08 December 2010

Stocking Stuffers

Our children aren't really children any more. In fact the boys are both legally adults now and Hannah is quite the grown-up young lady at fifteen.

And yet they still drag out their Christmas stockings on the first of December each year. I made each of the stockings for their first Christmases and they bring back lots and lots of memories. Of little boys and trains, of a tiny baby girl sitting in the arms of her Christmas teddy that was three times her size.

And of the things that went into those stockings. Opening the Christmas stockings on Christmas morning  was the highlight of the day for the kids. Santa filled those stockings with so many good things. There would be Batman undies and socks, Wiggles toothbrushes and toothpaste, lollies, chocolate coins, a brand-new face washer with a picture of their favourite thing at the time, new PJs, coloured pencils and colouring books and lots of other bits and bobs.

Now they are grown-up we skip the Batman socks and Barbie knickers, and they think the Wiggles are a little passé so toothpaste and toothbrushes don't make it into the Christmas stockings anymore.

These days there are chocolate coins (it wouldn't be Christmas without them), little boxes of their favourite cereals, itunes vouchers (bought on sale during the year) and lots of other little things I've collected through the year.

There might be sampler packs of different chocolate drinks or coffee or samples of the latest perfumes and aftershaves, the latest edition of their favourite magazine or even movie tickets.

None of these things costs very much, often, as in the case of the samples, they are free.

Stocking stuffers don't have to be big or expensive.  In fact they should be easy on the budget. There are too many potentially very expensive things marketed as "stocking stuffers" because they are small enough to go into the stockings.  Things like gift cards, ipods, jewellery, DVDs are not stocking stuffers. They are gifts in their own right.

Some ideas for stocking stuffers are:
  • Hair tidies and ribbons
  • The mini chocolate bars (the ones that come in multi packs)
  • Candy canes
  • Christmas tree ornament
  • Craft paints or watercolour set
  • Crayons
  • Coffee, tea or cocoa packets
  • Cookie cutters
  • Deck of playing cards
  • Fashion doll clothes
  • Gel pens
  • Golf balls
  • Small cars
  • Small Lego kits
  • Supa balls
  • Lipstick or lip gloss
  • Lotion
  • Mittens
  • Nail polish
  • Oranges
  • Play-Dough tubs
  • Socks
  • Travel-sized game
  • Wine charms

When you're stuffing the stockings, remember that too many large items and you won't fit everything in, too many small items and the stocking won't be "stuffed". Try to choose a variety of different sized items. Depending on the size of the stocking three or four larger items in plenty, with the gaps filled by the smaller things.

One thing I have always done, and will do again this year, is wrap each item that goes into the stockings. It's a good way to use the wrapping paper scraps and it helps build the excitement on Christmas morning. Even grown-up kids love ripping the wrapping off lots of pressies.

So do you do Christmas stockings? What do you put in them?

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