Share your stocking stuffer ideas

by admin on December 2, 2010 · 31 comments


Stocking Stuffers

Yesterday on Facebook, there was a conversation over whether or not you wrap gifts for Christmas.  One thing led to another and I revealed that our family grew up with stocking never really being a big part of Christmas.  I hear such an emphasize on stockings every year and I think back to how stockings were not really a thought then and really…they still aren’t now.  Odd, huh?  😉

Today, I received an email from a new reader, Karen.  I was so touched that Karen took the time to email with a post idea and to tell me about where she is in this part of her savings journey. 

Karen asked if I could publish a post in the hopes of getting stocking stuffer ideas. 

  • Where are you finding the inexpensive, nice stocking stuffers?
  • What kinds of items do you place in your stockings?
  • Do you have anything that you find special or unique  that you would like to share?

Since we don’t do the “stocking thing”, I am of no help with this one.  😉 

Share with us your deals, traditions and stuffer ideas!

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kandi December 2, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Okay, at our house we use stockings for the little extras. Batteries for toys received, new toothbrushes, chapstick, girlie hair things for our girls, oh and a special Santa cookie that they are allowed to eat before breakfast!


2 Becky Grizovic December 2, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Kandi, I have had so much fun with your blog and the awesome posts lately! It’s always a blog I love to follow, but I have been finding myself checking in more often lately! 😉

Highly recommend checking out !!!!


3 Amy M December 2, 2010 at 9:58 pm

As a kid we always had things in our stockings on Christmas morning. I don’t really remember them being anything all that exciting though. As a mom our stockings have been more just for decoration until I decided a year or 2 ago to actually use them. I do remember my Step mom saying that it was a tradition in her family to put Clementines (those small oranges) in the toe of the stocking. My kids are older so things like earbuds, makeup, itunes gift cards that’s what I am planning this year.


4 Amber December 2, 2010 at 10:02 pm

At our house the stockings get stuffed with all the yummy christmas candies and little presents that could get lost under the tree like jewlery ,chapstick, bath gels…..ect..!


5 Charla December 2, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Well for my girls we do kind of what Kandi said….the chapstick, hair stuff, lotions, earrings, fun stuff that. Maybe a visit to the $1 bin at Target. =) A few years ago we stopped doing presents with our parents/siblings and decided to just focus on the kids. Well me, my sister and mom then decided that we would do stockings for each other. So me and my sister get stuff for my mom and she does ours. This turned out to be really fun. Basically anything you can fit in a stocking we do!


6 Donna Schuster December 2, 2010 at 10:06 pm

I agree with the above. Useful things, but wrap em up since kids love opening stuff!
We always had clementines too and a little bit of candy.
Kids favorite chips, candy bars, drinks…
Def toothbrushes, chapstick, gloves, hats…def target $1 bins too (they usually have notebook, pen/pencils, stickers that match) little trinkets I pick up all year long.

But if you stick to toothbrushes etc…you are being frugal since it isn’t “stuff”.


7 Becky Grizovic December 2, 2010 at 10:27 pm

I am loving these ideas! Maybe we will do the stocking thing this year (a first – LOL)!

One of the things we are getting my son is a desk. Maybe we could do fun pencils, a pencil holder and other odds and ends for his desk. I think he’d love that!

He has all the necesities at my office (at HIS desk) when he comes to visit. I can’t clean up his desk b/c he gets so upset when he comes back weeks later and it’s gone. Afterall, I’d be angry if someone kept doing away with my workspace! LOL


8 kelliinkc December 2, 2010 at 11:20 pm

I usually pick up the chocolate oranges, chocolate Santas, holiday Jelly beans, tic tacs, gum. A gift card for $10 to Build a Bear, or Claire’s, or AMC Theaters (since we usually see one movie during the break). My youngest is finally getting to the pre-teen stage so she is prob not going to get the card to Build a Bear but Claire’s instead this year. Sometimes new fun undies or socks taken out of their packages and rolled up. Chapsticks, hair doo dads, perfumes/lotions, bath gels, new toothbrush and toothpaste. If I was out at Black Friday and picked up $3 DVDs then I put one in. I tend to put aside things during the year as I find them especially when they are on sale/clearance for a great price. Bath and Body Works frequently have coupons for free items. I tend to go for the practical over cheap filler type items that I am going to throw away later. For example, for myself and my mom or sister I’ll put in new cooking spatulas, wooden spoons, pot holders, etc. things I’ve noticed look worn or broken. We’ve even put in the little free makeup items we get as gifts at the cosmetics counters. The sky is the limit as far as your imagination goes.


9 Stacey December 2, 2010 at 11:30 pm

I grew up Catholic, so stockings were a big deal twice… On Dec. 6 – St. Nicholas Day, and of coarse, Christmas morning (My birthday is Dec. 6 so I always loved it anyway)! St. Nicholas Day was always bigger for stockings just because we got the “big stuff” on Christmas, overshadowing the stockings. We always got little trinkets and candy, and an orange.
With my kids I LOVE to shop at the Dollar Tree and the dollar spot at Target. There are perfect little things there for stockings. This year I got $5 beanie characters at on Cyber Monday. We do the little toys, chap stick, pencils, etc. as well. I like to give any Christmas-themed items on Dec. 6 so that they can be used and appreciated during the holiday. It’s a great way to get the kids extra excited about the season!


10 Ashlee December 3, 2010 at 7:53 am

I fill our stockings with practical things that I’d be buying (or getting free/cheap) anyway. Such as:
Bag of goldfish ($1 at Meijer this week)
Can of puffs (for my new self feeder)


11 Missy December 3, 2010 at 9:10 am

wow, I didn’t realize that not everyone does stockings. I am 43 and have had a stocking every year of my life! Nothing is wrapped. Its the little things like people have mentioned in the above post..chapstick, toothbrushes, the everyday stuff. We always have an orange in the toe, candy, chocolate, playing cards, gift cards, etc.


12 K December 3, 2010 at 9:53 am

We have a tradition that our kids get xmas pj’s to wear on xmas eve and ornament and a movie to share…and a few pieces of candy. St. Nick is “Santa” and he leaves them these gifts to prepare them for xmas day. We take a picture of the kids in their pjs on xmas eve and leave it with the cookies. Santa leaves a note telling the kids they look good in the pjs and the ornaments look great on the tree.


13 Karen December 3, 2010 at 10:16 am

Wow, I really appreciate these ideas – especially kelliinkc’s post about picking up inexpensive items year round to have on hand for the stockings. Great use of the discount bins! Girls are so much easier to do the little stuff, but I have a husband and 13 year old boy to buy for.

This week, Kroger has the Colegate Wisps for $1.50 after the mega sale, with a $.75 coupon from, doubles to $1 they’re $.50. Also, Walgreens this week has $.29 Russell Stover singles candy – chocolate Santas, Marshmallow snowmen, raspberry creme items, lots of good candy cheap. Dollar tree is always a good spot – especially for the adults where it can be hard to find inexpensive small items – my husband usually gets a car cleaner, sponges, etc for car cleaning, ipod or phone cover, etc. I also ordered a Taster’s Choice Sampler – 6 – 8 single serving coffee varities – not sure if you’d get it now in time, but worth a try.

any suggestions for 13ish boys? We’ve got the batteries, toothpaste, toothbrush thing down, and he loves Subway – you can get $5 cards there, but he’s beyond the hotwheels stage.

Funny story – a few years ago my mom (still gives the kids and grandkids stockings) included a very large bath salts ball in my son’s. It looked just like a giant jaw breaker – and was wrapped in cellophane with the edges twisted to look just like a piece of wrapped hard candy. Yes – you guessed it, my son tore it open and stuffed it into his mouth. Oh – the look on his face when he tasted that bitter soapy flavor! Just use caution that any non-edible items don’t LOOk like they are edible!


14 Aimee December 3, 2010 at 11:24 am

Our family has always done stocking we would open our stockings before we would open any of our presents from ‘Santa’ and it always contained a Hallmark Ornament, we have one each year to document things we like or collected throughout my childhood then the next Christmas we would add the new ornament to the tree. We would also have some candy and gum as well.


15 Leah December 3, 2010 at 11:30 am

We’ll read the story of St. Nick to the kids:

And they’ll get little candies from Walgreens, maybe a hot wheels or two, lip gloss for our daughter, etc. We definitely don’t go crazy…less than ten bucks a stocking. 😀


16 Stacey December 3, 2010 at 11:43 am

I forgot to mention Micheals Arts and Crafts. They also have great dollar bins. The one in Voice of America seems to have more than others for some reason. Even if it’s not in the $1 bins, small arts and crafts stuff is great for all ages.
Karen, does the 13 year old like Phineas and Ferb (I think that’s how you spell it)? The beanie I got my son was a Perry the Platypus one. had lots of Phineas and Ferb stuff. I usually don’t spend that much on one item for the stockings, but they were so darn cute!


17 Pam December 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I alway give toothbrushes/chapstick/lipgloss etc. This year DD will have good make up brushes in her stocking, DS15 will have some wooden puzzles, DS4 will have little playdough tubs etc. They are also getting special disney trading pins for our trip to Disney in January so they will have some new ones to trade. As a child I ALWAYS got a life saver book in my stocking, if fact I don’t remember any year that I didn’t get one of those. It’s the little book looking box that has 10 packs of life savers in it. I always try to find them for my kids to have also, Oh yeah they always get a new pezz dispenser with extra candies.


18 Karen December 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Oh – I used to love the life savers story book – my mom always put them in our stockings! There’s a coupon for $2.50 off 3 storybooks at (Print an extra and maybe get them real cheap to free at the after Christmas sales?)


19 Karen December 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Just thought – the $.19 flashlight mentioned the last few weeks – using the Energizer battery coupon at Krogers would be good for a man – or if you have teen drivers, kid away at college, something to add to the “emergency kit” in the trunk.


20 Stacey December 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm

That’s so funny! We ALWAYS had the life saver book every year too!


21 Jan December 3, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Stockings are a big deal for our whole family. Mom, dad, Grandma, Grandpa, and all the kids (even though they’re grown!) get stockings. (Each has their own) All year we collect samples, cheapie things we find on sale, then add their favorite gum, mints, etc. Always we put in their own nail clippers (I suspect nail clippers run away with the socks from the dryer!) Grandma & Grandpa–McD’s gift cards–their favorite place–and denture-free/sugar free candy & gum; Cheese Crackers. Ask the cosmetician at drugstores–they always have free samples of lotion, makeup, etc. Also, Santa always has brought a box of what we call ‘junk cereal’ for Christmas morning snacking (Christmas Captain Crunch’s). Now my kids are married and off on their own they still look for the Captain Crunch! The stockings are so filled they are put on the sofa with the rest of their ‘loot’ underneath!!


22 Renee December 3, 2010 at 4:56 pm

We always did stockings also. I have to say it really drove me crazy getting batteries. We always did stockings first so getting the batteries was like “really again” and it took some of the surprise out of the presents. I do not give batteries in stockings because of this. Also, I do very little candy because there is always so many sweets going on at Christmas time. My kids love the character bubble bath.


23 Teresa Matney December 3, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Our family has used brown bags for Christmas stockings. Our grandchidren were really excited when they arrived and had individual bags with their names on them. I had even prepared the adults a bag also. the grandchildrens bags included Johnson & Johnson buddy bar soap, a wash cloth that enlarged in water (from $ tree) crayons, candy etc.
Adults had shaving cream, razor, shampoo,toohbrush, toothpaste, windshield deicer.our children were in college and always had early morning class. Deicer help alot. Never use the same ideas for filling the stockings. Whatever they happen to be involved in at that time of year. This year is undecided!!


24 Susan Martin December 3, 2010 at 8:51 pm

We always grew up getting stockings. I think my parents invented this part to keep us busy a bit before we woke them up. In fact, they told us NOT to wake them until we’d found our stockings and looked through them first. Every Christmas morning our stockings were not hung by the chimney with care…they were hidden and we had to find them! This really gives the parental units about another half hour if hidden well by Santa 😉

We always got some little candies and ALWAYS lip balm, small stuff which was cheaper…..just nice little extras. Sometimes socks which we thought was pretty funny stuffed in another sock! Sometimes, Santa even left clues sometimes…depending on how many put together presents we received 😉 Good luck!


25 Christina December 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Stockings were always one of the things I looked forward to most growing up. My mom used to find all kinds of quirky, neat things to put in there, and she’d wrap the small toys and things so that they felt like “extra presents.” I can remember getting silly putty with comic books (to copy pictures with, of course :), tiny sets of cards or jacks, yo-yo’s, those little dinosaurs that blew up huge when you put them in water, fun and “different” Christmas candies, small bath gels, nail polish, or hair scrunchies, that kind of thing. Cracker Barrel is good for finding old-fashioned candies and neat things to put in stockings. I was also just at Meijer’s tonight (the one off 275 at the Forest Park exit), and they had an entire aisle of stocking stuffers next to the Christmas tree display with all kinds of neat little surprises. I really look forward to doing stockings when my 2-year-old gets a bit older. 🙂


26 Pat December 4, 2010 at 8:21 am

Don’t forget emery boards. Those were a staple in our stockings growing up.
Home Depot has great inexpensive gifts, like a 4 pack of stainless steel knives for $10 and multi packs of flashlights for around $10. Those are great for guys and Scouts.
New pencils, erasers and markers are good, too, since they usually need to be restocked at this time of the school year.
Keychains and team logo trinkets are also fun items.


27 Cindy December 4, 2010 at 2:42 pm

We do much of the same that is listed above. He’s only 3.5 so up until now, it’s been cookies, stickers and other age appropriate items. I saw it mentioned that it is normally overshadowed by the big gifts. I agree, so that is what my son gets his on Christmas Eve night… along with new pajamas (so he looks good in the pictures). That way he gets a little something the night before and helps hold him over until the morning. We don’t do Santa Clause in our house, so no need for waiting until the next day.


28 couponKathy December 5, 2010 at 11:02 pm

I’ve enjoyed reading all the posts! It’s been fun to see how everyone does things!

I personally didn’t have stockings as a child, but did this w/ my kids, lots of above items are the same!

However, on St Nick Day (tomorrow, Dec 6th!) we actually followed the old German tradition of filling their shoes. Okay, let me be honest, I normally put most stuff in a plastic bag in or beside their shoes because the thought of dirty shoes…! I learned to put Christmas novelty items in this day because there is still time to use them!
I loved K’s leaving pics in new pj’s and w/ ornament (from St Nick Day) for Santa!

On Christmas, it goes in the stocking itself! I learned to buy 2 of some favorite treats, easier than shopping again!

I also try not to make it too big, it bugs me to hear ads for “stocking stuffers” that are really expensive! We tried putting candy canes for the kids to try to suck juice out of the orange! Mine look for Little Debbie tree shaped zebra cakes to be in there, “as usual”!

It’s funny how we all have “traditions” w/ this. It’s been fun to read! These cherished memories w/ family and friends is what Christmas is all about! (other than Jesus’ birthday, we get him a little cake – that way we don’t forget what we’re celebrating!


29 couponKathy December 5, 2010 at 11:26 pm

BTW, I never even thought of doing stockings for the adults! I got stuff in my stocking for the 1st time last yr! My daughter got her 1st full time job and wanted me to have something in my stocking too!

No one mentioned nuts, I always put some of those! I try to have a new ornament every yr so they have their own collection, and to reminisce about! (Not necessarily a “hallmark”, but their cpns will make this a bigger possibility this yr!


30 Karen December 6, 2010 at 9:18 am

Used the Hallmark coupon to get some fancy chocolates at Anne’s Hallmark on 42, also got my son a fancy bookmark (3D skulls – just the Christmas thing for a 13 year old!)



31 Karen December 6, 2010 at 5:17 pm

just saw the post for free snickers nutcrackers at Walgreens – free stocking stuffers


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