The stockings.

Stocking

Can anything compete with the excitement and anticipation of discovering what is tucked in your Christmas stocking?

Whether you (gingerly) turn the stocking upside down and let all the mysterious contents reveal themselves or you (bravely) reach in and select each treasure one by one, you know that the thrill of discovering what lies in these foot-shaped containers cannot be rivaled by mere wrapping paper and ribbons.

This year put your best foot forward by filling your loved ones’ stockings with amazing US-made products, like the ones featured below.

These American companies make goodies that are sure to delight everyone on your mantel. Check them out!

Sprout Skincare - Made in Brooklyn, New York

Pucker up!

Does winter’s chill can take a toll on your lips?

Sprout Skincare can help.

Made with organic cocoa butter, extra virgin coconut oil, beeswax and essential oils, Sprout Skincare’s lip balm (left, $5/ea or $18/set of 4) soaks in and heels dry, cracked lips. And unlike other lip treatments, Sprout’s will not leave your lips sticky or waxy.

But the best news is that Sprout offers its lip balm in 4 delicious, kissable all-natural flavors  – cinnamon, citrus, cocoa and peppermint.

The luscious lip balms are also available in a vegan formulation that substitutes candelilla wax for the beeswax used in the original blend.

With this many options, there is no excuse not pick up one for everyone on your list! Get one for your son’s backpack, your husband’s desk, your daughter’s purse, your mom’s car, your brother’s briefcase and your own jacket pocket.

Odds are that you are going to be so thrilled with Sprout Skincare’s lip service that you will want to try the company’s other products. These include facial cleanser, toner, cream and exfoliant, as well as make-up remover and body scrub. Like their lip balm, all are made using the highest quality natural ingredients.

Visit Sprout Skincare – sproutskincare.com

Field Notes – Made in USA

Take note!

No matter how many electronic devices you have or how intuitive those devices are, nothing takes the place of pencil and paper.

(I mean really how many activities are as simple and as satisfying as striking through a completed task on a to-do list?)

Field Notes was created in response the disappearance of agricultural memo books and ornate pocket ledgers.

The 3 1/2″w x 5 1/2″ h notebooks are made to be tough. Bound with a 3-staple saddle stitch, Field Notes memo books will hold up whether you shove them in the back pocket of your jeans, slid them into the breast pocket of your sport coat or toss them into your handbag.

The original memo book comes in 4 paper options – blank, ruled, graph and mixed. But while Field Notes is serious about making a useful, durable product, they have not neglected aesthetics.

They currently offer 2 limited-edition colorways – Winter 2011: Northerly Edition and County Fair (above, $9.95/set of 3). The County Fair is available in all 50 states (subject, of course, to availability) so you can decide which you will receive. For the exceptionally patriotic jotter, Field Notes offers a complete set the 50 states for $99.

And because Field Notes loves you and doesn’t ever want you to get caught without a place to write your next brilliant thought, they have developed a subscription service.

For $97, you or someone you love can receive 4 quarterly shipments of Field Notes’ limited-edition color 3-packs. (Actually you get (2) 3-packs per quarter!) These specially colored editions tend to sell out immediately, so the subscription is an ideal way to ensure you never miss one. To kick off the subscription Field Notes will send the lucky subscriber (2) 3-packs of their original memo books (1 graph and 1 mixed).

Visit Field Notes – fieldnotesbrand.com

Pink Tank Ltd – Made in Tacoma, Washington

Just because you love books doesn’t mean you don’t have an edge.

Now you can protect your books from turned-down pages and broken spines without diminishing your cool factor by using a tasselled bookmark that would be more at home in a dollar romance novel than your oft-referenced copy of Slaughterhouse-Five.

RISD graduate and founder of Pink Tank Ltd, Chelsea uses the manufacture of her fabulous bookmarks to explore the relationship between everyday objects, mass production techniques and industrial materials.

Each 1 1/2″w x 5 1/2″ h marker is etched into and cut from a sheet of stainless steel.

Pink Tank currently offers bookmarks in 29 styles that range from household items like a clothespin, a bbq grill, and a folding chair to weapons of reading destruction like a tank and a fuse (above, $9) with, of course, lots of brilliant stuff in between. With so many designs to chose from, you are bound to find one for each bibliophile on your list.

Visit Pink Tank Ltd – www.pinktankltd.com

Brooklyn Hard Candy – Made in Brooklyn, New York

Do visions of sugar plums dance in your head?

They may after you get a glimpse of Brooklyn Hard Candy.

The vintage-inspired bottle design will catch your eye and the sparkly morsels inside will thrill your tastebuds.

Brooklyn Hard Candy makes hard candies (duh!) in flavors of blueberry, concord grape, golden pineapple, tangerine, wild strawberry and green apple (left, $8). Each flavor is lovingly packaged in an 2.5 oz apothecary-style glass bottle wrapped with a kraft-paper label and closed with a cork stopper.

(The bottle is a treat in itself. Think of all the things you can store in this beauty, after you eat the tasty candy!)

The candies made without muss, fuss or weird chemicals you cannot pronounce (and I cannot spell). Their short list of familiar ingredients – sugar, glucose, citric acid, flavoring, and a bit of food coloring – makes you feel better about indulging that sweet tooth.

Visit Brooklyn Hard Candy – www.brooklynhardcandy.com

(Malin + Goetz) - Made in New York, New York

Does the toe of your stocking usually have an orange in it?

This year break tradition and fill it with one of (Malin + Goetz)’s candles.

Not only do their candles come in amazing scents that will last longer than your traditional orange (60 hours vs 5 minutes), they are also far less messy.

If you are traditionalist who is really hung up on having something round in the toe of your stocking, you can take the candle out of its (very attractive) box. The 9 oz candle comes in a glass cylindrical container that will fill out your sock nicely!

The only difficult decision you will have to make is which of the 8 nummy (technical term) fragrances to choose.

(Malin + Goetz)’s olfactory palette tends to lean to the masculine with scents like tobacco, geranium leaf, mojito, dark rum, and cannabis (above, $52/ea). Of course, that is not to say that women cannot love these scents also. Just as men are free to love their slightly more feminine and botanical offerings – absolute rose, vetiver, otto and neroli (a personal favorite of mine).

(Malin + Goetz) offers a complete line of products for the skin, body and hair in addition to their phenomenal candles.

All of their goodies are designed for production in and around New York City. The company prides itself on its relationships with small manufacturing facilities and formulating businesses.

Visit (Malin + Goetz) – www.malinandgoetz.com.

Melissa Borrell – Made in Austin, Texas

Jewelry is always the right answer.

(Seriously – no matter what the question is!)

Melissa Borrell is by no means just a jeweler (not that there would be anything wrong with that). Melissa is an artist/designer/creative wunderkind who happens to make jewelry in addition to a heap of other cool projects.

Her pop-out collection is perhaps as much fun to receive as it is to wear.

Each piece does just what the name implies. It comes still attached to a square of the stainless steel from which it was cut and needs to be popped out to reveal its final form.

Melissa provides any hardware required to make these exciting creations immediately wearable. For example, the Leaves Pendant (above, $55) is gold-plated stainless steel and comes with a 18″chain, so as soon as you set the pendant free you can loop the chain through and then fasten it around your neck.

(Gold not your thing? The Leaves Pendant is also available in red or black powder-coated stainless or plain stainless for $39.)

Melissa also currently offers another collection of accessibly-priced and manipulable jewels called 2d3d. Her collections bubble, topography and art carry a higher price tag because of the value of the materials used and/or their more labor intensive, handmade construction.

Visit Melissa Borrell – melissaborrell.com

Solmate Socks – Made in USA

Sock it to ‘em.

At first blush, the idea of socks as a stocking stuffer may seem a bit uninspired and on-the-nose.

That is, until you get a look at Solmate’s stockings (left, $20).

Made from recycled cotton, the Vermont-based company’s socks are mismatched masterpieces.

The multi-colored yarns, graphic patterns and delightful product names (Covered Bridge shown) will lift your spirits while keeping your feet warm.

Available in sizes for infants, children and adults and colors ranging from pastel to primary, you are sure to find a pair to please even picky people perfectly!

Solmate knows that once your try its socks, you are going to be hooked. That is why the company has created a sock-of-the-month club. A 3, 6 or 9 month subscription ($65/$125/$180) is a fun and practical gift that will last long after the Christmas stockings have been put away.

The company also makes hats and scarves in its signature colors and patterns.

Visit Solmate Socks – www.socklady.com

_________________

Hopefully, you are almost ready for the big day.

(If not, there is always overnight shipping!)

I sincerely hope that you give one or more of the products above a try and I welcome your feedback, if you do.

As always, thanks for reading and enjoy!

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