12/10/2013 06:27 EST | Updated 11/28/2014 05:59 EST

Better Than Coal: This Year's Top Stocking Stuffers

Mar Merelo via Getty Images

As every kid knows, finding their stockings bulging with gifts on Christmas morning is just as exciting as seeing the presents under the tree. But as every parent knows, shopping for these wee treats can be a daunting task. Here are a few handy suggestions of “stuffers” for your loved ones that can be hung by the chimney with care.

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For the boys:

It’s hero time!

If the boy in your life is an action hero fan, there are lots of action figures that can captivate their imaginations, from Captain America, to Spider-man, to Superman. Keep their fantasy going with a fun superhero watch. Your kid will always know what time it is: hero time! (Also, the actual time of day, because these are accurate, functioning time pieces.)

A LOT of cars

What’s more fun on Christmas morning than new toy cars? You could surprise him with a whole car set -- just take it apart and wrap the cars separately so they’ll fit. He’ll spend the rest of the day happily racing them through wrapping paper tracks.

For the girls:

Art on the go

Winter is a great time for snuggling in front of the fire, drawing, and creating. Ensure your child’s inner artist emerges this festive season by sneaking some markers, pencil crayons, or paint sets into their stocking. Or give your artist-in-residence a great gift for travelling over the holidays with a dry erase board -- perfect for car trips. Give them a place to practice their numbers, letters, and doodles on either the black or white side; the washable crayon colours look vibrant on either. The kit also comes with a mitt that wipes away creations when they’re ready to draw something else.

Pixi Eye Glow Cube and Pixi Endless Eye Pen Bestsellers Kit (available only at Target)

There’s far more value than usual packed into these Pixi makeup kits; what are stockings for, if not good things in small packages? Whether she is applying her own makeup for the first time or is already a seasoned veteran, you can’t go wrong with giving her an array of eyeshadows or eyeliner pencils; or why not both? ‘Tis the season, after all.

For Mom:

Nothing wrong with lip balm

Let’s face it; moms never have enough time for themselves. But most can take a moment for a quick swipe of lip balm. Mom will look beautiful on the outside and feel beautiful on the inside when she finds EOS organic lip balm in her stocking. These balms, which come in fun sphere shapes, are not only handy to stash into the tiniest handbag for a quick hit of lip moisture, but also come in yummy flavours like vanilla bean.

Be Delectable By Cake Holiday Body Trio (available only at Target)

Every mom loves cake; that’s a fact. Slip Cake’s Be Delectable Holiday Body Trio (available only at Target) in Strawberry and Cream or Coconut and Cream into mom’s stocking and ensure that she’ll be able to have a relaxing bath after the chaos of Christmas dinner is over. The included moisturizers will allow her skin to look (and feel) great well into the New Year.

For Dad:

Outerwear for TV lovers

Fathers always appreciate something a little more exciting in their stocking than socks and underwear. A whimsical toque is a fun stocking stuffer -- especially if you choose one that goes with his sensibilities. For Breaking Bad fans, there’s even a Heisenberg themed beanie. Or appeal to his fun side by slipping a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toque into his stocking -- there’s one for each of the characters!

Sentimental ornaments

Keeping on the theme of fun gifts for dad, how about paying homage to dad’s favourite hobbies with some whimsical ornaments? From golf, to gaming, to TV shows, to sports, they can give him some much-needed real estate on the tree (or around the house) for years to come.