Sunday, December 12, 2010

Getting a Leg Up on Christmas Stockings

Our family’s Christmas morning tradition is to empty out our stockings first thing. It’s so fun to start the day with that tumble of small gifts – kind of a warm-up for the real present-opening to come.

But the initial stuffing of that stocking full of goodies doesn't always happen easily. The truth is that some people are overwhelmed by the task of having to find enough presents to fill something so big, so empty, and so foot-shaped.

For those people, here are Gift Girl’s easy tips for successful stocking-stuffing:
  • The stocking must be full. Bulging, even, with some goodies peeking out of the top.
  • A stocking is not (usually) the place to give your best gift(s). Those deserve a package and moment of their own.
  • Watch out: the cost of gathering a bunch of little gifts can add up quickly – which means filling a stocking can get pricey. You can keep costs down by adding bulk with larger inexpensive items (socks, candy, books).
  • Stocking gifts have to be smallish (to fit), but if they are too tiny they’ll get lost. Put gift cards and very small items in a box or little bag (which is conveniently another way to add bulk).
  • Even people who don't like to shop can find perfectly good stocking stuffers at drug stores, grocery stores, office supply stores and hardware stores. You might even already have some new items around the house that could work.
  • In the days before December 25, it's a good idea to keep a separate bag for each stocking you will be filling -- then you can get a quick visual on how much stuff you've accumulated (or not).
  • Christmas stocking gifts are technically from Santa, remember. He’s probably not going to give you an IOU for a foot massage or a souvenir from last summer’s family vacation.
  • Planning ahead is nice, but don’t stress out about Christmas stocking gifts. Just make sure the stocking is full and the gifts are thoughtful and/or useful.

Some stocking stuffer ideas?
  • Gift cards for small amounts (coffee, smoothies, lunch spots) 
  • Lottery tickets 
  • Exotic or hard-to-find food items
  • Favorite candy
  • Puzzles 
  • Pens
  • Art supplies
  • Gloves
  • Small books
  • Socks
  • Tools
  • Baseball cards
  • Refrigerator magnets
  • Toothbrush
  • Playing cards
  • Reading glasses
  • Flashlight
  • Yo-yo
  • Cosmetics
  • Cooking tools
  • Garden seeds
  • Notecards
  • Ear buds
  • Desk toys
  • Lotion
  • Shower gel
  • Post-it notes in fun shapes and colors
  • Rubber band ball
  • Chico Bags
  • Cash

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