Stuff those Stockings!

pexels-photo-186613Second to the Christmas tree, stockings are one of the common images of the season that transcend borders & styles.

As a kid, I could always depend on an apple and an orange being in the bottom of my stocking. I had attributed their appearance to being a cheap & reasonable way to fill a good portion of a stocking. It was fascinating to learn later that this had less to do with the burden of filling stockings after buying all of those gifts, but actually traced back to tradition. Which specific tradition, however, is a matter of contention among “experts.”

One item of folklore about St. Nick is that he had given a gift of a dowry to the daughters of a poor farmer, who could not afford to marry them off otherwise. The sacks of gold in the toes of the stockings had the look of oranges to them.

Other traditionalists claim that oranges – and soon after apples – started appearing in the stockings of the Great Depression, as at the time, fresh fruits were hard to come by and were considered a luxury. This doesn’t really explain why people from other countries could count on getting an orange in their stockings, however.

So after the oranges and apples have been placed softly into the toe of your socks, what next? You never realize how much a sock can hold until it’s stocking stuffing time. Filling stockings can add up to be an expensive endeavor, as well as one full of unnecessary, impractical clutter-makers. I’ve compiled a list of stocking stuffers for all ages to help make filling them easier for you.

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Age: 0 – 6 months

At this age, you could get away with just handing the child the stocking (if they are closer to 6 months), or filling it with crumpled up wrapping paper. But, for those that insist on the joy of filling a stocking for the littlest of ones, here are some suggestions:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Formula
  • Bottles
  • Rattles
  • Socks/hats/mittens

Age 6 months – 2 years

This is also an easy age. Practicality is the key!

  • Socks/hats/mittens
  • Christmas Plushies
  • Fisher Price Little People toys
  • Baby food/applesauce pouches
  • Fruit snacks
  • Tiny board books

Age 3 – 4 years

  • Toothbrush & toothpaste (I’m a fun mom)
  • Socks/hats/mittens (there’s a theme going on here)
  • Bath toys
  • Bathing products – soap, shampoo, bubbles
  • Stickers
  • Play Doh
  • Crayons
  • Christmas trinkets from $1 store/$1 aisle

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Age 5 – 7 years

  • Hotwheels
  • Blindbag toys (shopkins, littlest pet shop… those $4 that are sealed so you don’t know what you’re getting and you keep trying for those darn Super Rares)
  • Lip Smackers
  • More bathroom products
  • Socks/hats/mittens
  • Play jewelry
  • Legos

Age 8 – 12 years

It starts getting trickier to be cheap the older they get. Fortunately, at this age they likely have favorite things that hopefully need little accessories.

  • Trading cards
  • Action figures
  • Batteries
  • Socks/hats/mittens
  • Hobby related items (paints & brushes for artists, legos for builders, comic books for comic book kids)

Age 13 – 15 years

I’m light years from dealing with this age as a parent, but this is what I would think would be appropriate.

  • Makeup
  • Fancy lip gloss (EOS or other brands that seem grown-up (although I still love me a good Lip Smackers))
  • Gift Cards
  • Bathroom products (at this age, you may be delving into the age of razor blade cartridges, which are not cheap and do count as good gifts because of that)
  • Nail Polish
  • Socks/hats/mittens
  • Earbuds/charge cords
  • Batteries

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Age 16 – 18 years

Can parents do anything right at this age?

  • Gift Cards
  • Bathroom Products (again) (but parents, let’s all agree that getting pads/tampons in a stocking is NOT cool)
  • Fashion accessories
  • Earbuds/charge cords
  • Phone accessories
  • Gas cards
  • Keychains
  • Movie tickets

Females over 18 years

Yes, I would still do a stocking for adult kids. Assuming my kid isn’t a butt head adult. #goals. But really – if you’re way into stockings and giving like I am, there’s no rule against doing stockings for adults. Here are some ideas that will vary in usage depending on your relationship with the adult.

  • “Expensive” chocolate – Lindt, Ferrero Rocher, Godiva… Nothing against Hershey’s, but I grew past that being acceptable gifting chocolate years ago.
  • Perfume
  • Warm, fuzzy socks (getting someone pratical socks would be weird at this point. But those fuzzy ones for the winter – awesome giftage)
  • Hats/mittens
  • Lotion
  • Candles
  • Planned out date night plans
  • Lotto Ticket scratchers
  • Tiny liquor bottles
  • Pens/stationery/washi tape if they’re into that.

Males over 18 years

This will again differ based on your relationship with the male. But in my research, I still believe that the key to men’s hearts is truly the stomach.

  • Beef Jerky
  • Tiny liquor bottles
  • Needed/wanted/nicer tools (do not be that person that gets a screw driver every year and winds up years later with a drawer full of nothing but screwdrivers) (although having one in each room of the house is sometimes more handy than you’d think)
  • Beard oil/grooming kit
  • Print outs of favorite pictures
  • Lotto ticket scratchers
  • Gloves/hats/mittens (switched it up on you!)

 

When all else fails, have fun with it! Gift giving shouldn’t be so serious. Sometimes the best thing to get a stodgy old adult is a good old slinky or yo yo to bring them back to their childhood for a moment. And who doesn’t enjoy a good whoopie cushion?

Enjoy those stockings!

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