Today is my stocking-stuffer-shopping day! I usually stress out about a day like this because I’m either already over budget or just plain out of ideas. Not this year. I did some digging at a couple of my favorite Triad shops, and chatted with friends who are much more organized than me with their holiday shopping. And now I’m armed with a list of some cute, some silly, and some practical gift ideas for all!

So what did I discover to be some of the hottest stocking stuffers in the Triad? Keep reading to find out!

First off, in our house stocking stuffers are not big ticket items. No matter the size, if a present is over $25 then it’s  wrapped and placed under the tree. Most of the items listed below fall within this price range, yet all these store carry gifts for every budget.

One of our favorite gift shops in the Triad, Evy‘s (with locations in both Kernersville and Greensboro, has stuffers for kids and adults. Pictured above is a collage of great items like a toy wagon from Byers Choice Carolers Collectible Accessories; different styles of snow globe night lights; cool collegiate items like NC valve stem caps; grow-your-own holiday head plant; and of course you can’t forget reindeer food!

When you go to Evy’s, also check out the hold-in-your-hand music box where skaters actually turn after you crank it up, and the “Don’t Eat Yellow” snow ornament – a fun gag gift to remind the kids (pictured left).

For the kids, there are two obvious Triad places you should hit for the unique and affordable stuffers.  First is our valued sponsor Kaplan Learning Company. Click here and you’ll find a number of great, educational gift ideas under $15. Two gifts that are among our favorites atTriad Moms on Main is Bananagrams (I’m heading there tomorrow to grab one for my daughter’s stocking), and Brain Quest. Since Christmas is just days away, you don’t have to worry about shopping online either. Kaplan’s store is conveniently located in Lewisville, just off the 421 and Lewisville-Clemmons Road.

Another must-stop is Toys ‘N Company in Greensboro. Click here and you’ll find a bunch of ideas for under $20. Browse online first, and then pick up your items in person at their Friendly Center location.

A friend in Charlotte gave me a great stocking stuffer idea this past weekend. She said her son is obsessed with “smelly pencils” and they’re all the rage with his friends. The next day, I happened upon these pencils at Barnes & Noble. CalledGourmet Smencils, these sweet things come packaged in 10 for under $15.

Of course, Silly Bandz and Zhu Zhu pets are still popular, and you can find them just about anywhere. Throw in a Zhu Zhu pet accessory in the stocking too for added smiles!

I heard there are two hot stocking stuffers this year that you need to check out. One is Sing-A-Ma-Jigs (for the little ones). It has three modes of play (chatter, song or harmonize) that you can change – or control the pace of the tune – by squeezing its hand and belly. The other is Cuponk (for older kids or your husband). This one reminds me a bit of “Quarters” without the alcohol 🙂 To play, you try and sink your ball in the cup to get it to light up and play a tune. Both are sold at Toys R’ Us.

If you need to drop some hints to your husband, direct him to Kim Taylor & Co. in Winston-Salem. I love, love, love this store and purchased several ornaments there this year – all of which were hits. Also, right now Kim Taylor is offering 25% off all ornaments in her store! Another hint worth dropping (or a stuffer for your tween or teen daughter) is handmade jewelry by Lori Snyder. This line has fantastic items, including earrings that are just $25. Kim Taylor is also carrying super cute holiday spreaders, Christmas wine stoppers, and peppermint lip gloss – all must-haves for girls young and “older”! Fan Kim on Facebook to get the scoop on all her latest shipments and deals.

It’s not Christmas without a trip to Fleet Plummer in Greensboro. This is a serious holiday mega-store, and don’t let the name fool you. What started out as a hardware store has since grown into a fabulous gift store. They carry everything from holiday ornaments and trinkets to fully adorned Christmas trees (yes, I know that would not fit into a stocking) plus Pandora jewelry, a baby boutique, and a body and bath section. One trip to Fleet Plummer and you’ll be hard pressed to leave without a gift.

Another place to find unique gifts – mainly for yourself (hint, hint to the hubby) – as well as fun gifts for the kids (such as toys, books and games) is Invitations Only in Winston-Salem. Not only do they carry everything paper (calling cards, stickers, labels, stampers, and stationery), but also fine soaps, planners, and other stocking-sized gifts.

For an unexpected twist, get your husband a subscription to Savor NCmagazine. This new magazine, which features articles on wine, food, travel and decor, is running a special right now too. From now until December 24th, buy two subscriptions and get one free. How perfect! Get one for your husband, one for your parent, and one for a friend!

Other “usuals” you might find in the stockings hung on our chimney include lottery tickets, short paperback books and gift cards to favorite stores (as well as ITunes). Don’t forget to support our local arts and sports (Dash, Grasshoppers, WFU) – all are easy to get, affordable, and sure-pleasers!

And if you’ll be out shopping tomorrow, you might find me in the aisles of a new store that opened up here in Winston-Salem. Have you been to Ollie’s Bargain Outlet on Country Club Road? It’s kinda like a Big Lots and Dollar Store rolled into one. I zipped in there the other day to get a child’s birthday present, and left knowing it will be on my list of stocking stuffer stores this year!

So what’s in your stocking? Share with us your favorite finds and local shops!