It’s the little things that count, at least when you’re talking about what to put in your loved ones’ holiday stockings. With that project at hand, be ready to choose the unexpected, from the very inexpensive to the very expensive prizes packed in what becomes a big fat sock hanging on the fireplace mantel. Following are five cool places from which to purchase your stocking stuffers, with care of course.
519 Americana Way
With locations throughout the city, including Santa Monica, Glendale, Beverly Hills, The Grove and elsewhere, Anthropologie always features great little gifts that would fit in any stocking. From soaps to candles, ornaments, postcard sets and books to other great trinkets, the selection here is always dependable and always interesting.
3816 W Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
Goodies galore lurk in every corner of this popular Burbank boutique. From lovely scented candles and refreshingly light lotions to all kinds of name brand jewels and a host of designer clutches, the Bell Cottage inventory will blow you away. Find stocking stuffer choices you probably never even thought to purchase until you spotted them on the shelves and in the cases of this tempting and very gracious shop.
Westfield Fashion Square
14006 Riverside Dr
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
The home decorating and furnishing store, which has locations throughout Los Angeles, is best known for its furniture, but they also make it a point to offer small gifts that are perfect for any stocking during Christmas! Here, you can shop everything from bottle stoppers, wine pull’s, and wine accessories to luggage tags, catch all’s., tote bags and iPhone cases. In addition, they offer journals, toiletry cases, cosmetic pouches, books and much more. They offer gift price ranges as well, so you can easily get something for under $25, under $50 or over $100.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
1001 Rose Bowl Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Held the second Sunday of every month with the December 14 date for 2014 coming right in time for Christmas, the Rose Bowl Flea Market is a gold mine for this purpose. Vintage items and collectibles are always a big hit, but new stuff at low prices are also good finds to save for Christmas. Plan to get to the Rose Bowl early and to spend at least three hours looking over the wares that seem to be represented in every category and every era. That said, since you’re thinking small in size, you won’t be lugging around too much to handle — that is unless you succumb to any of the millions of larger items on offer at what is arguably the best swap meet in the whole wide world.
Wacko / Soap Plant
4633 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
This could very well be your one-stop stocking stuffer shop. If you like to give offbeat, cutting-edge, creative and unique surprises to your recipients, then this is a great place to unearth just about everything you can’t imagine. The folks who own this joint once called their outlet “a pop culture toy shop with punk rock attitude,” but now it is so much more. Check out this gem of a gift shop and be prepared to buy a lot of stuff from among the literally thousands of options. To be sure, Wacko’s magical inventory is hard to resist.
8413 W. Third St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Functional art by talented creators makes for exciting objects to store in those big socks hanging on the mantel until Christmas morning. Devine owner Carol Sauvion, a studio potter herself, is a champion at picking out superb pieces from among the city’s best artists as well as from those who don’t call Los Angeles home. Plenty of fine jewelry is on hand at Freehand and so are other small pieces made of clay, glass, wood, metal and various fibers from which to pick. When you do, know you’ll be leaving Carol’s place holding a real treasure ready to stuff in a very special holiday stocking.
4637 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Want to go funky for your Christmas stocking stuffings? This wacky Los Feliz/Hollywood-based boutique serves up retro fun with its outrageous vintage inventory that ranges from fake mustaches to festive Hawaiian leis to giant faux diamond rings to every novelty in between. You never know what’s on deck in the smalls department at Ozzie Dots, so plan on hitting up this shopper’s paradise more than once before Christmas comes to call.
Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.