There was one year when my poor mother/Santa filled my stocking (along with my brother and sister's) with office supplies. Scissors, Post-its, Scotch tape. Needless to say, that went over like a lead balloon, with a Santa mutiny threatened by all three of us. "How could he do this to us?" we moaned, looking for the Toblerone. Needless to say, the error was never repeated. Holiday shopping can be exhausting and expensive, but I urge you all not to forego the lowly stocking, which sets the tone for the rest of the day. Toys are good, jewelry, socks and lip balm are always welcome. But food conquers all. Everyone likes it, you don't have to worry about whether or not it will fit, and most packages fit quite nicely in a knit sock.
Sure, an orange at the toe of the stocking is still a nice touch, but here are seven other goodies to slip in the sock.
1. At Christopher Elbow’s Hot Chocolate Lounge in Hayes Valley, you can enjoy a rich mug of any number of his signature drinking chocolate—treat yourself, then buy a tin and treat a friend. $16, available at the shop (401 Hayes St., 415-355-1100) or online.