How to Stuff a Stocking
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How to Stuff a "Plump" Christmas Stocking - How to Choose Christmas Stocking Stuffers for Anyone
Realize that size matters! Too many large stocking stuffers and you'll only be able to fit in 3 or 4 things; too many small stocking stuffers and you'll only fill up the toe of the stocking. Go for a combination of sizes: 1-2 large items (it looks great if one is sticking out of the stocking on Christmas morn); 4-6 medium items; and 10 or more small items works nicely to really fill a stocking.
Think of favorites. What are their favorite animals, sports, characters, colors, candies, foods? Include favorites as stocking stuffers and they'll know you've been paying attention. And don't forget special diets for allergies and diabetes!
Think of hobbies and collectibles. If they collect something (action figures, baseball cards, Beanie Babies, cooking gadgets) - throw one in as a stocking stuffer for a guaranteed hit.
Educate 'em. Feel good about gifting them with science toys, books, or magazine subscriptions related to a specific hobby or field of study.
Tantalize their taste buds. Who doesn't like food? Even toddlers can get excited about fruit snacks and animal crackers as stocking stuffers. Older kids love candy in interesting shapes, flavors, or dispensers. For more sophisticated palates, try gourmet sausages, cheeses, hot sauces, and cookies or brownies. And don't forget beverage items like specialty hot cocoa packets, coffee, and tea.
Get 'em giggling. Consider gag gifts as stocking stuffers. Bright colored eyeshadow for that outdoorsy tomboy; "Santa's coal" bubble gum made to look like a piece of coal; teddy bear stickers for your 17-year-old skateboarding son. Or start with a silly stocking stuffer that can circulate around to a different family member's stocking each year.
Include consumables. Beyond food, there are plenty of other useful items that make practical and fun stocking stuffers. Pens, pencils, post-its, candles, personalized address labels, disposable cameras, batteries, rolls of quarters for laundry, lottery tickets, socks, phone cards, and stamps are all winners.
Start a tradition with Christmas tree ornaments. Many families enjoy giving each member a special ornament as a stocking stuffer to open and then hang on the Christmas tree. When kids grow up and move out, their own ornament collection begins with the set of 18 or so ornaments they've received every Christmas throughout childhood. Finding ornaments that commemorate a special memory for that year adds a special touch.
Tuck in gift cards and gift certificates. Even a modest budget can support a $5 gift card for coffee or a smoothie. Other popular ideas include gift certificates for books, movies, restaurants, and clothing stores. For college students or young adults newly on their own, consider grocery cards or gift cards from Target or Bed Bath and Beyond.
Wrap it. If you can find the time, wrapping each stocking stuffer makes the opening even more fun. It's the perfect way to use up all those leftover scraps of paper from wrapping your larger Christmas gifts. You can also leave one or two items unwrapped and sticking out of the top of the stocking.