Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday Stocking Gift Guide

'Tis the season for gift guides. And since I love and adore lists of any kind, I wanted to put together a guide, too! But this one is slightly different -- it's a stocking gift guide. If you don't do stockings, then I feel sorry for you, because my favorite part of Christmas is reaching into a stocking and pulling out random little gifts. So, here are a few suggestions for how to fill the stockings of your loved ones.

Oiselle runfinity scarf or rundies
Oiselle runfinity scarf - $22 (source)
I ordered the runfinity scarf because (1) it's made of wicking material so I can use it to keep my neck warm on runs, (2) it's an infinity loop so there's no figuring out how to tie it in a casual-yet-cool way, and (3) STRIPES. I love stripes. Who doesn't love stripes? I'm wearing the scarf right now. It's amazing. Stuff it into a ball then put in the stocking.

Oiselle rundies - $65
I think these are the cutest things ever. If you're a runner and you like cute undies, how could you not love these? Ball each one up individually to fit into a stocking.

Nutritional Shake Powder
Pro tip: get the individual serving packets. It'd be hard to fit the whole bottle into a stocking. 
This one seems weird, I'll admit it. However, if you're related to someone who works out a lot, then there's no way they won't love and appreciate this gift. Protein shakes are a delicious and nutritious post-workout snack/meal, and any dedicated sweataholic will appreciate this. Since some brands taste horrible, I highly recommend Vega. I've never tasted a Vega flavor I didn't like!

Justin's Nut Butter (Vanilla Almond)
$9.99 at Whole Foods
Random? Taste it and tell me it doesn't belong on every holiday list ever. Sadly, the Vanilla Almond Butter is only at Whole Foods, but I think the Chocolate Almond Butter is found in many places, and it's also crazy good. This would make an awesome stocking stuffer. Or just a gift to show a person how much you love them because after tasting this, there can be no question. These also come in $0.99 single-serve packets that are also perfect for stockings.

Magazine subscription
$19.99 for 1 year subscription (but look for deals!)
Magazine subscriptions are easy to find deals on, and you can often order an annual subscription for someone for $10 or less. I just started getting Runner's World and really like it, but there are plenty of other magazines for the health-conscious -- Women's Health, Self, Health, Fitness, Shape, Oxygen, Running Times, Women's Running, etc. etc. etc.

Run fuel

On-the-go nutrition products make great stocking stuffers. They're not that expensive so you can stuff quite a few in! Nuun is great for hydrating for long runs (drop a tab into water and drink before or during a run). Clif shot gels are another kind of running nutrition. I find they're great pre-run but I have a hard time swallowing them when my mouth is slightly dry during a run. The chocolate or mocha flavors are my favorites -- they taste like frosting! I'm a big fan of Lara bars since they have a wonderfully short ingredient list and are pretty filling for a bar. My favorite flavors are apple pie, blueberry muffin, and peanut butter chocolate chip (extra protein).

Fun hair accessories
Kitsch hair ties - $9.99 for 5-pack
Sparkly Soul headbands - $15 for 3/8 inch, $17 for 5/8 inch
I love sparkly, colorful things for workout apparel, and this extends to my head. I've mentioned my love of Sparkly Soul headbands before, but not Kitsch hair ties, which are also super cute. These would be extra fun to wrap around some other stocking gift, like a protein bar or nut butter.

Classes at a favorite studio

This sort of qualifies as a regular gift (especially at NYC class prices), but gift cards can easily go into a stocking since they're small. If you know your loved one likes taking group fitness classes, then look into getting them a class or pack of classes. This kind of gift is especially appreciated after the holiday season! Jen-approved studios include Uplift Studios and Refine Method for cardio-strength-circuit workouts (Uplift has workout+wine classes!), Flywheel Sports for spinning, and Physique 57 for barre work.

Erica Sara Designs Say It Do It bracelet
$18 for brass (currently sold out), $32 for sterling silver, and $40 for gold fill
I love, love, love these. I got an Erica Sara Designs SIDI bracelet to motivate myself to a sub-2:00 half-marathon in the next six months and I wear it every day. It really is inspirational to see a note to yourself carved into metal on your wrist. And you can customize the engraving, the strap color, the metal, and the font! It's not often that you can make jewelry quite so personal. Again, a great stocking stuffer for a family member who you know has a fitness goal or likes external motivation.

Running socks
$10 for 1 pair
Laugh all you want at putting socks on a Christmas gift guide, but if I receive running socks in my stocking I will be thrilled. (That might just demonstrate the depths of my run-nerdiness) Proper running socks can help you avoid blisters, blackened toe nails, and other running ailments. I have a pair of Injinji socks that I bought after Dori recommended them and I wear them for every long run. I haven't developed any running shoe blisters since switching to special run socks for long runs!

Do you love stockings? What are your favorite stocking stuffers?


  1. Love these ideas, its so perfect for people who have no idea what to get the fitness nut/runner in their lives. Never seen that Justin's flavor before but I think I NEED to try it!! Yum!

    1. The vanilla almond butter is INCREDIBLE. I think it's only at Whole Foods, but it's so good! I like to get the little samples and snack on one throughout the day.