Monday, December 10, 2012

On Stockings

I was standing by someone's mantle recently and commented on their beautiful stockings. To my surprise, they responded with a groan and said, "Oh, I forgot, I have to stuff the stockings!!!"

I was surprised at the negativity! Maybe it's just because in my family, stockings are a huge part of Christmas morning. In fact, we kids once started talking about "would you rathers" and the question was raised, if (hypothetically) you could either have presents or stockings for Christmas, but not both, which would you choose? We almost unanimously chose stockings!

Our stockings were homemade by mom, and each has our name written on the top. They're not so big, but we stuff them so much that we never get to hang them - we always have to lay them on the table! :) I do the official "stocking stuffer" duties, which mainly consists of stuffing them with Capri Sun drink pouches and Lifesavers Explosion candies (I don't know how or why this tradition started, but it's a staple now!), and making sure everyone has a few small gifts. Then, after I lay them out on Christmas Eve, everyone watches for their opportunity to sneak the little gifts that we buy for each other into their respective stockings.

Is anyone else always amazed at the sort of things that are advertised as "stocking stuffers" in magazines and sales flyers? Most of the time they're WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!!! Maybe it's just cuz I'm stuffing stockings for eight people, but sometimes just one item costs the same amount that I stuffed someone's entire stocking with!

Here are my fav stocking stuffer ideas:

Young Children
(My favorite category... just thinking about it makes me want to go stuff Abigail's stocking LOL!)
New crayons (or make your own from the old broken ones!)
Sidewalk chalk
Mini containers of Play-doh (or make your own - it's non toxic!)
Homemade moon sand
Board books
Mini stuffed animals or dolls
Finger puppets
Matchbox cars
Flashlight (do this and customize it!)
Instruments (finger cymbals, harmonica, recorder, maracas, etc)
Hair bows or barrettes
Small bouncy balls
Bath crayons or paint
Crazy straws
Bubbles (maybe with some cool bubble wands?)
Cool new toothbrush
Socks (in pretty patterns, or with characters they love)

Older Kids
Flashlight (or a cheap headlamp - they love these!)
Inexpensive ($5 or so) gift certificate for ice cream or a soda - being able to pay for yourself at this age is so cool!
Headphones or earbuds
Dice or card games

Snack containers
Earbuds (embellish them yourself by gluing beads, buttons, etc to them!)
$5 gift certificate to iTunes
Keychains (they're starting to drive!)
Jewelery (for girls)
Funny flash drives
Extra SD cards for their camera or MP3 player
Homemade mix CD

Earrings, necklace, or any other jewelery :)
Small-size bath and body products
Room spray or scented wax melts (I LOVE these!)
Perfume or body spray
Eyeshadow palette, lip gloss, mascara, etc

Pocket/utility knives
Duct tape (bonus points if it's in a pattern/logo they love!)
Extra flashlight
Any kinds of food (lol!)
Anything small related to a sport, team, or hobby they love - keychains, socks, etc
T-shirts with funny sayings on the front

Book Lovers
A booklight
A fancy bookmark (splurge on a nice one, or make your own!)
Book plates or a nice stamp
A giftcard for the local bookstore... or (if you want to be the best gift-giver EVER) pre-order the next book by her favorite author, series, etc, and stick the info in the stocking

Always Cold
Mittens, scarf, wristlets, knit hat, or legwarmers (knit, crochet, or craft your own!)
A homemade heat pad
Thick fluffy socks
Handwarmers (my sister Anna gets these every year!)
Gourmet hot cocoa mix or instant coffee (Via, anyone? :))

Movie Lover
Microwave popcorn packets
Fav movie theater candy
Some movies from the $5 bin at Wal-Mart (or hit the thrift store!)
If you want to splurge, vouchers/tickets or a gift card to the local theater
Anything related to their fav movie

Any other good ideas? Do you have any stocking traditions? :)

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