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The BEST thing about Christmas morning was (and still is – bless my mom’s heart) getting to open my stocking!
My mom always knew just what to put in there. You can see an example of my mom’s amazing stocking stuffer skills HERE. Now that I get to put together stockings for my boys – I am in hog heaven. I am not sure what hog heaven is, but I imagine it involves hogs opening stockings all day.
Would you like to know the secrets to filling a good stocking?
Here are 5 of my very best Stocking Stuffing Tips based on observing my mom’s brilliance for the last 34 years.
Number 1 >> STAY AWAY FROM THE JUNK.
You know what I am talking about. The Dollar Store has lots and lots of little things that appear to be great stocking stuffers, but will ultimately end up in the trash within 24 hours. Do NOT waste your money. I repeat. Don’t buy the pack of 400 Santa mini erasers. You will regret it. And so will your vacuum.
Instead, focus on items that you know will be useful and meaningful. If you foresee hours and hours of them playing outside with sidewalk chalk, grab a box for the stocking. If they love taking Glow Stick Baths, include glow sticks. However, every kid is different, so I suppose what I might think is junk, could be a child’s greatest treasure. Case in point, Jethro recently fell in LOVE with a tiny piece of sticky tack that they use at our church to hang posters and he walked around for an entire week rolling that tiny ball around in his hand. Based on this I can assume that he would be thrilled to find sticky tack balls in his stocking on Christmas morning. *I do not even know.* So I guess that leads me to the next tip…
Number 2 >> CONSIDER YOUR CHILD’S INTERESTS
Noah loves to write. He is always writing. So for his stocking last year I bought a few pocket-sized notebooks and a package of nice pencils. I also included some Post-It notes, pencil erasers, and dry erase markers. Items that I knew he would use because he is passionate about writing.
What does your kid love? If he loves sports, you could include some sports tickets or a pack of player trading cards in his stocking (Noah loves THESE ONES). If she loves makeup, throw in a few bottles of nail polish and a new mascara. If she is into cooking, include a spatula and a new set of Measuring Scoops and Measuring Spoons. If he loves books, include small board books for toddlers or tuck in a thin paperback.
This also applies to your child’s food interests. My boys don’t get to have treats very often, so I love putting a few of their favorite candies in their stockings. Noah loves basically anything with chocolate (he is my son), but Jethro doesn’t like sweets (wwwhat???). So I usually put his most beloved snacks in his stocking. Last year I even included a box of Annie’s Mac and Cheese because this is basically a food group in his life.
Here are some ideas to see if any ring a bell for your child’s interests…
- Crayons/Coloring books
- Cute socks/slippers
- Small stuffed animal (so cute)
- DVDs (we LOVE the What’s In The Bible? Series)
- Small books or Bibles
- Gift cards to a favorite store
- Cute Christmas earrings
- Sunglasses for kids
- Card games (we love THIS ONE)
- Hot Wheels
- Tsum Tsums (my kids are OBSESSED with these right now)
- THIS LIST of stocking stuffer ideas is AMAZING.
Number 3 >> TOILETRIES
Yes, this sounds ridiculous, but my stocking wouldn’t be complete without a new toothbrush or travel-sized deodorant. Also fun bandaids. What is it about bandaids that kids love? I think my kids would be thrilled if the only items in their stockings were boxes of character bandaids. Here are some ideas…
- Fun Band-Aids
- Travel-sized shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, or hand cream
- Hand sanitizer
- Tweezers Set
- Nail polish
- Nail files
- Comb/brush (THESE ONES are apparently amazing)
- Hair ties (I have been hearing so much about THESE)
- Cotton balls
- Pocket mirror
- Small package of tissues
- Lip Balm
Number 4 >> TRADITIONS
Traditions are those special things that your family celebrates at regular times throughout the week, month, or year. Traditions create strong family ties and happy memories. A tradition our family had was that every year my mom would include a new package of underwear or white T-Shirts in my brothers’ stockings. It became very hilarious over the years as we anticipated the moment the undies were brought out of the stockings.
Another tradition that the boys enjoyed every year was receiving a new small box of Legos in their stockings. Then all of the men in the family got to compete in a Christmas Morning Lego Competition. You can read more about that funny tradition HERE.
A few years ago I started giving my boys a new Christmas ornament in their stockings each year. I usually look for something that they love, like this year Noah loved the movie Cars 3, so I got him a Lightning McQueen ornament. Maybe one day they will take these ornaments with them when they move out and have their own tree (cue all the dramatic weeping).
Number 5 >> INCLUDE A FEW SURPRISES
My mom was the queen of taking something awesome and making it even more awesome. One year my mom put a new wallet in my stocking and when I opened it up, I discovered that she had stuck a $10 bill inside. SO MAGICAL. Here are a few more surprise inspirations…
- I love how Mommy Savers hid some cash inside a PlayDoh container because it’s dough, after all. 😉
- A new makeup case with a new eyeshadow or lipgloss inside.
- Gift certificates for manicure with a cute nail file attached to the envelope.
- Fill a new water bottle with M&Ms.
- A handwritten note from you.
How does YOUR family fill stockings? I would love your tips!