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Last-minute stocking stuffers for everyone on your list

There’s still time to be a Secret Santa

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hands holding a GameCube controller hooked up to the Gbros. wireless adapter playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on a Switch
photo: 8BitDo

Console bundles and high-end accessories make great gifts, of course, but when it comes to bonus gifts, stocking stuffers, and even White Elephant or Secret Santa gift exchanges, there’s a lot of cheap junk out there. We’re here to help.

We’ve rounded up some suggestions for small presents that are perfect to stick inside a stocking or give alongside a bigger gift. Whether you’re shopping for kids who still believe in Santa or your work Secret Santa, here are a few last minute suggestions.

Cute gear

Apparel geared towards gamers is often....a lot. There is cute stuff out there, though, if you’re willing to do some digging. I’m a particular fan of the simple embroidered hats that show off your favorite characters and franchises without being so garish.

Unfortunately the official Untitled Goose Game socks are backordered until January, but some gifts are just so good it’s worth printing out a picture to serve as an IOU.

Mini Arcade games

Tiny arcade cabinets are nothing new, but we’ve found a few that are of especially good quality. But be warned: Once unwrapped, they’re likely to turn your Christmas celebration into a cutthroat family tournament.

Useful accessories

If you’re gifting a video game console this year, or just know someone who’s an avid gamer, there are plenty of cheap gaming accessories on the market that make excellent stocking stuffers.

KontrolFreek’s performance thumbcaps are a good option for those who play a lot of first-person shooters. They add height and texture to the controller’s joysticks, which can help with response time and accuracy.

8BitDo is also a great place to look for inexpensive-yet-useful accessories. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players will especially appreciate the Gbros. adapter, which wirelessly connect GameCube controllers to the Nintendo Switch.

D&D books for young adventurers

Dungeons & Dragons is experiencing a huge boom right now. There are plenty of books out there for kids just starting to express interest in roleplaying games (or for new parents who want to stoke that interest.)

Indie publisher Ten Speed Press rewrote the D&D core rulebooks for Elementary School-aged kids. Warriors and Weapons covers how to create and roleplay a character, Monsters and Creatures is like a simplified Monster Manual, and Dungeons and Tombs explains the world of D&D and how to create interesting dungeons.

For the pre-school-aged set, there’s always the adorable picture books, ABCs of D&D and 123s of D&D.

Gooseneck gadget holders

If the mobile gamers in your life are having to cut play sessions short due to hand cramping or neck strain, a neck-mounted device holder is a useful (if slightly silly) tool. Feel free to print our our article singing its praises and tape it to the package.

For Switch players, a desk-mounted gooseneck holder serves the same purpose.

Baby Yoda anything

Baby Yoda has captured our hearts, but the fear of spoilers prevented toys from going to market in time for the holidays. Still, there are plenty of T-shirts out there that should hold over a Baby Yoda devotee until the plushes and Funko Pops arrive this spring. You could even spring for a glossy 8x10 print of the most meme-able moment of the year — Baby Yoda sipping from a mug like he’s on Big Little Lies.

Gift cards

Don’t overthink it! They’ve gotten a bad rap, but free cash to spend at your loved one’s favorite store is perfectly respectable gift. The more specific the better — for example, a gift card for custom miniature manufacturer Hero Forge is a great stocking stuffer for a tabletop RPG hobbyist. A gift card to their digital game storefront of choice is a good thought, but some stores even carry cards for specific games with a download code printed right on the receipt.