One of the oldest Christmas traditions is finding goodies in stockings, so spend some time on great stocking stuffer ideas this year. Rather than just treating the stocking as a dumping ground for unhealthy candy, consider the stocking as the place for extra-special gifts, from gourmet food items to memorable keepsakes.
Yummy Treats: Choose a traditional sweet that only makes an appearance as a stocking stuffer gift, such as a chocolate orange, gourmet truffles or chocolate-covered cherries. Chocolate-covered coins are another traditional Christmas sweet just right for stockings. Go for other exotic foods, such as oranges, star fruit, kiwi fruit or imported cheeses. Gourmet popcorn, packets of hot cocoa or pancake mix and maple syrup are other food ideas for stocking stuffer gifts.
New Traditions: Stuff the stocking with meaningful annual tradition keepers, such as a new journal, a picture frame or a Christmas ornament. These thoughtful items can be renewed each year, expanding the collection. Other great stocking stuffer ideas for collectibles are snow globes, jigsaw puzzles, figurines and collector's item cars, comic books or action figures.
For Kids: Keep the holiday fun with small items that will bring a smile to any child's face. Try Silly Putty, playing cards, sidewalk chalk, coloring books, crayons, paint sets, stickers, key chains, novelty T-shirts, bubble bath, bath toys and Silly String. Other small items are baseballs, bouncy balls, hair accessories, night-lights and key chains.
For Women: A woman's stocking can be stuffed with makeup items, such as lipstick, nail polish or mascara. Scented candles, bath and body spa items and a manicure kit also work well. Matching gloves and a scarf, stationery, hot cocoa, a coffee mug or a personal day planner are all great stocking stuffer ideas. Think about her hobbies. For example, give seed packets to a gardener or craft supplies to a scrap booker.
For Men: Men's stocking stuffer gifts are varied as well. Give him something for his office, such as a paperweight, small tools, a travel mug, a sports bottle, sample bottles of expensive liquor, a wallet, socks, a lighter or a handheld GPS device. When he has a fun hobby, give him stocking stuffer gifts that enhance his enjoyment. If he's a fisherman or a bowler, find small accessories that go with the activity. If he's a sports fan, plenty of team logo items will fit comfortably into a Christmas stocking.
Inexpensive stocking stuffers are some of the most fun items to shop for on your Christmas list. People of all ages enjoy them, as they can be viewed as unexpected little surprises to opening presents on Christmas. When you head out to complete your Christmas shopping, be creative in the items you find and where you find them.
Here are five sources for thrifty stocking stuffers that are sure to help you keep your budget on track.