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Stocking Stuffer Ideas

The great thing about stuffing Christmas stockings is that there’s no right way to do it. In fact, families in the US often have quite different traditions around how they handle their Christmas stockings: 

  • For some, the stocking is just “a little extra” and consists of a few lightweight items that won’t prevent the stocking from hanging securely from the mantle. This type of stocking might be filled with candies or small trinkets, but overall spending on the stocking hovers at around $25.
  • For others, the stocking is the main event for Christmas giving and is chock-full of special gifts to be individually unwrapped themselves. These stockings tend to be large – even super-sized – and can include expensive items such as jewelry and small electronics.
  • Others swear by the Christmas stocking as a vehicle for delivery of personal grooming products such as hair ties, shaving cream and toothpaste, setting the recipient up to forgo trips to the drugstore for the following couple of months.
  • And yet others see Christmas stockings as primarily a sugary treat delivery vehicle.

These very different traditions often don’t get discovered until people experience their first Christmas as a “serious couple.” One newlywed told us that after her husband surprised her with a Christmas stocking full of expensive goodies (his tradition, which he assumed had also been hers), her first thought was “But where’s my deodorant for the next two months?”

No matter what your budget and tradition, here are some tips for creating Christmas stockings that truly delight…

Start with Comfort Items

    Christmas is a time for bringing loved ones together and expressing affection, so items designed to comfort are spot-on for this purpose. These might include cocoa, warm socks, mittens, Chapstick, hand lotion, teas or chocolates.

    Add A Dash of Whimsy

      The Christmas stocking is a perfect opportunity to add a lighthearted dash of the unexpected. How about a pair of custom socks with the family dog’s face on them? Or a small wind-up reindeer toy to watch disappear over the coffee table? A paper airplane kit? A grown-up coloring book and fresh marker set? Don’t be afraid to tap into the kid inside most adults: stockings are the place for a little fun.

      Delight Them with A Favorite

        Include something you know they’ll love. This might include something they already use, such as their favorite cologne or perfume. Or it might build upon a theme, for example, if they’re into beauty products, consider face masks, mascaras or bath salts. Be sure to include their favorite snack (or even a tiny bottle of their favorite booze.) This is why gift cards are such a popular stocking stuffer – especially when they’re from a retailer you know the recipient shops with already.

        Consider A Theme

          One strategy for breaking “stocking stuffer’s block” is to come up with a theme. For example, if your partner is a coffee lover, stuff his stocking with a couple of artisan blend coffees, a travel tumbler and some chocolate-covered espresso beans. If her favorite color is red, why not fill her stocking with red gloves, a red candle, a red journal, red lipstick, and chocolates in a red box? After she removes the first few items from her stocking, the color theme will become apparent and you’ll look extra thoughtful!

          Despite the wide range of Christmas stocking traditions, there is one thing that almost everyone can agree on: place an orange in toe of the stocking, of course!