20 Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers Under $10

20 Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers Under $10
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Next to putting up a tree and exchanging gifts that look oh-so-charming sitting underneath it, hanging stockings and receiving small, sweet gifts from St. Nick in those stockings is one of the most beloved Christmas traditions for many families. It's also one that dates back centuries, according to Smithsonian.com. In 1823, Clement Clarke Moore or possibly Henry Livingston Jr. wrote the poem, A Visit From Saint Nicholas, which noted that stockings were hung near the fireplace, as children awaited a visit from Santa Claus. The end of the poem explains that St. Nick

"fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose."

The origin of the tradition stems from a legend about a recently widowed man who was the father of three girls. He worried that his financial status would make it difficult for his daughters to marry. When St. Nick heard of the man's worries, he slid down the family's chimney and left gold coins in the girls' recently laundered stockings. As the story goes, the money from St. Nicholas saved the day for the family. Smithsonian.com points out that this story is definitely far-fetched and may not mark the exact origin of the tradition, but to this day, many families who celebrate Christmas like to do so by leaving gifts -- or, of course, encouraging Santa Claus to leave gifts -- in stockings. 

Still, in the mix of all the other to-dos of the holiday season, it's easy to procrastinate shopping for cute, useful, budget-friendly gifts that will serve as stocking stuffers. But for family members to avoid getting stuck with boring ol' coins (though, surely, some recipients wouldn't gripe about having more bountiful piggybanks), these 20 last-minute stocking stuffers -- all under $10 -- could end up saving the day. 

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