Presents-plus: Accessories

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Have you ever received a cool new gadget on Christmas morning, only to find batteries aren’t included? Many gifts – large and small – could be made better by including an accessory, or a little something that shows the recipient you were thinking about he will use that present.

Large gifts

Whether you actually wrap them and put them under the tree or hide them elsewhere with a clue under the tree, big gifts are a lot of fun. Make these large gifts even better with a stocking-stuffer or accompanying small present:

  • Sports car: Even nice cars can start smelling funky, so get some air fresheners and tuck them in the stocking. You can even get the ones shaped like Christmas trees (and even smelling like Christmas trees) to fit in with the theme of the season.
  • Refrigerator: Hide the refrigerator in the garage until Christmas morning. Wrap refrigerator water filters and put them under the tree, and watch the recipient’s face slowly change from confused to excited as she figures out why you gave her refrigerator filters!
  • Mattress: Although a new mattress itself may not be that much fun, a set of fun sheets will be. Consider going for a throwback set and putting the Disney cartoon pillowcase in the stocking.
  • Fancy grill: If the grill master in your family is going to brave the winter weather, he’ll need a fancy grill thermometer, too. That way he can stick it in the meat and monitor the progress from his armchair in front of the heater.
  • Lawnmower: This is a great gift to keep your lawn from looking like a meadow, but it’s not much good without any fuel. Get a gas station gift card and put it in the stocking.

Small gifts

Even if a gift can fit in a stocking, you may want to wrap it to go under the tree so the biggest gift of the day doesn’t get tucked in with all the stocking stuffers. Here are some ideas for small gifts and the stocking stuffers that go with them:

  • Books: When you’re loading carefully disguised books under the Christmas tree, consider how the recipient is going to keep track of where he is in each of these storehouses of knowledge. Get some cool bookmarks to put in the stocking.
  • Sega Dreamcast: The Sega Dreamcast is a gem for any gamer’s collection, but the library of hits (and misses) is useless without a visual memory unit! Without it, you can play through Sonic Adventure all day, but kiss your progress goodbye when you turned it off.
  • Sunglasses: It would be a shame if those $10 shades from the drugstore got lost. Keep that from happening by tucking a glasses leash into the stocking.
  • iPod Touch: The iPod Touch is great on its own, but what’s even better is a warranty that lets you trade it in for a replacement if you break it. Or consider some cool accessories instead.

Stocking stuffers don’t have to be random items from the dollar store or pieces of fruit or candy that you remember from your childhood. Instead, look to the gifts under the tree for inspiration to find useful items to put in the stockings.