.
If you're feeling inspired, set it for another 20. Or maybe 10.
And you can use this cool TimeCube timer to do it.
Mine is sitting here on my desk right in front of me. I don't use it for writing though. I use my TimeCube for two things:
Yeah, it's a mind trick. But whatever works!
By the way, I initially discovered this timer when searching for a Pomodoro technique timer. Pomodoro traditionally works on 25-minute increments. You can also go that route, and get a traditional Pomodoro timer.
The Blog Post Inspiration Deck is my product. I created it to help bloggers, writers, marketers, and business owners answer the question, "What should I write about today?"
Inside the deck you'll find 60 cards divided into three groups of 20.
The way it works is that you pull three cards from the deck -- one card from each group -- and see what comes up for you in terms of ideas and inspiration. Sometimes one card is enough to give you a handful of ideas. Sometimes the combination of any two cards gives you a great idea. Sometimes none of the cards give you an idea, and you draw again. And sometimes all three cards work together to inspire you to create a piece of content you might never have thought of otherwise.
The Blog Post Inspiration Deck isn't just for blogs, either. Use it to get ideas for social media posts, vlog posts, email messages, assignments, and more.
One elementary school teacher I know used the cards for 30 days to teach her young charges a new vocabulary word AND inspire a daily art project!
So many uses!
The Blog Post Inspiration Deck fits nicely in a stocking as well 🙂
Gifts don't have to be sexy to be appreciated, which is why this particular headset made it onto my stocking-stuffer list.
I've been using this GE stereo headset with my Android phone for many years; I think I've gone through two of them and two sets of ear pads.
Why I love and recommend it:
The plastic packaging might be a bit of a stretch for a stocking, but this little headset is worth the effort.
My middle son brought cord organizers into my life for Christmas one year.
I was like, "What is this?"
My heart was touched that he thought of me, but, at the time, I had no idea why, when, or how I'd use them.
These Avantree Reusable Cord Organizers aren't the exact organizers he bought me the first time, but they're similar.
They're also affordable, and would make a great gift for any gadget-crazy person's stocking.
It sucks when you're out and about and your phone, laptop, or tablet is about to die.
"Why didn't I remember to charge it?!" you scold yourself.
That need not happen ever again with this RAVPower external battery pack. I bring mine with me whenever we go to places like Carowinds, an amusement park in Charlotte. My family loves to go on the rides, while I prefer to sit in the air-conditioned dining area and watch videos instead. (My back won't tolerate more than the merry-go-round, and I hate sitting around waiting outside in the heat.)
Because the charger has three hubs, I can charge my laptop, phone, AND tablet at the same time -- not that I bring all three devices with me to Carowinds. And it's sure nice to have a solution at hand when your son runs up to you after his 14th time on Fury 325 saying, "MOM! My phone is about to die!" I speak from experience.
The RAVPower external battery pack also comes in four colors -- blue, red, black, and white -- so each stocking can receive a different color and you can avoid the maddening "that one's mine!"
Although I'm not a purist, there really is no need to dog-ear your books, especially when you have a few sets of these lovely, cherry-blossom-shaped leaf bookmarks lying around.
After purchasing one set, I had to buy more.
I like to give these bookmarks, which are made from real leaves, as gifts by including them in with greeting, holiday, or birthday cards.
A lovely stocking stuffer for readers and book lovers.
Can five minutes in the morning and five minutes at the end of the day really affect your happiness?
Thanks to the Five-Minute Journal, I can happily say YES!
I keep this journal by my bed, and spend a few minutes each morning and evening celebrating, visioning, and being grateful. The result is that I can start the day with a clearer outlook and plan, and end the day thinking about the good things in life.
Use the journal to start a daily writing habit -- even if you're the type that has started trying to journal regularly many times without the habit "sticking."
I highly recommend the Five-Minute Journal for every stocking!
I used to believe that the Oxford comma was for grammar snobs only.
The point is that I'm a believer in the Oxford comma. Yes, we could eliminate the comma by rewriting, but the comma comes in handy more often than not.
This mug would make a great gift for a largish stocking -- but only if you're sure that the recipient is, indeed, on Team Oxford Comma.
Sometimes the best gifts come in small packages -- like the gift of uninterrupted writing.
This plastic door hanger will let the writer in your life identify himself or herself as such, whether they choose to keep the door closed or not.
Fun, frivolous, 'ffordable, fits in a stocking.
When you're sitting on your bum all day long, banging away at the keyboard, it's nice to dress up your desk with small, bright bits of art, such as these colorful stone coasters.
Even better, this gift is useful!
What writer or blogger or other desk worker doesn't work with a drink at their side? And when someone else pulls up a chair and gets ready to put their wet, slippery glass on your desk, you can say, "Ah! Wait a minute there. Let me grab you a coaster."
With cork on the bottom and an absorbent ceramic on top, your desk will stay safe, dry, and colorful. Just way I -- and others like me -- like it.
Although my desktop has at least 50 pens within easy reach, only two pencils sit at the ready. One is a cedar pencil with an amazing eraser, and the other is the Kuru Toga Advance, both of which I received as part of my subscription to SCRIBEdelivery.
The Kuru Toga Advance, my favorite lead pencil, is another product for the Japanese market, this time for its lead-rotating technology that produces consistent lines and allows you to use more of each lead. The lead rotates in the chamber so you always have a good point to write on, preventing breakage and saving lead.
The packaging is entirely in Japanese, which makes the gift feel really special, too. "You got me a gift from Japan?!?" they'll ask, eyebrows raised in wonder. You'll smile knowingly, thanking this here stocking-stuffer list and the magic known as Amazon.
We, the desk-dwellers of the world, often need help to get the hydration our bodies require. That's where this gift comes in--the Cactaki Water Bottle with Time Marker.
It holds 32 ounces, and helps track your water intake throughout the day. Fill it twice a day, get your 64 ounces in. Fill it four times a day, and you've chugged a gallon.
The lid opens and closes easily, and the strap is nice for when your thirsty recipient peels her butt out the chair and ventures outside, shading her eyes like a night-dwelling creature would on its first foray into the sun.
Oh -- another bonus -- it also includes a strainer for making infused water, and an ebook with a few recipes. I don't go for infused water, but it's nice to know I can have it if I want!
These little memo clip holders are a fantastic invention, and will make a great stocking stuffer for anyone who sits at a desk.
I use them to hold notes, photos, tarot cards, mini artworks, phone numbers, brand color hex codes, and so much more.
There are 10 pieces in this set, allowing your grateful recipient to use them in the office and around the house.
This is one of those "can't go wrong with it" gifts.
Get a set of these memo clip holders for yourself, and one for all of the teen and adult stockings on your mantel.
This set of 24 smiling paper binder clips makes a perfect gift for office folk, especially the creatives who like bright bits of fun and color in their lives.
It's amazing how such a small thing can bring a smile in the midst of an otherwise dreary day.
Maybe you're working along, doing your taxes, grouping your receipts, making sour faces about having to give up so much of your hard-earned income, and then you realize you have enough papers now to need a binder clip.
So you reach for one, and ... awww! Look how cute it is! <Smile.>
See? By giving a pack of these cute binder clips to your recipient, you'll be gifting little moments of lightness and happiness all year long.
Writers and bloggers as a whole tend to like to let the world know what they're thinking and feeling. That's why we're writing and blogging!
This Daily Mood Flipchart is a fun way to share your mood with the world. Mine has been set on Managerial for a while now, as I've been creating an online course and getting bogged down by a lot of administration and outsourcing.
I've also been Fabulous, Neglected, and Giddy.
And you better believe that I flipped my chart to let the whole house know 🙂
A fun, affordable stocking stuffer for any desk or counter space!
One of my sons used to collect all things sand art. He had timers, pens, and quite a few sand art pieces, although none as nice as this Sand Art Sandscape.
How soothing it is to flip the frame and watch the sand gently, slowly, pour into new formations.
A point of focus.
A way to unwind.
A piece of desktop Sandscape art.
When your desk doesn't have much room but you'd like to be reminded of important to-dos and people in your life, turn to the NoteTower Desktop Mini.
Sticky notes fit underneath and into the side clips, which are good for business cards, photos, and reminder notes.
The base has small suction pads so it won't slip-slide away as you're using it.
A great gift for desk dwellers everywhere.
Although there are a lot of phone chargers out there, I bet few, if any, are like this OCOOPA rechargeable power bank, which also acts as an instant hand warmer.
As a gal who lives with a heating pad on her back and microwaveable booties on her feet, I can't tell you how much this gift would be appreciated by those of us who must press on and keep typing despite having frozen fingers.
The pocket-sized OCOOPA comes in black, blue, and pink, and fits into sweater and coat pockets just as well as it does a desk drawer.
Warm hands, at last!
I wanted to end this year's gift collection by telling you a little more about a service I've mentioned a few times in this post -- SCRIBEdelivery. Although you can't put it into a stocking, SCRIBEdelivery would make an AMAZING, thoughtful present for the pen, pencil, paper, and office-stuff lover in your life.
Each month, an envelope of happiness arrives in my mailbox, introducing me to the wide world of products I wouldn't have known existed otherwise! I've received notebooks large and small, gel and ballpoint pens that have expanded my favorites list, fountain pens and ink, and pencils from small manufacturers that, to my amazement, manage to exist despite the Walmartization of our world.
Each month's envelope also comes with a short letter that tells about each item -- where it's from, why it's special, and how to enjoy it the most.
If you order a gift subscription, tell 'em Renae sent you.