First, though, who thought up the whole “stocking” thing? It’s genius, for those who get to have one filled for them. Probably a marketer thought of it because it’s a good way to make people have to buy fifteen gifts for immediate family instead of just one. Not that I ever got to reap the benefits of this, no, my parents were master life hackers who quickly figured out to a) fill both stockings with identical items and b) make those items fit into one of two categories: “office products” or “toiletries.” So we unwrapped our packages of Post-Its and mini-soaps in a frenzy of non-citement, since if either one of us got ahead of the other the surprise would be ruined.Anyway so if you need to stuff some stockings for an outdoorsy type, make yourself popular by doing it with the Patagonia Down Sweater. I guess now it’s called the “Down Sweater Jacket” in case anyone gets confused about it actually being a jacket. Anyway, a Down Sweater in the stocking! What, never thought of this? Down Sweaters compress into their own pockets and can be jammed into all sorts of cracks and crevices, including stocking toes. And they’re the perfect winter gift because everyone needs a nice warm jacket. Now they come in a zillion colors (though I’m partial to the chartreuse) and a snazzy new, longer, roomier cut for us ladies. No reports on whether the dudes also get a new cut for their version. Celebrate your genius by topping off those stockings with a few doodads from campground genius GSI Outdoors. Especially popular are the things in which one could immediately pour one’s drink of choice, because opening stocking gifts will be the high point of the day and if you really think about that, well, you will want a drink, too. I like the new steel Pint Glass, which gives your holiday microbrew that retro, coffee mug feel (it’s way better than that sounds) and the Steel Wine Glass which will keep your chardonnay nice and chilled at the bonfire. If you’re like me and have had a GSI Outdoors nesting wine glass for the last ten years, you can refresh with a new, fancier plastic one, too.
I know, I know, that’s only like four things and NO WAY will that fill a stocking. Well, add a bottle of wine or a few microbrews to go with the drinkware and BOOM, a full stocking that is guaranteed to get you invited back to Christmas next year. Now get on it, because even FedEx can’t perform miracles.