If you're looking for stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, and dinner ingredients, chances are good that you can get everything on your list at Trader Joe's. They have a huge selection and the prices are great, but what makes Trader Joe's so great for gifts is their packaging. Everything in the store is so artfully packaged in Trader Joe's signature old-timey style that it all feels like a gift. You could give someone a package of sponges or toilet paper from Trader Joe's, and they'd take one look at the line-drawings of well-dressed Victorian people on the wrapper and say, "Wow, this is a fancy gift!"
Virtually everything in Trader Joe's that can fit in a stocking would be a great stocking stuffer. To help you narrow it down, however, here are 10 of our favorite stocking stuffers to pick up at Trader Joe's.
- Rainbow of Honey, $10 for six 4-ounce jars: This "rainbow" of honey includes clover, sunflower, orange blossom, eucalyptus, macadamia, and mimosa honey. Each one has different flavor notes, which means they may be best in different situations. The sunflower honey, for example, is great in tea or directly on toast.
- Pitted Amarena Cherries, $4 for 16.2 ounces: These cherries are dense and chewy, with a sweet-tart flavor that's perfect for serving over ice cream, yogurt, or cheesecake. Cocktail aficionados will love these, because they're also perfect for dropping into a Manhattan, a Last Word, and other classic drinks. These are legitimately good, and at $3.99 they are at least a quarter the price of most comparable cocktail cherries.
- Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend, $2 for 2.3 ounces: This clever spice mix is everything that makes an everything bagel so special. It seems quirky, but it's also very useful. Tell the lucky recipient to try it on avocado toast, scrambled eggs, pizza crust, chicken, hummus, or anything else that seems like it might be a good idea.
- Irish Whiskey Caramels, $4 for eight: Dark chocolate and whiskey pair beautifully together, and these truffles put them all in one bite. The dark chocolate is filled with caramel infused with Irish single-malt whiskey.
- Café et Thé Chocolate Collection, $10: This set of premium chocolate bars infused with coffee and tea will delight anybody with a morning caffeine habit. The set includes three coffee-infused chocolate bars and four that are infused with different kinds of tea — and the packaging is chic and classy.
- Chocolate Passport, $10: We'd buy this for the packaging alone — it's designed to look like a little passport! Instead of pages, it has eight single-origin chocolate bars.
- Lavender Dryer Bags, $4: It might seem odd to put laundry supplies in a stocking, but these are great. The box contains four dryer-proof sachets, which last for about a month. After that, the dried lavender contents can be sprinkled on the carpet before a vacuuming session.
- Camel and Goat Milk Soaps, $2: These simple, gentle soaps are made with just five ingredients each. They contain sodium olivate, water, camel or goat milk, salt, and honey. They're simple and elegant, and they come in attractive muslin bags that are perfect for gifts.
- Cinnamon Stars, $3: Zimtsterne, or "cinnamon stars," are a classic German Christmas cookie. These are made of almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts with a white sugar glaze. Put a few in a cellophane baggie and divide the box up between your family.
- Peppermint Hot Chocolate, $5: Peppermint hot chocolate is one of the most wonderful things about winter. It's smooth and warming and somehow refreshing all at the same time. This one is full of rich cocoa and mint, with surprising curls of shaved dark chocolate that make it feel extra luxurious.