6 Stocking Stuffers That Aren't a Total Waste Of Your Time (And Money)

Big Kid 53

holiday stockingIt's just when I'm nearing the end of my holiday shopping list that it hits me. I haven't found a single stocking stuffer. And so I go scrambling around trying to find anything, literally, anything small enough to fit in that giant hanging pseudo-sock.

Usually that ends up being a whole bunch of useless crap, the kind of stuff that shows up in the average birthday goodie bag (the stuff that leaves me cursing the mother who sent it home with my child). But not this year! Dear reader, I am fighting the scurge of stocking stuffer schlock this year! I present to you the secret to stuffing a stocking with "stuff" you'll feel proud to have purchased!

Supplements to Their Favorite Toys: Ever noticed how those "sets" of a certain toy always have little bits that can go along with them? Unwrap those suckers and slip them inside the stocking, and you have something your kids will actually PLAY with for a good long time. Not sure what I'm talking about? Well my daughter will be getting minifigures to go along with her LEGOs this year and the new walkable Littlest Pet Shop toys . . . because she's already got plenty of toys they'll interface with.

Cute Soaps: OK, I know, who the heck wants SOAP as a gift? Isn't that like telling someone they smell bad? Not when they're kids and the soap is fun! Think shapeable foam for faux beard mking or soap crayons -- pretty much anything that can be considered as much toy as it is toiletry.

Movies: You know why I love Blu-Ray? It isn't just because there's all that high-def goodness. It's the fact that the cases are a whole lot smaller than the regular DVDs -- perfect for sticking in a stocking. Already stuffed away in my daughter's is Cars 2 -- because what could be better than unstuffing the stocking and finding a movie the entire family can watch?

Socks & Undies: Again with the -- really, for a holiday? But listen up and listen good: sometimes you have to get useful stuff for your kiddos. And it's a lot easier to make it pass as a present when it's just filling up empty space in a stocking stuffed with other goodies. Trust me, this is a much better option (for you) than trying to cram that cavern with candy.

An Ornament: Because I am a real sap, I love getting my kid a new ornament every year. Which doesn't go over quite as well with her because, well, our tree has usually been decorated for a week or two when she opens it on Christmas morning and looks at me like, really Mom? Sticking it in the stocking with the OTHER goodies is a good way to avoid that groan . . . and I sit content in the knowledge that I'm building her a mushy mass of ornaments for "her" tree when she's my age.

The Real Presents: Who says you have to save all the good stuff to put under the tree? No, really, WHO says? If it's small enough to fit in there, consider skipping the wrapping paper and jamming it in there as your gift to the environment.

What do you put in your kids' stockings? Help me out here!

 

Image via andrewmalone/Flickr

 

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PonyC... PonyChaser

When I was a child, my stocking was hung in front of a fireplace in my room (we had one of those cardboard ones with a rotating light behind cellophane flames... oh, I loved that fireplace...)


Santa would leave small things, like you've mentioned, things that I could open quietly (I understand now, to let Mom and Dad sleep a little longer), but also, there was fruit in there. An apple, a pear, an orange. Some nuts. I remember opening the little gifts, maybe a book, and sitting and reading while munching on the apple.


The book held my attention, the apple filled my stomach, and my parents got maybe an extra fifteen (half hour, if it was a good book) minutes of sleep.

Ari. Ari.

My stockings were always filled with oranges and walnuts with one real present in the toe. I do the same thing for my boys now.

chigi... chigirl1228

My mom always did fruit too...its become a tradition to put an orange or a apple in the stocking. Also books candy and I might do the underwear thing too because she needs it. And she loves new panties.

Lynette Lynette

my boys are 9 & 6, and DD is 3.  They love tape, so I always throw some rolls in.  DD also likes band-aids so I thought I would put in a box she can use on her dolls.  1 candybar or other favorite candy.  And yes usually an ornament too!

megha... meghanmeghan

My mom put new toothbrushes, candy, little things I needed like wisps or a new face wash. Or a sweet deoderant. I loved emptying my stocking first.

miche... micheledo

Our children get presents from both sets of grandparents.  It is SO much.  We do one present from us in their stocking.  Right now, while they are little, we spend between $5-25 on a present.  We'll fill the stocking with little things too, and an apple and orange!

Doomy234 Doomy234

My parents always bought those big plastic candy cane shaped tubes with the hersheys kisses inside, and they always pick out some little thing they know we will like. Like collectible cards (Pokemon, YuGiOh, and such), mini puzzle games, and now that were older, smelly good stuff like lotions or perfume.

For younger kids you can put those little Dr. Seuss books in their stockings. Small action figures or dolls work. Clip on jewelry or fake makeup for girls 6-10, silly putty, crayons (what little kid DOESNT have enough of those), cute mini stuffed animals, small activity books, and of course candy canes.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I always stick a clementine in there. My kid thinks I'm crazy but it was always my favorite thing. I don't mind that he doesn't get it, it's just because he is allowed to eat fruit whenever he likes and I was lucky to get one piece a day growing up.



I also like things like pencils and erasers. He gets through them quite quickly and he loves them plus they're wicked cheap. Even things like glue sticks get him excited.



The dollar spot at target often has good stuff like puzzles and notebooks too. Little things like lip balm are good for just about any kid or age group.

Sidthe Sidthe

I always got jerky in my stocking...and my parents put little stuff in there random stuff they find like at the World Market they think I'll like... and if there is movies/books anything they would normally give for a christmas present they totally wrapped them.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

For the past couple of years, my kids each get a disposable camera in their stocking, so they can take their own pictures on Christmas Day.  It's a HUGE hit with them and our guests, and they actually take some pretty good pictures.

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