Aloha Happy Readers! Super excited to be moving into the holiday season here! The tree is fluffed, the decorations are down from the attic, and before we know the stockings will be hung and stuffed. I feel like stocking stuffing can go a few different ways for different families. I’ve seen friends totally overload a stocking with exciting, expensive items (totally blowing their budgets in the process), or on the flip side, the stocking gets stuffed with cheap trinkets, meaningless fillers, or things that are useful, but not all that exciting for your average kid. Personally the stocking is one of my favorite gift giving opportunities at Christmas. While kids usually have a long list of wishes for the items under the tree, the stocking gets ignored for the most part, meaning it’s a chance to get creative with all those tiny gifts and little “I was thinking about you” items. I love the opportunity to really personalize them with gifts that reflect who the kids are at that time.
- This one is more a safety thing than a stuffer tip, but please, NEVER hang stockings on stocking holders above a little one’s head. Stocking holders are heavy, and typically have sharp corners. Little ones will grab the stockings and then the only place the holder has to go is down. This can be super duper dangerous. We hang our stockings on the coffee table until the littlest is tall enough to reach other places.
- Consider the space you’re trying to fill. I like to have the stocking full enough that a few items stick out the top, because I’m very visual when it comes to gift giving. For me the presentation is almost as important as the gift itself. Also, keep in mind space constraints when choosing gifts, you don’t want to choose things that won’t fit in the stocking, and you don’t want one or two items to dominate all the space. Consider doing a practice run with the stockings while you’re wrapping gifts, that way if something isn’t working out you’re not finding out on Christmas Eve. Some things can be taken out of the packaging, but some things really should stay in, like small toys, art supplies, and collectible items.
- Think about current interests. Because stocking stuffers are so small, I find it a fun way to celebrate interests that may not necessarily be long lasting. Is your kid totally into Pokemon or the newest Disney movie? The stocking is a great place for themed stickers, small figures, buttons, key chains, or other collectible stuff.
- Think hobbies. This is a great time to replenish consumables, encourage branching out of interests, or slipping in that one little item that they always need more of. Art supplies, music accessories, USB cords, and earbuds are all great stuffers.
- Think consumables. This fits in with the hobby category too, but pencils, erasers, Nerf darts (yes, those are consumables in the House of Boys), nail polishes, bath squirters (yes, these should be consumable too).
- Think FUN. Useful items are great, but fun is where the game is at. Literally. Throw a game in there! There are dozens of different, awesome card games out there at reasonable prices that will liven up the stocking now, and game nights through the long winter. Small toys too, especially classics like spinning tops, Rubix cubes, or stuffed cozy friends.
- Consider personality. Those lists of thousands upon thousands of stocking stuffers are great, but don’t forget to consider the recipient’s personality too. If you’re going to put money and time into these gifts, make sure they’re worthwhile and will be used and enjoyed.
The great thing about stockings, is there’s very little pressure. Each gift doesn’t have to be THE gift, and you can really relax and have fun with them. Happy shopping, friends! And welcome to the holidays!