Here are some great stocking stuffer ideas for everybody on your list from Josie Ortega.
If I’m being honest, I have to confess that stockings are usually the last items pulled from the box of Christmas decorations at our house. I’m happy if they’re “hung by the chimney with care” just in time for Christmas Eve—and that’s assuming we’ve figured out the Command Strips on the mantel.
Hanging stockings was memorialized in the classic poem The Night Before Christmas. The tradition evolved from leaving out shoes for Saint Nicholas. . . and anyone who hasn’t behaved might find a stocking full of coal!
I know families who hang their stockings at the foot of the bed. On Christmas morning, the goodies inside serve as a little preview, a foretaste of the bounty waiting beneath the Christmas tree.
For some, stockings hold all the gifts. (We learn as we grow older that the best gifts may be the smallest in size!)
Still other families use stockings mostly for candy and other tasty treats, like the small boxes of sugary cereal that we’re usually not allowed to choose at the grocery store.
Last year at our house, our enormous stockings looked really sad after they’d been filled a quarter of the way full with the stocking stuffers that we’d planned. More saggy than stuffed, really. They certainly did not perform the duty for which all stockings exist, which is to convey a sense of abundance.
So, last Christmas Eve, I helped Santa out by taking a last minute trip to the drugstore. This year, I’m thinking ahead.
Let’s brainstorm about good stocking stuffers!
Stocking stuffer ideas for children
- Normal items that you’ll be buying for them anyway.
- Band-aids with fun designs
- The toothpaste in the weird flavor they like
- Cute socks
- Hair brush
- Hair ties
These day-to-day items don’t need to be the only type of things in the stocking, but they’ll help bulk it up. Our middle child once really wanted an electric toothbrush for Christmas. Reader, she received it. Let’s ride this train of modest expectations to the end of the line.
- Fresh art supplies:
- Colorful pens
- Colored pencils
- Post-it notes
- Food treats, like:
- Sugary cereal
- An orange (which is traditional!)
- An apple
- Candy canes (One year, candy canes were at the top of my preschooler’s wish list. And my heart shouted, “YES, I CAN DO THAT. THERE WILL BE CANDY CANES!”)
- Ornaments for the Christmas tree.
- Oh yeah, and also: toys.
- Small Lego sets
- Play jewelry
- Play makeup
- Walkie Talkies (One in each stocking, or one in a stocking and one with you in another part of the house, saying, “[Kid name], come in! Over!”)
Stocking stuffer ideas for adults
Do grown-ups find full stockings too? Sure! We may need to be a little more creative, however. And I like to think that the kids will experience the joy of watching others find their surprises.
Many of the same ideas apply:
- Normal day-to-day items and whatever you’ve been meaning to freshen up for yourself or your spouse; gloves, socks, etc. Go ahead and buy those things, just put them aside until Christmas.
- I like some new makeup in my stocking, as well as nice chocolate, Korean sheet masks, and maybe a LaCroix way down in the toe. It’s also the perfect spot for “a tasteful but expensive piece of jewelry,” as my grandmother would say.
- It’s extremely likely that my husband will discover LOTS of gum, mints, and a craft beer, or another top-shelf liquor selection, if he has made the Nice List.
- Fresh art or office supplies, like new pens or cool paperclips, or a fun new phone case.
- Food and drink, like coffee beans, tea, or my favorite stocking stuffer of all: charcoal crackers.
Whether or not you discover charcoal in your stockings, I hope you experience a sense of great abundance on Christmas morning. What are your favorite stocking stuffer ideas?