Saturday, December 18, 2010


I didn't grow up with a stocking full of fact, I don't remember ever having my stocking as a big part of our Christmas celebration, but I married a man who was used to having his stocking filled. Obviously, he would want to pass that tradition on to our children but with 5 it can be hard to come up with ideas and ways to make it interesting and carry a theme.  I am not necessarily a parent that feels things need to be even, but I also don't want my children to feel that one person is "highly favored" above another. (Daja is actually the one who used this tradition first....)

“Something to eat, something to read, something to play with and something they need.”  -Victorian poem

What to put in a Christmas stocking is a dilemma that many parents face as the holidays draw near. Small, inexpensive gifts make the best stocking stuffers. However, it is often hard to find the right balance of things. (at least for me)

Something to Eat

Traditionally, an orange and walnuts were used to fill Christmas stockings. Now many people opt for fun Christmas candy and treats. Or use your child’s favorite prepackaged snack foods. We change every year, depending on what we know our children like at that time.

Individual serving size boxes of sugary cereals, such as Fruit Loops, also make a convenient stocking stuffer. They seem like an extra special treat when sugary cereals are not eaten throughout the year. Cereal has the added benefit of being a quick breakfast that eager children can eat without help while their parents try to sneak a few more minutes of sleep.  This is always the easiest category to buy my children, as "treats" are a bit more rare.  I could get them a carton of raspberries and they would be thrilled.  My children are so easy to please.

Something to Read

One or two books help fill out a holiday stocking nicely and are appropriate for all ages. Choose books that are small enough to fit in a stocking. Board books are available for baby and toddler stockings. Paperback picture books and chapter books are a good choice for older children.  We have done Bibles when the kids get older. So, the prices for each item are NEVER the same for each child, but the theme is the same. I already have the "something to read" for this year.....phew!

Something to Play With

The options for something to play with are almost endless. The only limiting factor is the size. Toys purchased to fill a holiday stocking need to be small enough to fit inside. Small stuffed animals, travel-sized games and play-doh are some ideas for younger children. Older children may like a game to go with their current gaming system, small Lego kits, or art supplies. For less expensive options, visit a dollar store or discount store.  This is my main reason for loving this poem, as it fits with EVERY stage of my life. 

Something They Need

Again, there are a variety of options here. Anything from lip balm to new gloves or mittens could fill the need, whatever it may be. Even a new toothbrush or better yet an electric toothbrush that has favorite characters. Older children may need new health and beauty products, like deodorant, nail polish or perfume. This year Jael will be getting an alarm clock; she has been using mine.  I got a nice pretty pink one, so it doesn't have to be toiletries.  I haven't figured out the boys' stuff yet? 

While the ideas given were for children’s stockings, the method could easily be used to fill an adult’s Christmas stocking. I have often been at a loss of what to get Josh in his stocking, so I go the same route, and I just use it as an "idea starter!"   



Sheri said...

This is a great idea! I love filling stockings. Since the kids have gotten older, we each put one item in each persons stocking. We used to each choose one particular stocking to fill, however, I believe adding one small item into each stocking works better. For us anyway.

Gombojav Tribe said...

I don't use this idea for Gana's stocking. I go all out and have a lot of fun with his. BUT, with six kids this idea has been a time, money and lifesaver for us!

We finished all the stocking shopping in one shopping trip. I cannot wait to see the kids expressions! I know they will be excited!

Starr said...

In our house the boys always get undies or socks for the "something they need" category! :) Thanks for the ideas.

Mrs. and Mama K said...

Good stuff! Now to apply it...

Persuaded said...

I've always gotten the kids the little boxes of sugary cereal. Here I am thinking I was soooo original, and you've been doing the same thing too, lol. Great minds... ;-}

Have a wonderful blessed Christmas day, dear friend♥

Lady Dorothy said...

I've always thought this was a great tradition!