Stocking Stuffers from the Heart
You know that feeling you get on Christmas, whether you are a child, adult or parent? That feeling of anxiousness, excitement and Joy? I remember that feeling as a child and feel it still as an adult and a parent. It is a magical feeling that I hope never goes away. This magical feeling gets me all giddy and excited, especially when it comes down to Christmas stockings. Stockings are like finding a fun treasure over and over again! How could that not be fun?
The stockings have always been left up to me. My husband enjoys picking out the one special gift that our kids ask for and I get to find the small and special things to fill the stockings with. I think I got the best end of the deal. 🙂 My goal with stockings is to find a mix of gifts that are practical, thoughtful, special, homemade, and fun.
Here are a few ideas and gifts that will make your stockings super special this year; no matter how old you are:
- EDIBLES: this could be a favorite treat you made just for them or it could be purchased. I go for a mix of sweet and healthy. Healthy ideas include: Wacky Apple sauce, Flatfruit or juice, trail mix, oranges, apples, snack bars or granola. Sweet treats include: chocolate bars (we love Justin’s peanut butter snacks, Endangered Species almond and sea salt bar, or Brookside or Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered pomegranates), candy canes, peppermint bark, or homemade cookies.
- HOMEMADE GIFTS: a few of my favorites include hand stamped notecards or greeting cards, soy or beeswax candles made with essential oils, relaxing lavender bath salts, body lotions or butters, lip balm, body wash or bath bubbles. Another great one for kids is homemade bath crayons or playdough. I also really enjoy making photo books of our family adventures, or calendars or just printing some favorite pictures and framing them. Your child can also get creative and make homemade gifts for the family like salt dough hand or fingerprint ornaments, painted artwork, or a small sewing project.
- THE ESSENTIALS: these are things that are used daily and needed as part of your life such as socks, undergarments, clothing, stocking hats, mittens, and scarves. Other essential items may be shaving creams/shaving kids, shampoo/conditioner or other hair products, toothbrushes/toothpaste, floss, nail files or polish, make up or even water bottles.
- FUTURE EXPERIENCES: it’s always fun to receive a gift that you will be able to use in the future where you will experience something great with someone you love. One of my favorite gifts that fall into this category are homemade “coupon books”. You could make one for a friend, spouse or significant other or your child could make one for a parent or grandparent. Coupons could be filled with simple things like a day of playing in the snow together, skiing together, doing an art project together, or whatever fun things you can think of. This year we are putting Colorado Avanlanche hockey tickets in my hockey loving son’s stocking (his whole team is going and they get to skate during intermission and meet the players!). Other ideas include concert tickets, gift cards, movie tickets, etc.
- BOOKS: everyone enjoys a good book! You may also do a gift card for Amazon for ITunes where they can download books. There are those fun recordable books too, that would be special.
- SMALL TOYS: some great choices for small toys that would be special and enjoyed would be puzzles, games, flashlights, small lego or building sets, science experiment kits, sporting items, stuffed animals, art supplies, bath toys, etc.
- USED ITEMS: honestly, every year I fish out toys that my kids have forgotten about or ones that they love and put them in the stocking. Never once has my son said, “hey, this isn’t anything new.” He usually pulls it out and says, “I forgot about this. It’s so fun!” One year I put his favorite matchbox cars in a small container and put them in his stocking. He loved it and we enjoyed playing together with them. I am planning on putting stickers and coloring books that we haven’t used in as well. My saying is, if you don’t use it then get rid of it to someone who may love it and need it. Things don’t have to be “new” to be wonderful.
Good Luck on creating a special stocking from the heart for the people you love most! Happy Holidays Wacky Apple Friends!