History of the Christmas Stocking
Did you know that the tradition of filling Christmas stockings began in Holland during the 16th century? Children would fill their shoes with hay for Santa's reindeer. In return for this kindness, Santa would leave them small treats.
Of course, we no longer use shoes as our Christmas stockings. Christmas stocking stuffers have also evolved far beyond candy to include a number of fun and useful items. However, the basic concept still remains.
Christmas Stocking Stuffers for Kids
For many kids, checking out their Christmas stocking goodies is almost as much fun as opening the presents under the tree.
Common stocking stuffers for young children include:
- Crayons and coloring books
- Matchbox cars or Polly Pocket dolls
- Night light
- Small stuffed animals
- Finger puppets
- Small Etch-a-Sketch
- Silly Putty or Play-Doh
Christmas stocking stuffer ideas for older kids include:
- CDs or iTunes gift certificates
- Card games
- Magic 8 Ball
- Horoscope handbook
- Locker calendars featuring photos of a favorite actor, musician, or entertainer
- Alarm clock
- Disposable camera
- Prepaid cell phone
- Small bottles of perfume or cologne
Stockings for Adults
Contrary to popular belief, Christmas stocking stuffers aren't just for kids. Adults like to wake up to a surprise on Christmas morning as well.Popular stocking stuffers for women include:
- Gourmet chocolates
- Herbal teas
- Paperback romance novel
- Scented soaps
- Tiny votive candles
- Pretty address book or day planner
- Stationery or note cards
- Small picture frame with a favorite photo
- Earrings, necklaces, or bracelets
- Travel sewing kit
Christmas stocking ideas for men include:
- Scratch off lottery tickets
- Tiny bottles of liquor
- Shot glasses
- Car air freshener
- Miniature flashlight
- Funny keychain
- Magazine subscription gift certificate
- Electric razor
Since many families spend between $20 and $50 to fill each Christmas stocking, shopping for Christmas stocking stuffers is often a major undertaking. However, you can make the task easier by remembering the following tips:
- Buy a few extra items after each payday to avoid a sudden budget crunch.
- Look for sales on children's toys after Easter. Many of the same items parents buy for Easter baskets will work well for stockings.
- Pick up crayons, markers, and other art supplies for kids during the back-to-school sales in August and September.
- Check out sites such as Discount Magazines to find great deals on magazine subscriptions for people of all ages.
- Use sites like Free Stuff Hunter to snag free sample sizes of perfume, cologne, lip balm, lotion, and other toiletry items.