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Christmas stockings are a tradition my family has enjoyed for generations. When we were little, on Christmas eve, we searched through Dad’s sock drawer, each picking out the biggest stocking we could find to hang on a nail on the fireplace. In the morning they would be lying on the hearth, stuffed with unusually shaped items. Since we lived in Africa at the time, there might be some peanuts (groundnuts) in the shell, or occasionally some tree nuts. We were excited to find a Cadbury candy bar or some peppermints, and there might be a little ball, matchbox car, pick-up sticks, or jacks. There always was an orange in the toe.
In the past 10 years or so, at our house, a “contest” of sorts has occurred in the weeks prior to Christmas, between “Boo” and her eldest brother. This contest is all about which one gets to have their stocking hung on THE “Winnie the Pooh” stocking holder. Before he and his wife moved out of state, he would regularly remove her stocking and place his on that precious holder, and as soon as she saw it, she would move it back. The contest even involved occasional hiding of the offending stocking. Once it wasn’t discovered until the next December. We miss the fun they had!
Our family generally opens our gifts on Christmas Eve, so stockings are a special part of Christmas morning. The kids decided, some years ago that everyone needed a stocking. They also wanted to have a part in filling everyone’s stockings. This meant that it was time for Mom and Dad to have their own. In order for all of the stockings to match, (sorry, I’m like that) I bought material and we sewed new ones, using a current Christmas stocking as a pattern, Each one decorated his or her own stocking (except Dad.) Their desire to place items in their parents stockings pleased us, because it showed that they were growing up and thinking of others before themselves.
I still struggle with clever ideas for Christmas Stockings, especially things within a budget. Here are toys under $5 each and some pretty nifty inexpensive kitchen “stuffers,” also bargain priced, inexpensive games. And if you are as stumped as I get at times, take a look here for a lot of great stocking stuffer ideas. This year (2016) each of us who will be home for the holidays, picked a name and became totally responsible to fill another family member’s Christmas stocking! I’ll report back to let you know how it goes!
UPDATE:2018 – This stocking filling plan has worked great. At first I was helping my husband to do one as well, but one of our daughters has stepped up to help him with this. And now we are doing it for the third year.
I’ve always included an ornament in our children’s stocking so that they would have their own array of ornaments when they established a household. We use a permanent marker to write the year on the bottom. Now that the youngest are in their twenties they all have amassed enough to decorate a small tree of their own. Recently we sent our youngest son and his wife the stash of ornaments he had acquired over the years.
In each stocking, there is always candy, often purchased during the October candy sales. There usually is a new pair of unique socks – fuzzy or with toes for the girls – and a pair of snazzy dress socks for the guys. We try to include a small toy as well and perhaps some nail polish for the girls or a clever gadget for the guys.
And of course, there is always an orange in the toe.
For great Christmas shopping ideas check out
What to Buy in December!