Overhead view of a Christmas ornament tied with a red ribbon.

The Manulife Centre’s Totally Awesome Stocking Stuffer Challenge

One gift. Small enough to fit in a stocking. Inexpensive enough not to overshadow the under-the-tree gift. And so unbelievably cool and meaningful that it becomes family lore.

That’s the challenge, and if you accept it, know that the bar’s been set pretty high over the years. Last year’s winner was a girl who put a set of 1986 Toronto Blue Jays baseball cards in her brother’s stocking because it was the year he was born. Three years ago, it was a man who engraved a mock jewelry box with the name of his wife’s aristocratic British alter ego who comes out when she parties.


We think the mix here at Manulife Centre is pretty perfect for finding totally awesome stocking stuffers. But to confirm, we sent a few of our friends in with a $50 Manulife Centre gift card and the challenge. Here’s what they came back with.

A roll of stamps from The Lottery Wicket

“My dad’s idea of sharing pictures is having them developed and mailing them to us,” said Julie F. “My brothers and I rag him about it — but we love when his classic small manila shipping envelope shows up. Eventually, we’ll get him an Instagram account, but first we need him to retire his film camera and his flip phone.”

Corn on the cobb holders from William Ashley

Sean S. got these for his eight-year-old kid who lost his two front baby teeth on the same day last week. “He’ll look like a hockey net for the next few months, and he’ll probably goober a lot. But when he’s ready, we’ll fire a few ears up on the barbecue and dig in. Like a precursor to our first beer.” He was hoping for the plastic ones, but since they’re only available in the summer, he bought the Gense Amuze set that includes a corn dish and wrapped the holders on their own. Good thinking.

A pack of baby soothers from Pharma Plus

Sally D. (not her real name) didn’t get this for her baby. She got it for her husband who’s going to find out on Christmas morning that he’s going to be a dad. “I’ve always had a flair for the dramatic. He’ll be surprised by what’s happening, but not by how he finds out.”

So now it’s your turn. Come by Manulife Centre, swing into the holiday lounge just inside the Bloor Street entrance for a nosh, then go find that totally awesome stocking stuffer. When you do, share it with us on Instagram @manulifecentre using the hashtag #TASSchallenge, then celebrate with a drink at at The One Eighty because festive Toronto from 51 floors up is magical. Instagram your pics of that too using #51FloorsUp. We never get sick of the view.

Read it Next