The stocking stuffer — a merry holiday tradition seemingly concocted to provide yet another avenue for a smaller-sized swathe of gifts, as if you haven't been shopping enough in the past few months.
However, these pint-sized amuse-bouche delights provide opportunities for unexpected offerings to delight and surprise, before moving on to the fully wrapped heavy-hitting crowd pleasers crammed under the tree.
Thanks to the miracles of consumer technology, many stocking stuffers today actually function like advanced computers, from gadgets such as Apple's AirTag to Bluetooth-enabled mini speakers (more on those two later).
Related: 10 Great Gifts for Geeks: Black Friday Edition
It's not all about electronics and the batteries-not-included set, however — the old school stocking stuffer standbys such as card games, coffee mugs, and action figures have all found a spot on our list of geeky stocking stuffers — albeit some of them have been enhanced for the 21st century.
If you haven't yet found the ideal stocking stuffer for the true-blue nerd in your orbit, never fear, because we've done the hard work of scouring the depths of the internet to find some of 2022's most tantalizing, excitement-inducing, life-changing (no hyperbole here) pocket-sized gifts for this year's holiday season.
Related: How to Get the Newest Google Snake Mods on GitHub
And while supply chains have for the most part unsnarled, if you're reading this, you've probably already procrastinated enough, so make your pick and get to shipping, as there's nothing more heart-wrenching than a geek whose lightsaber chopsticks won't arrive in time (currently sold out on Amazon, sorry).
To ease the strain on your end-of-the-year budget, we've selected a price cap of $50 (which we admittedly broke through on one — very justified — occasion), and most of the items on the list are actually under $20. But while they may be inexpensive, they pack a mighty punch in terms of entertainment value, aesthetic quality, and sheer imagination.
About the authorNathan Eddy is a freelance writer for ITPro Today. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin.