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2017 Holiday Gift Guide: great stocking stuffers

When it comes to Christmas gift giving, stockings rank high on our list.

Stockings provide an opportunity to find little gifts that can pack a lot of humor, surprise, even delight.

Many thoughtful gifts can cost as little as $5. Here are some ideas for special treats for everyone on your list.

Mama Bath + Body Lip Balm: There is lip balm and then there is Da Balm. This soothing lip balm is full of moisturizing butters and oils, like olive oil and sweet almond oil. Handmade in Atlanta, they come in a variety of scents — lavender, grapefruit, tangerine and spearmint. $4.25 a piece. Another good one is aromatherapy remedy sticks with peppermint, lavender and other essential oils for $12 apiece. Buy online at or at one of their two Atlanta locations: 112 N. Avondale Road in Avondale Estates and Krog Street Market shop, 99 Krog St.

Steve McKenzie’s stocking stuffers: Whether your taste is contemporary or classic, you’ll find furniture, home accessories and unusual gifts you’ll love at Atlanta’s Steve McKenzie’s on Atlanta’s Westside. These adorable pineapple stud earrings are just $12. For the person in your life who loves everything Christmas, they sell a whimsical “What I Love About Christmas” stoneware travel mug with silicone top, also $12. Buy online at or in store at 999 Brady Ave NW, Suite 1, Atlanta.

Ten Thousand Villages ornaments: Every year, my mother-in-law gives me (and husband and kids) a Christmas ornament in my stocking. She writes my name and the year in small writing on the ornament. A small, personal and thoughtful gift ever year. Ten Thousand Villages sells many lovely handmade ornaments from around the globe. This adorable yoga giraffe ornament is perfect for the yogi in our lives. Handmade in Kenya, the giraffe ornament costs $14.99. Other unique ornaments include a recycled can sheep ornament hand-made in Burkina Faso, a dove ornament from Indonesia and “one cool dude” snowman ornament (complete with sunglasses) from Ecuador. Available online at and currently available (as of late November) at Ten Thousand Villages’ Atlanta location at 1056 St. Charles Ave.

Natural Earth Paint for kids (and adults): These water-soluble Children’s Earth Paints use natural earth and mineral pigments and organic ingredients, and come in 10 vibrant colors, including red, orange, yellow, green and violet. Each packet makes about 16 ounces of paint. Play with proportions of water for thicker, more tempera-like paint, or thinner, watercolor-style paint. It works great on paper, wood, stones and more, and it’s popular among adults who use it for painting wooden toys and crafts. $5.95-$7.50 per packet. Buy online at

NumbersAlive Pi cards and glasses: NumbersAlive presents numbers as fun and friendly characters who discover numeric patterns in everything in life throughout the world including art, science and sports. They also have a variety of Pi items for STEM lovers of all ages, including a Pi keychain; Pocket Pi tape measure; and 3-D glasses. Two Pi refraction glasses and plush keychain cost $9.50. Buy online at

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Xocolatl chocolate bars: Small batches of these craft chocolates are made here locally, and what you taste is the true flavor of the chocolate from different regions — different flavor profiles ranging from earthy and nutty to buttery and fruity. Xocolatl, pronounced CHOCK-oh-lattle, also offers chocolate bars infused with other ingredients such as the “Kissed Mermaid” with coconut milk, sea salt and vanilla; and a new one called “Love & Happiness” made with Peruvian cacao beans, raspberries and blood orange. Each hand-wrapped single-origin chocolate bar costs $9; flavor-infused bars are $9.50 a bar (a three-pack is $25). Yes, it’s an expensive chocolate bar. But it’s made by a small company committed to sustainable practices to produce only fair-trade, organic confections. Krog Street Market, 99 Krog St. NE, Atlanta. 404-604-9642,

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Repour Wine Saver: Repour is a single stopper that replaces the cork in an opened bottle of wine, then gets to work absorbing the oxygen in the bottle to keep your nice bottle of wine fresh for your next glass (which could be weeks away). At $8.99 for a four-pack (and even cheaper in bulk), this smart stopper, designed by a chemist, is a smart gift for the wine lover in your family. Buy on Amazon or

Tiny Bubbles Tea Bar in Marietta treats: Owned and operated by a mother-daughter duo, Brielle and Felecia, this adorable tea bar on the Marietta Square serves yummy bubble teas, Vietnamese coffee, and loose leaf tea. Buy a $15 gift card for your loved one for a delicious splurge, or buy tea online to sweeten the stocking (flavors including Andes mint, chocolate chip tea and Georgia Peach starting at $7 for each package of tea, which makes between 10 and 12 cups). Online or in store at 21 W. Park Square NE, Marietta.

Nars Love Triangle blush/lipstick set: This limited-edition holiday stocking stuffer featuring a mini lipstick and mini blush is in ready-to-gift, attractive packaging. Available in store at shops including Nars Cosmetics Boutique at 3004 Bolling Way NE, Atlanta, at the Shops Buckhead Atlanta. Online for $24.

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About the Author

Helena Oliviero joined the AJC in 2002 as a features writer.