Sunday, December 12, 2010

101 Stocking Stuffer Ideas

A stocking hanging on the fireplace mantle is a long standing Christmas tradition steeped in history. As one legend goes, a poor man had three beautiful daughters. He had no money for their dowry and he was worried what would happen to them after his death. Saint Nicholas was passing through and heard the villagers talking about the girls. He wanted to help, but knew that the old man wouldn’t accept charity so he decided to help in secret. He waited until it was night and crept through the chimney with three bags of gold coins, one for each girl. As he was looking for a place to leave them he noticed the girls stockings hung over the mantelpiece to dry. He put one bag of gold in each stocking and off he went. When the girls and their father woke up the next morning, they found the bags of gold coins and were overjoyed. The girls were able to get married and live happily ever after and to this day we continue the practice of stuffing stockings full of gifts.

Some of my fondest memories centered around pulling endless stream of tiny presents from the recesses of the homemade stockings my Mom made for us. And I’m happy to now be the Mother who gets to stuff my own children’s stockings on Christmas eve. So if Santa has designated you to be the stocking stuffer in your family, here’s a list of 101 ideas, some more frugal than others, to fill up those stockings this Christmas Eve.

Garden seed packets
Homemade coupons ie: back rubs, dessert before dinner, no chores for the day,
Card games
A Charcoal briquette as coal for those on the naughty list
A thrift store spoon dipped in melted chocolate and wrapped for a flavored coffee stir stick
fingernail polish
Single flavored tea bags
Single-load boxes of laundry detergent for kids home from college
Bubble bath
Prints of favorite photos
A homemade cookbook or set of recipe cards
Scratch off lottery tickets
Favorite spices for the cook
Copies of old home movies
A hand written love letter
Homemade chocolate lip balm
Bottle of Pain Reliever
Homemade Play Dough

Homemade gingerbread men
A paperback book
A roll of quarters for laundry
A Keychain with a first set of house keys for your pre-teen
A new toothbrush
A letter from Santa
Golf balls
Tire gauge
A favorite magazine
Body sprays
Scented soaps
Flavored coffees
Character band-aids
Coloring books
Lint brushes
Granola bars
Gift cards
A piece of exotic fruit
A Scarf
Flavored popcorn seasoning
Packets of cocoa
Fishing lures
A bottle of hot sauce for those who like it spicy
Water paints and brushes
A poster
A jar of homemade cinnamon syrup

Homemade Sidewalk chalk
Camera memory cards
Maps for the traveler
Small picture frames
Chapstick, lip gloss or lipstick
BBQ or fireplace lighters
USB flash drive
Laptop power cord
Decorated notepads and pens
Personalized return address labels
Perfume samples from the cosmetics counter
Personalized stationary
Crossword or Sudoku books
Paper dolls
Doll clothes
Action figures
Baseball or other trading cards
Fun socks
Small lego sets
Special Coins or Currency ($2 bill, $1 Presidential Coins, State Quarters)
Hair accessories
Temporary tattoos
Juggling balls
Desk calendar
Cell phone cover
Book marks for the reader
Fun pencils
Cookie cutters
Measuring spoons
Pet treats
Crochet hooks
Knitting needles
Tape measure
Car air fresheners
Small baking mixes
Personalized M & M’s
Silly putty
Ear warmers or muffs
Rolled up t-shirt


The Prudent Homemaker said...

I have links to free printables for many of those, including garden seed packets, paper dolls, coupon books, recipe cards, bookmarks, calendars and coloring books here:

That link also has hair accessories.

I also have links to tutorials for mittens, gloves, baby shoes, doll clothes, dress-up crowns, quick headbands (I made some tonight, actually), etc. here:

You have a fun list!

Wanda said...

Love all the ideas! I see several that would make my kids and their friends really happy!

Moxie said...

GREAT list....thank you for the ideas!!

Amy said...

Gayle, These ideas are phenomenal!!! Thank you so much! I have saved the list to refer to each year as my family grows.

Rona's Home Page said...

Are you going to miss "As The World Turns"? Do you think soaps will be around for much longer?

Please stop by my blog and leave your comments.

Angie @ The Shabby Chic Cottage said...

Great list! And great links! Homemade lip balm?? Who knew??

Rebecca said...

Nice list! Thanks for sharing, because I think I'll be drawing several ideas from you.

Maria D. said...

Thank you thank THANK YOU for this list!! I'm always at such a loss for things to put in a stocking!

~Rhen @yestheyareallmine said...

I use a lot of these to create personalized gift baskets with. Lots of fun!

Anonymous said...

The list was great. I was going down it trying to decide on something for your sister and came to the fishing lure, that was dropped off the list with a threat from her. I guess I had better keep looking.

Halfmoon Girl said...

great list. I have been spending too much on stuffers in the past years- time to revert back to cheaper things!

Emily said...

This is a great list, and a wonderful story - thank you! One common different - or mis-conception is that about coal. When I was growing up, a lump of coal was to keep you warm in throughout the next year! The bigger the lump, the more fortunate and warm you'd be! We also got an onion and potato to signify good eating in the coming year, and an orange, which was a luxury when it was started in the Victorian era. We had to eat our orange or tangerine before any presents under the tree could be opened! And a switch, a thin twiggy piece of an evergreen tree, was sticking out of each stocking - the longer it was the naughtier you were. Merry Christmas!

Anne said...

Great post! I had thought of some of these but got lots more ideas for my boys. Thanks so much!

Coupon Teacher said...

This is a great list. I would love to have you come link up for Thrifty Thursday!

Susan said...

My eyes are blurry so not sure if you wrote this down. Scotch tape. My kids are always taking mine and when they each have their own scotch tape dispenser, they are happy little crafters. Microwave popcorn.

sudoku online said...

Thanks for the fun ideas. I never know what to put in a stocking.

momma-lana said...

Great list! I do 11 stockings and it gets expensive! What's with the 10 1nd 20 dollar stocking stuffer ideas this time of year? I would go broke doing that!

Our grown sons like to get grill seasonings which I pick up for cheap throughout the year on sale with coupons. Our grown daughters like to get things like kitchen scrubbies. This year I dried a large jar of fresh rosemary for each of the girls to cook with. That was a freebie.

I have a shoe box for each person on a shelf in a closet. As I see things clearance, etc throughout the year I add them to the box. They fill up faster than you would think and I only have maybe 20 items to buy in December.

Food-Fun-Creativeness and Gardening said...

Thank you SOO MUCH for this wonderful list. Iam featuring you on my blog at EVERYTHING ELSE i LOVE
come on by for a visit!

Anonymous said...

The most original idea on the net!!!! For the angel in your life:)

Amaze with this truly original gift. Smiles come freely.

Anonymous said...

Check out for a cool stocking stuffer.

Mindy said...

Thanks for the great ideas. While my daughters are easy, I always struggle with my grown son, son-in-law, and husband. I tried delegating our son and son-in-law to my husband, but he didn't buy into that idea. I love momma-lana's idea of the grill seasonings. Also, her shoe box idea is great.

Anonymous said...

I love your year-round shoebox idea. Why haven't I thought of that? Glad you inspired me today.