A great holiday stocking is all about the art of surprise: It can contain a 50 cent trinket, a useful $5 tool or, in some rare cases, a lavish $5,000 gift. The best part is the fun of seeing what comes out next — and the joy the gifts elicit.
Except for socks. They may be the most common holiday gift, but socks don’t always knock your own off. Feelings about them are as far-flung as ill-fitting tube socks (where does the heel go?) and fuzzy footies with grippy soles.
A 2005 survey from Hanes — a sock-making giant — found that three in five people had received socks as a holiday gift by the age of 10, most often from mom. (In fact, this writer just wrapped up a pair for her son.) Two-thirds said socks were a great gift because they are always needed. But a more recent two-part survey found that socks rated as the worst gift.
That hasn’t stopped the proliferation of sites that cater to gifting the most clichéd present. Joy of Socks offers “cools” ones, Happy Socks sells “unique” ones and Sock Dreams features “sexy” ones. There is even Sock Grams, which sends the footwear along with a greeting, and Soul Socks and Socks Fancy, both monthly subscription services that deliver “flashy” or “awesome” socks.
Even songstress and queen of cool fashion Rihanna rolled out a line of holiday socks for Stance this year. They include $18 “Deez-Chest-Nutz” socks, $20 “Pimp Claus” socks and $24 “Bitch What” socks with toes. If anyone can make socks hot, it’s Rihanna.
If you’re still not convinced about the value of gifting a good pair of socks, though, check out these 40 other stocking stuffers, all under $25, for the techies, foodies, globetrotters and fashionistas in your life.