Holiday Shopping: Stocking Stuffers

| December 17, 2012 | 82 Comments

Christmas stockingsThe stockings are hung by the chimney with care… and in just a few days, Santa will need to fill them up! When I was a kid, our stockings tended to be full of candy, but there was always an orange in the toe of the stocking. Did Santa do that at your house too? With dental costs being what they are, most of us probably don’t want to stuff our kids’ stockings to the brim with just candy, so here are some ideas for filling your children’s stockings:

  • Dental hygiene products. I know, this is really not that much fun, but our kids get new toothbrushes, kid-sized toothpaste and dental flossers every year in their stockings. Since one of my new year’s (and post-dental-checkup) resolutions usually has something to do with making them floss more often, so this is a help. For a couple of years, they were into Spinbrushes, which are more fun than regular ones; look into these if you think they’d encourage your kids to want to brush more often.
  • Socks. My kids’ socks get eaten by the dryer, lost under their beds and just plain misplaced on a regular basis. Some fun and funky socks for girls or some plain and non-obtrusive socks for boys can take up some room in their stockings, providing them with something that they need without “wasting” a wrapped present on them.
  • Dollar store treasures. A stroll through your local dollar store will let you stock up on all sorts of doodads for just a buck each (plus tax). Little notepads, stickers, pens, crayons, flashlights, Silly Putty, little figurines, yoyos, slinkies, hair accessories and so much more are easy to find and easier to stuff into the stockings. While you’re there, you can actually pick up your toothbrushes, flossers and socks, too!
  • Actual dollars. Let them pick out their own dollar store finds by giving them a few dollars loosely scattered about in their stockings. You could do this creatively by putting them in small gift boxes or wrapping up little piles of quarters, or simply place the bills in between the other gifts.
  • “Big” little gifts. Usually, stockings are stuffed with inexpensive gifts. Sometimes, though, it can be entertaining to surprise a child with a valuable gift that came in a small package. If your teen is getting special jewelry, for example, placing it in her stocking might catch her off guard, which is always fun!

Whether you wrap gifts in stockings or leave them unwrapped, and whether you let your kids open them first or save them until all of the under-the-tree gifts have been opened is a matter of family tradition. How do you handle stockings, and what are some things you’ve placed inside that were big hits?

Comments (82)

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  1. Renee Harris says:

    Great tips! Thanks!

  2. Liza says:

    Candies and money are always a hit to my kids but after reading this post, candies will be out. 😉

  3. Christina Kelbel says:

    Great ideas! I will use some for my sons stocking,I hate giving him candy.

  4. Elena says:

    Great ideas! I like to get the lottery tickets for stocking stuffers

  5. Bidisha Banerjee says:

    Thanks for the great idea regarding Holiday shopping. Think of hanging a lot of stockings this year for Christmas.

  6. Robyn Beck says:

    I wiold love some ideas for stocking stuffers!!!

  7. pamela says:

    i can remeber christmas morning the smells of fresh orange, homemade fudge, and nuts left in our stockings..

  8. Wendy T says:

    I used to looove doing the stockings. It was so much fun to find little treasures. And it worked great for the children to check out all their treasures while I made a pot of coffee 🙂

  9. Ivan H. says:

    Pop Rocks are always fun to find in stockings! =)

  10. Bonnie says:

    Great ideas on stocking stuffers. No candy in them ever.

  11. this souds like my kids all together CANDY!!!

  12. Dawn Justice says:

    I always try to throw in some candy, a few small toys, and anything else I find each year.

  13. Karen Glatt says:

    I like your stocking stuffer ideas,especially the one about giving floss and new toothbrushes! That is such a good idea to give at Christmas, it teaches that the kids need to brush their teeth! I also like giving small amounts of money in the gift card clips. Kids really like this!

  14. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    Great ideas. I remember when I was a kid, my mother always stuffed my stocking with socks & underwear. It was so disappointing LOL.

  15. Marissa says:

    Great ideas! Too bad my family doesn’t do the stocking stuffers. We just use them as decor.

  16. Alexandria says:

    I love these ideas! Especially the dollar store items, I used to love getting the toys from there as a kid! Toy’s have gotten way cooler there! 😀

  17. sara m ford says:

    I needed some help with stocking stuffers this year I am not finding anything that I think will work. I go to the dollar store but I am just not finding much

  18. RANDY FULGHAM says:

    merry Christmas and nice article

  19. Glenna Evans says:

    Thanks for the ideas! I have always had problems finding stocking stuffers!

  20. Stephanie Larison says:

    These are really good ideas for stocking stuffers, thanks!

  21. Marie Shackelford says:

    Awesome tips.. Thank you so much.

  22. Kristin Chapman says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I always got candy in my stocking growing up–maybe it’s time to change that tradition! I especially like the ideas for dental hygiene gifts.

  23. Erin R. says:

    Really great idea’s, helped a lot. Thanks!

  24. Paula says:

    Great ideas – I employed many of them while my kids were younger and still into small gifts in their stockings:-)

  25. Heather Hardin says:

    Stocking stuffers for my son is the last thing I need to get. I can promise it’ll be full of candy and the little dollar Christmas toys you can get from Walmart 🙂 on a very tight budget this year!

  26. Andrea Clark says:

    Great ideas, thanks! I have always given my kiddos toothbrushes in their stockings (just to reinforce brushing as a positive) and I’ve had no complaints!

  27. Anne says:

    Boys are so much harder to buy for especially as they get older, I get mechanical pencils and nice pens to put in the stockings too.

  28. jules p says:

    thanks. this was really helpful. I needed it.

  29. janae metz says:

    great ideas!

  30. Dorothy Boucher says:

    I don’t use stocking, I like to get paper bags and i decorate them, filled them up with some candy , but i always put in a new tooth brush, tooth paste, there favorite small fruit, nuts, one dollar bill and 3 dollar store toys , and a coloring book and crayon fills the bags 😉

  31. Amy Orvin says:

    I would have never thought to put Dental hygiene products in there. Great idea!

  32. jessica says:

    i have always had stockings when i was younger, but havent really done it since i have had my child, thanks for the ideas maybe ill get started 🙂

  33. Karen H in NC says:

    Some great ideas for kids of all ages!

  34. Kimberly Davis says:

    My stocking were filled with candy and mini games.

  35. Terri says:

    Great article! Thanks for the tips!

  36. Daraya says:

    Thanks for the ideas! I’m almost done with my Christmas shopping! 🙂

  37. Melinda Dartmann says:

    I absolutely love stocking stuffers! It’s a fun and inexpensive way to give a little bit of something to someone!

  38. rebeka deleon says:

    i still have to go this weekend with my husband to get stocking stuffers for my kids!! i loved getting stockings.

  39. Bill Elliott says:

    Thanks for the great tips, these will come in handy on xmas-eve

  40. Chrissy Mac Sanders says:

    Love all the great tips and so helpful this busy time of year.

  41. Mary Mirvis says:

    Lovely ideas! I like making little handmade gifts 🙂

  42. Jennifer Jordan says:

    I love stockings! They are my favorite part. I always add Christmas candy to my husband’s stocking.

  43. Betsy Barnes says:

    I put cologne in my hubby’s and a video game in my son’s stocking. Some years I get creative with a “gag” gift 🙂

  44. carole says:

    like all your ideas!

  45. Heather Swarthout says:

    This is really the first year that I have done stockings for my family, my daughter is 19 months old and last year she wasn’t really old enough to understand. She really isn’t now either but I know I’m going to get her some crayons and definitely go to the dollar store. I’m also getting my hubby some things as well that he doesn’t know about. 🙂 I always got candy, little hygienic products, nailpolish, makeup.. and the best part were the Mad Libs books I got, I loved them!

  46. Anna Lyman says:

    Great ideas some of them I would not have thought of. Wow

  47. Nicole Becker says:

    Stocking stuffers are my favorite!!! Sometimes the little gifts are way better than the big ones. 7 more days until Christmas!!!!

  48. Stephanie from CT says:

    good ideas, i like the dental hygeine stuff, to offset the candy, lol

  49. lisa ballmann says:

    my mom always put an apple and an orange in each of our stockings. mine are older so they now get keychains, new toothbrushes, body sprays etc. it is hard to get creative sometimes though.

  50. Bella says:

    OMG I am so glade I got to read this,I tooth I was the only one doing this,I give my kids socks,pencils,toothpaste,now I do it w/grand kids,

  51. B.J. Bernal says:

    Ive never put money in a stocking but not a bad idea Thanks

  52. Rabia Akhter says:

    Thanks for the great idea 🙂

  53. Fee (Phyllis) Roberts says:

    I love the idea of dental hygiene products for stocking stuffers. I have never thought of that. Thanks =D

  54. Lisa K says:

    The “dollar spot” at the front of Target is another great place for stocking stuffers.

  55. Diana Heiner says:

    Thanks for the ideas….they’ll be helpful on my last minute shopping this weekend!

  56. Rebecca Sinclair says:

    I have several of your list ideas for stocking stuffers (great minds think alike! 🙂 ) I got the kids the spinbrush toothbrushes because they have been begging for them…and socks! Adding money is a great idea too!

  57. Tiffany Segress says:

    Great ideas! Dental hygiene products are always the first thing I put in!

  58. jamie lafever says:

    thanks for the great ideals

  59. Tiffany F says:

    These are some great ideas. I actually enjoy my stocking gifts more than any other. Thanks for posting !!

  60. Kristen Redman says:

    These are great ideas. My kids are young, so actual money is fascinating to them. They also like toothbrushes and toothpaste.

  61. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    I never thought about putting dollars in a little card or gift box in a stocking. Nowadays you can get cut toothbrushes and socks for the holidays

  62. Kathy Smith says:

    When I was a young girl my mom put candy, nuts to crack and of course and orange or apple. But she would usually put a new toothbrush in also. I did this for my children through the years too.

  63. Niki Mattes says:

    Good tips, thank you!

  64. deena vanbergen says:

    All good choices, thanks!

  65. michelle warner says:

    great ideas thanks a bunch

  66. Minta says:

    I have even put amazon gift codes in their stockings before. Always fun to jump on Amazon and pick out a gift and wait for the surprise to come to your house.

  67. lisa says:

    Great ideas. Our kids always allow us an extra hour of sleep while they enjoy the surprises found in their stockings on Christmas morning. 🙂

  68. Terri Herman says:

    Candy is always expected at our house. My kids also like getting gift cards to fast food places. Thanks for the other ideas!

  69. Julie H says:

    Thanks for the great list of ideas. I’m going to pin this.

  70. Dawna Newman says:

    Thanks for the ideas, I am always having trouble thinking of things for my son.

  71. FRANK S says:

    Good tips

  72. Dena Sablotny says:

    These are good tips. I think funny gifts are nice in stockings too, like a lump of coal bubble gum treat.

  73. Mandala says:

    Thanks for this post – I am thinking of giving away Christmas stockings to friends too filled with knick-knacks/books.

  74. Kathy Idol says:

    Thanks for the ideas. Was having alittle trouble filling the stockings upW

  75. Jill says:

    Your comment about an orange in the toe of the stocking brought back many fond memories of my dear grandmother, who has been gone for 12 years. When she was a girl, that WAS their Christmas: fruit, a handful of nuts, maybe apiece of candy–and in a good year, a pair of shoes for the year as a gift and a small toy like a “mouth organ” (harmonica) in the stocking as well. Thanks for the smile and the reminisce.

  76. Maggie Buerger says:

    I live the idea of putting a little money in the stocking.

  77. Jamers8x2 says:

    Awesome ideas! Thank you so much!

  78. Colleen Connolley says:

    Santa always left me a orange too!

  79. Terri says:

    Great post! Thanks for the tips!

  80. Julie Wood says:

    I put some really nice items in my sons Christmas stocking this year that he will need. I put in some floss! He always forgets to floss and it is a reminder that I put this in his stocking. Also I put in some nice pens for his school work!

  81. Gaynell says:

    Great to see the stocking stuffers to get some more ideas!!

  82. denise smith says:

    thanks for all the ideas

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