We are just about to wind down the holiday posts here on TMH, but I couldn’t leave without a little something being said about stuffing the stocking. Around my house it’s serious business, handed down from my mom. I remember being more excited to go through the treasures in my stocking than anything. That might be partly due to the fact that my mom would make us wait to open any presents until the coffee was done brewing, but we were always free to go through our stockings.
My mom even made sure my husband knew how to stuff my stocking the first year we were married. The second year we were at his parents and it was the first time in my life that I didn’t have a stocking on Christmas morning. He had forgot, and his family never had them. I cried. No really, I did! One of those reality checks that you’re all grown up now and it broke my heart for the day. Crazy that a stocking can have such an impact on someone’s Christmas, but for me it represented home and tradition. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without it.
So here is what we are going to do. I will share how I stuff our stockings, and then I want you all to share your traditions. Even if it’s not stuffing a stocking, but a tradition that is equally important to you. Will you play along? I hope you do, it would totally make my day. :)
How My Family Stuffs a Stocking
There are of course many ways you could go about this – but in our house there are a few fundamentals that we always follow:
- stuff the toe with an orange followed by nuts in the shell
- find unique candy and chocolates at specialty stores that the kids don’t see sitting on grocery store shelves
- take toys and gifts out of packaging and wrap a few topped with ribbon – a match box car is that much more special when wrapped!
- going with the tip above, put some in little white boxes with red curly ribbon
- include something extra nice – like a necklace or watch
- tooth brushes are a must – for all that candy :)
- some cookies from Mrs. Claus (I just buy some nice ones)
Now how I put them all together. Take an orange and stuff into the toe of the stocking, followed by a handful of nuts in their shell. Add some candy and by this point the stockings are about half full. You can find really fun and unique candy at specialty candy stores that your kids haven’t seen on the isles at the grocery store. I’ll also list some places I find candy below. Then use these fun free printable tags to tie them up with ribbon and your kids will think they came straight from the North Pole.
Next I bring on the treasures. I love this part! For me it is the thrill of the hunt…what fun things can I find this year? I always wrap a few of the gifts and leave a few unwrapped. Get creative and take little things out of the store packaging and wrap in little boxes. A match box car looks even more special when wrapped in tissue, then in a box with a ribbon don’t you think? Likewise for jewelry, even dress up jewelry is more fun when taken out and wrapped up.
To finish off the stocking I make sure there is a little chocolate Santa peeking out the top, a candy cane, as well as a little gift with ribbon peeking out of the top.
Local places I find unique stocking stuffers for all the family:
- Walgreens, CVS
- Pier 1 Imports – they have a great little toy section!
- craft stores – little art kits, notebooks, all sorts of stuff – they even have specialty candy (Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Joann Fabric)
- Auto Part Stores – for the hubby and teen boys
- Electronic stores
- Book Stores – all sorts of little treasures – love the little books and stuff they have at the front usually
- Coffee Shops – little gifts and treats
- Local brick and mortar toy shops – for nice little wood toys and cars and specialty candy
Online stores I always find great stocking stuffers:
- Restoration Hardware – Best selection of really fun and unique things – toys, gadgets, gizmos, games – all sorts of nice things for everyone in the family
- Land Of Nod – great stocking stuffer selection of unique toys
- LL Bean – great for teens and adults
- Natural Life – awesome selection for your teen and tween girls
I linked to the actual “Stocking Stuffers” page on all those stores – most stores have one! Just click on “gifts” or “gift guides” and chances are your favorite online store has a selection of little gifts all on one page!
Still need some ideas? Here is a list of some old favorites and a few are our must haves:
- new toothbrush
- nail polish
- nail kit
- little notebook and pen
- dice games
- pez and dispenser
- little book
- silly putty
- art stuff (like crayons, or a nice pen for the hubby)
- jewelry (wrapped)
- match box cars
- card game for the kids
- little snacks
Also, Marta has a great list of how to stuff a stocking from the grocery store, she even has a list of ideas for teens!
So how about you? Any fun little things that you remember from childhood? Anything you could add to my list? I would love love to get some more ideas!