A few years ago, I wrote a post about how much I hated buying Christmas stocking stuffers. I didn’t want to fill the stockings with junk.
I asked this question at the end of the post: Do you have any great non-clutter stocking stuffer ideas?
And boy oh boy did y’all deliver!
So this year, I’m putting those fantabulous ideas into a post so you can have them in one easy-to-read place. (And so you can share this post on Pinterest and all that good stuff . . . )
Obviously, consider your child’s age and needs.
(Oh. And I am linking to a the items using my Amazon affiliate links. Please note that this is for your convenience and my desire to make money to pay for this site. You may prefer to pin this post and pull it up on your phone while at the store. Also note that prices change all the time over on Amazon, so if you land on a package of underwear for $700 you can rest assured that when I originally linked to them, they were the best price I saw at the time, and were most definitely not $700. Also, they will take you over there on my link, but you should look for the best fit for your family and your budget once you’re there. And, some of the items are PrimePantry or add on items that have to be shipped with other things because they’re small items. If you don’t have prime, here’s how we use it all year long to save my sanity. And this is a great month to try a Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial.)
My Picks for the MOST Ingenious, Space-Taking, Non-Clutter Stocking Stuffers:
Pringles (This one rocked my world! We EACH got our own can of Pringles and everyone was THRILLED. They still talk about it.)
More Non-Clutter Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Hair brush – We HIGHLY recommend this specific hair brush for tender (and overdramatic) heads.
Shampoo, toothpaste, bodywash, deodorant and other toiletries
Art Supplies (crayons, markers, Paint Set)
Word search or activity book (I linked to a large print one, since that’s what my MIL wants for Christmas!)
Magazine (I linked to magazine subscriptions, but a single magazine is great, or you might want to buy a current magazine as the starter for a subscription that will be coming to them soon)
Magic Towel (They expand into a washcloth from a little pellet in hot water. Can be found at the dollar store.)
Chore passes or “around the house” coupons
Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes (LOVE these!)
Breakfast stuff to keep the kids happy so you can stay in bed! (Small boxes of cereal, apple-juice boxes, breakfast bars)
Animal Crackers (The good kind in the space-taking box!)
Goldfish crackers in the small boxes
Add to the list in the comments!
Monica Ross says
Stamps. Good ol’ USPS of ‘Merica postage stamps. People still need ’em for this and that and a small pack isn’t too expensive for a Sekrit Santa budget. Plus, add funky notecards, stickers and markers and you can have the young fry decorate a nice card for Nana or whoever, send ’em some love! Practicing the handwriting is never a bad thing either… ;^)
Sarah Smith says
This is an awesome idea! Maybe add some postcards too? I’m trying to get my 10yo into the habit of writing letters.
My kids are learning to cook so I gave them cookie mixes in a jar, with the added bonus that they can make them and eat them when THEY want.
Dana White says
Here’s some for teens and adults, those are always the hardest ones for me to fill:
Flashlights and Ice Scrapers for any driver
Beef Jerky, candy, favorite soda
Dana White says
Flashlight! Love that one!
My 5-year-old grandson wants one! My own boys love flashlights when they were little.
I love useful or consumable stocking stuffer ideas! When our kids were little, I loved putting their favorite character Band-aids in their stocking. They’d get so excited!
My husband is the hardest to buy for. Since we live in Spain and real peanut butter is expensive, I have started putting a jar in his stocking. Jams would also be a fun thing to put in. A nice kit for cleaning glasses is also good. Cheapie sunglasses are a fun thing too. My mother always put shaving cream in my dad’s stocking with a few other things but she would then fill it with peanuts in their shell. (my dad loved these) I remember wondering as a child why Santa put so many peanuts in his stocking!! haha!
Dana White says
I love the shaving cream idea!
Caveman Cookies! http://www.cavemancookies.com. Similar to the fun Little Debbie idea but for those who don’t have grains or gluten in their diet. 🙂
I also like to use Christmas as a chance to re-stock my kids art/craft supplies. It may not be clutter-free but it IS consumable cause I know they’ll use them. I go to the $ store and stock up!
Dana White says
I don’t consider art supplies clutter! They’re totally useful!!
Isi Cooper says
I used to put a cheap novelty toothbrush in stocking too.
you should add :that won’t breat the bank” some of the pinterest lists are insane.150 stocking stuffers each under 50$,,,UM EXCUSE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and I hate junk too..
this year’s hits..a 5$ cool tee from target blank Friday, a foam sword to battle…between bros…lego mystery minifigs..juice box decorated like a snowman…see pinterest…sugar donuts decorated like snowmen in a cellophane bag…snack done…see pinterest..and a frrot loop and cheerio necklace that says in a world full of cheerios be the froot loop…see pinterest. a package of balloons…(don’t ask they love it) some favorite candy…daughter requested the GOOD chocolate…I sigh of maturity if I ever saw one..lol…so I have bought the little 3 packs here and there at grocery stores..
really cool hot wheels car..IN THE PACKAGE..hehe..even the older son and hubby love a really cool and unique one..
and from prudenthomemaker.com her things I love about you book marks. (actually I might have the siblings work on these with me….)
and the toddler’s stocking is almost all filled with BALLS…lol
Dana White says
$50?!?!! That is truly insane!!
I love the t-shirt idea. May use that one too! Yes. I just assumed no one ever spent more than $5 on a single stocking stuffer!
Oh and new styluse for the ds’s…I swear my kids eat them..in bulk through eBay gets you cheap fun ones
Our family(with married children) rule is that each family has stocking stuffers for everyone….and the price limit is supposed to be $5. So fun to shop! And to get!
Linda Marlene says
Funny that you mention a hot wheels car. I bought my husband a ‘96 Chevy Impala SS hot wheels car, and it’s in his stocking (still in the package) as I type this! He bought his Impala new and still loves to drive it!
Awww, he’ll love that!!
grrr break NOT breat
We’re adding seeds for our spring garden to the stockings this year. The kids are getting their own section to work. Some herbs, some snap peas, and some flowers…
Dana White says
Love that idea, Mindy!
Ditto on your ideas! I’ve done this for a couple of years because stocking stuffers can definitely add more clutter to any household except when you choose items they can actually use. I wanted to add to the batteries, I put in re-chargeable batteries — the batteries that keep on ticking 🙂
A Christmas tree ornament. They can hang it on the tree right away. Mine love opening the ornament boxes every year when we decorate the tree and talk about which ornaments are theirs. Then, when they leave our home to create their own they have ornaments to take with them to decorate their own tree and remember their growing up years 🙂
My mom did this for me when I was growing up (though she gifted it to me a little early). I love unpacking them every year, though I have to admit, there’s not room on the tree for all of them anymore. (And since mom had a very sturdy artificial tree, some are too heavy for our real tree.) I’ve continued the tradition with my husband and children, so that means 3 new ornaments every year. I’ll unpack all of mine again once the kiddos move out and take 20+ ornaments apiece with them!
Just hang the heavy ones deeper in. They may be sneaky, but you get joy from them still.
Rachel MacDonald says
Oh, that is sweet. I really like that. I will remember this for the future!
If you have teenagers, earbuds are a great stocking stuffer. My kids are always thrilled to get those!
We used to put a jar of peanut butter in our kids stockings so they could eat out of the jar with a spoon.
Christie J says
When I was little, my mom always received the pantyhose that came in a plastic egg. They fit perfectly in the toe of the stocking! My husband and boys each get a bag of pistachios, and the kids love the chocolate oranges that you whack apart into wedges. Lego mini figs or Hexbugs are always a hit for the boys, and this year I found Lego luggage tags at Target (in the stocking stuffer section.) For teens, a new pair of earbuds and an iTunes gift card is a good one, or for younger kids, a DQ gift card. My personal favorite is that I get a new Games magazine in my stocking along with good chocolate. Spices and kitchen gadgets are great for anyone who cooks. My husband always gets spice rubs for grilling, this year he’s getting smoked sea salt and hot paprika.
Dana White says
Oh, I love the grilling spices ideas!!
Games magazine! That’s a fun idea (and I know just who needs it in their stocking!) Thanks!
great ideas. Every year our kids get chocolate coins, and an orange.
I like to include things for them to snack on before we head over to christmas breakfast with the extended family. Nutragrain bars, granola, trail mix, some juice boxes.
Hubby and I are getting beef jerky and wasabi almonds in ours.
I also like to add to sets they already have (and enjoy) Things like extra Little People, a small lego set, wooden trains, or skylanders figures, pokemon cards, or jewelry for the dress up chest. Things like barbie clothes will likely be added when my baby girl is older.
I’ve been collecting ideas for older kids. My favorites so far are earbuds, itunes gift cards, duct tape, and batteries.
These are great ideas! Growing up my brother and I could count on the toe having an orange and the heel being filled with bazooka joe bubble gum. Sometimes tights for me. I have done individual pieces of wooden train track for my son, wrapped separately they take up space! What about things like guitar picks? I think my girl will be getting some of those this year.
Matching socks for everyone. I can’t tell you how many photos we have of the entire family in a circle – just our feet. in matching socks. It’s a fun tradition.
I’m a big fan of food in stockings. We’re normally too busy with presents to break away and cook (or eat) but snacking on the food in our stockings totally works. My kids are thrilled with Pringles and Junk, but I always love finding a bunch of k-cups in the bottom of my stocking.
Flashlights are always a big hit. Since they disappear every year, I don’t consider them clutter.
Hubby always gets a screwdriver or two in his stocking. Normally they aren’t even new. I just grab the ones from the garage and tuck them in. The gift is that he has everything he needs to install batteries and assemble toys on Christmas morning without having to go outside to the garage.
Dana White says
Susan, almost EVERY line in this comment made me laugh!! Oh how I love knowing other people grab random stuff to stick in Hubby’s stocking!
Even worse? I grab random stuff to stick in MY stocking. If I don’t, no one else will. It goes right along with ordering my gift from Amazon and having them gift-wrap it. (Please tell me I’m not alone on that one!)
Dana White says
Oh my word. So not alone!! I totally do that. And yes, I just sent a text to Hubby yesterday saying, “Thank you so much for the Kindle you just bought me!”
That’s what Hubby “bought” me last year. You’ll enjoy it. This year I’m thinking he will buy me tickets to Blog Elevated.
I get myself similar things as my grown daughters/dil. When I open it I say, “thank me very much!!” 😉
I have picked up the Chocolate Flight from Trader Joe’s for two years now – it’ll go under my stocking (we lay them on the hearth once filled). I am usually the one to stuff all of the stockings – even my own. 🙂
jenni anderson says
I don’t fill my stocking but their have been many years that its been practically empty or empty until my husband hurries up and shoves a smaller already wrapped presents in mine lol …oh and for the past 3 weeks my husband has been saying that he needs to buy me some Christmas presents..my reply was you bought me those dishes on Amazon ..his reply no I was busy and told you to go ahead and order them for yourself…same with the new towels ..we were out 2 weeks ago and he say 2 books from my fav author he said hey do you have those I said no ..he said Oh I will have to come back and grab them..so when he brought up having to get me presents I said well you got me those books he looked at me like I was crazy yeah he then remembered the books and the fact that he didn’t go get them… men…funny thing is I made a pinterest board called random gifts for my husband to buy me …I am hoping one day he will wake up and become a man of romantic gestures
Dana White says
I think it’s very sweet that he notices your favorite author! (And I’m personally often guilty of meaning to come back for something and then forgetting!)
Last year I bought some of my own presents and wrapped them myself and had my hubby open them to find out what he got me!! He LOVED it!!
I fill all the stockings – including mine. I buy all the presents for our kids, and my family. And I always buy (and wrap!) my own gifts from hubby (he’s a terrible gift giver). I also buy the kids gifts from the grandparents, too (who insist on ACTUAL presents, not $, but have no idea what to get the kids). And I fill the advent house with candy and move that damn elf every.single.night! I also work 60+ hours a week, and shuttle kids to 5 different activites for 3 hours a night every.single.day (including weekends!)
As for buying my own presents though – I’ve actually come love it. Hubby is a terrible gift giver, and while I talk to my grandparents a few times a week they never know what to get me. I used to do Amazon Wish lists for my family, but since I have Amazon prime, and they don’t, it’s easier for me just to buy it all (when it’s on sale). So I get EXACTLY what I want. NO clutter. No returns. And the best part is I wrap them, and at my age or with the constant lack of sleep, I have totally forgotten what’s in them so that I *AM* surprised when I open each one! LOL.
There’s also normally the easter egg like hunt when I remember I bought someone something, but realize Christmas morning that it somehow didn’t make it under the tree.
I never thought of having amazon wrap… Maybe this yr I’ll get to unwrap a gift also..Thanks
Our breakfast on Christmas was always a little hit or miss as kids. But as an adult one year, broke no joke, I made my parents a frittata as their gift. We ate like kings, with a pretty tablecloth and the good china and my brother did the dishes. My parents were thrilled and it’s become tradition. We did french toast casserole for a few years, since it’s a make-ahead, shove it in kind of breakfast. But I wasn’t in the mood for sweet last year so we had a biscuit-sausage-based casserole. It was delicious!
It’s my first Christmas away from home this year and I’m sad I don’t get to celebrate with them, but I’m going to make something for my partner and I to be excited about and continue the tradition of a hearty Christmas breakfast in my own home.
apples and oranges…..definitely flashlights….I love the seeds for te garden idea!
Susan E. says
My mom always put nail polish in our stockings, and my little girls love to paint their nails so that’ll be on my list. Other ideas are dishcloths, lip gloss/chap stick, stickers, mini-Whitman’s Samplers, and, of course, COAL (candy)!
What ever happen to oranges, apples and candy canes?
This year my 2 year old will have allergen free snack food and other little things like that. My 7 year old is getting a home made doll house for the American girl doll I managed to get at 75 % off back in October. So it is too big to wrap I am just going to put her stocking on top. She has an 18 inch doll she saved for herself.
I love the fruit idea! We’ve been doing that for years, since we read the Little House books out loud to our daughters. Laura and Mary got an orange, a tin cup, and a penny in their stockings, and thought they were rich beyond belief. We’ve stepped it up some, and we put in exotic fruits like pomegranates and kiwi.
Dana White says
Pomegranates?! Love that idea!
There’s a big box grocery called Meijer (Michigan/Indiana) that has a wonderful produce department. This year, we’re getting star fruit, prickly pears, something called “buddha hands,” plus the poms and kiwi. Our girls love the exotic fruit treats over the holidays!
My favorites are:
~ $5 gift card to Subway/McDonald’s etc.
~ Special chocolates (a sleeve of Ferrer Rocher, a chocolate orange, etc.)
I forgot $5 gift cards for Baskin Robbins/Cold Stone (or other ice cream place).
Angie W. says
Since my kids all have iPods or the like and manage to lose or break the charging cables, I’ve been putting in different colored USB cables the last couple of years. That way they know which is theirs and the arguments over “that’s my cord!” are greatly minimized.
Dana White says
Love the idea of different colors!
Valerie Barber says
We always give the kids consumables i.e. Christmas candy. They LOVE those gold/silver chocolate coins(cheap at Aldi), Hershey’s kisses, and Reese’s peanut butter cups. This year the teen will get some facewash as well. LOVE the Pringles idea!
My kids favorite stocking tradition is…..stockings! Actually I’ve always bought my girls weird socks. Fuzzy, warm, stripy or spotted, with toes or straight. They look forward each year to seeing what I found. This year I bought some that don’t match since they like to do that with them anyway. This is a hard one for my son because they don’t make these for boys. I did find him some day of the week socks though for fun.
Sons are always more difficult. We normally have Christmas after Christmas because the family is so scattered. So the day after Christmas I go to Walgreens and pick up the Christmas boxers 50% off for all of the guys. The funny thing is even if they don’t normally wear boxers. Occasionally I see them wearing them through the year. I know they need to do laundry!! Funny!!
Little containers of playdough are great for preschoolers!
Since I’m responsible for stuffing the stockings here, my own is usually on the limp side. This year I decided to buy myself a new skein of yarn and shove it in there. I’m constantly being given yarn so I rarely buy my own. This means I don’t always have my favorite color/brand/type to work with. Now at least I will have one skein to look forward to. 😀 I might even break down and buy a new crochet hook!
Dana White says
That’s a great idea!
Every year santa brings the kids ONE large/expensive item, and I make them a box each (which doubles as a toy/storage box after christmas) which usually includes: socks, undies, pens, pencils, glue, erasers, bath/shower gel, shampoos & conditioners, deodorant, usb sticks, notepads, headphones &aux cables, at least one book….anyway, you get the idea. This came out of necessity as 5 kids & a low income don’t go very well together at Christmastime. The most expensive item that goes in the boxes is usually the book at around $10 and most of the other stuff you can get for under $1. The kids always are excited about it & curious to see what’s inside, they like it so much that my Step Daughter (now 20) makes them for everyone as well.
Diana Rice says
The kids loved to open there presents from my sister, their aunt, as she went to garage sales and to thrift stores and saved things for Christmas. Even when they got old enough to know the things were new to them things, they knew they got a lot of stuff because she didn’t have to spend a lot!
One year the kids got a bed sheets…. another year a new pillow (down that squished up small) and pillowcase…..
The best thing I ever put in my boys’ stockings was bubble wrap. It had come in a package – three big, beautiful sheets. I rolled them up and stuffed them in the bottom of the stockings. When they got to it, all three yelled, “Bubble wrap!” And happily popped away without having to share for once.
That is a fantastic idea!
brenda f says
i did you refrain from popping it!?? I don’t think I could.. they would get fully popped sheets of bubble wrap in my house. lol 🙂
That’s a great idea, my kids (4&7) would love that!!!!
Another thing to remember is that sometimes you don’t have to buy specific stocking stuffers. If you have small gifts you already have that would normally go under the tree, you can just slip them in the stocking instead. Regular gifts that fit in a stocking are any video games, computer games or movies, doll or action figure like Lalaloopsey or Imaginext, leapster explorer stuff, books, rolled up pajama pants, card and dice games, puzzles, etc.
Also remember lotions and bath products. My grandmother and my mother don’t like the fancy scents from the expensive stores. So I give them things like Jergens lotions from Wal-mart. Not too expensive, they get something they like and will use. And for my grandmother, stamps were a great gift. She said she loved them and thought of me every time she used one. Also gave her favorite drugstore cosmetic items that were not always easy for her to find in the small town she lived.
And my father loves gift cards to Starbucks. He gets the treat he likes (and can afford but will not treat himself) and I know he will use it.
I put oranges (a tradition from my father), peanuts in shell (a tradition from my husband’s father), candies (special ones and left overs from my baking), and toothbrushes (because we need them after that much snacking!) in our stockings. I also try to squeeze in some of the cookies from the gift-baking sessions. (This way we get to enjoy the spoils, as well.)
I am loving some of the ideas I am seeing here, though and may incorporate some of them into future stockings.
Santa and the Easter Bunny ALWAYS bring new toothbrushes!!
At our house, too! They fall close enough to 6 months apart to make the dentist happy!
Scratch-off lottery tickets are a big hit in our stockings along with many of the things others have already posted. 🙂
My kids like beef jerky. Girl especially liked the jerky that comes with cheese. They also like the little bottles of sura. I plan on putting both in their stockings this year.
So, this idea is only clutter free if you look at it as disposable: Nerf guns. But not the brand name ones, just the cheap ones, where you get two or three in a package (ya but not dollar store cheap, that’s too cheap, we’re talking walmart, they at least work). Put one in each stocking with some extra bullets and let the games begin. My husband usually forms an alliance with the more gullible kids only to woop them all in the end (men!). Christmas day is so fun with these and then (here’s the catch) when they are forgotten in a few days (and the bullets are all behind the couch and tv) throw them away. They break fast anyway, so throwing away is easy. They are not expensive, lots of fun, and not something you have to keep track of.
Another popular idea in our house is those popcorn seasoning samplers. Each kid gets one and they last forever, even though they are small.
When my boys were little I always put hot wheels in their stockings. Now They get a new toothbrush. A candy filed candy cane. This year I plan to add a baseball, chap stick, eye black for baseball season, and any other small sports stuff I stumble upon.
I put those little packages of donuts/doughnuts (I’ve never known which one to use) last year in the stockings and my husband and boy’s both want to make sure I do it again this year. We also did shower poofs, toothbrushes and little action figures they love. Of course the donuts/doughnuts are all they remember. Lol
Dana White says
I love that idea and will use it for sure!
Dani Leuck says
I am following the Victorian gift guide but making gifts to fit the rhyme. Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. The only thing I wont be making are books, but I will get those at a nice used bookstore. Making matching aprons for my daughter & her daughter, lapdesks, dolly clothes, blankets etc. I am having fun and we are doing the popsicle advent to help the girls focus more on giving than getting. 🙂
Just reading through the list this year and found my own from last year. Haha. My adult daughter made a comment a while back that sparked an idea for stocking stuffers. She is on her own now. And made the comment that it sure was nice when Mom kept the medicine stocked up. So I am going to get her stuff like allergy meds, ibuprofen, and whatever else I see. I know it all will be used.
What a great idea for the kids that are grown and out of the house. Will have to remember that for next year. I like to put lotions, hand soap, disposable razors, batteries, small packs of tissues and a few fun items in their stockings
My oldest son is now old enough to go to the movies with just friends, so I’m thinking he’ll get a movie ticket/gift card to use. Also, lacrosse balls for him. My younger son is getting some fresh shin guards and a small, manual air pump for his chronically underinflated soccer ball. They’re each getting their own bag of teriyaki beef jerky (blech
Oh! And gummy vitamins, vitamin c lozenges, and protein powder packs (they like to make protein smoothies with my husband).
I have three kids and they are older now. I but gift cards so they can go to the movies together along with movie candy.
Dana White says
Love this idea!
We always put a box of “special” bandages (the ones with characters like Hello Kitty and Sponge Bob) in our kids’ stockings.
We love the truly clutter free gifts, like theater tickets, laser tag passes, movie gift cards, memberships that support favorite art or nature organizations, camping gear they need for scouts, health club or YMCA memberships, and now that we have teen drivers, AAA memberships… museum passes, sky zone or jamboree, paid music or theater or sports lessons, etc..
My boys are always eyeing my things. So at Christmas, I get them the things they’ve been swiping from me all year. Pens, gum, sharpies, fuzzy socks, adult-sized water bottles and duct tape are all on the list so far. I loved this list last year and was happy to see it again!
My children put aluminum foil in my stocking one year!
Mom always put useful things in our stockings….Deodorant, chap sick, hair brush, hair ties, tooth brush, chocolate bar, and sometimes a lottery ticket!
Lori in NC says
tic tacs, fun erasers, glue sticks (can never have enough), Nutella
My husband is getting a new jar of Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle in his.
angie wright says
Love the Pringles idea! Earbuds is our go to.
Dana White says
I give mini Whitman ‘ samplers, a tradition from my mom, candy filled candy canes, plus something useful like socks, snow gloves, nail polish, pajamas, or legos. I give my husband and I Dove chocolates. Yes, I also fill my own stocking. I’m getting ideas here since I’m about to go shopping for my six kids ranging in age from almost 3 to 20! I’m liking the art supply idea for a few of my kids and yarn and crochet hooks for two of my daughters!
Eyeglass repair kits, even if you don’t wear prescription glasses, almost everyone wears sunglasses! You can get them for a dollar or two at most stores, right by the check out. Scratch off lottery tickets and a quarter to scratch them, gas cards for teens, fun socks, lip balms, wax melts, toothbrushes, mini cologne/perfumes.
This year I’ve got Tervis Tumblers for the four of us. For our two daughters, toothbrushes, lip gloss and a Christmas cookie. My husband loves hot sauce, so I will probably get him one of those small samplers. I should probably find something else to put in mine… Merry Christmas!
One year my huz was so fed up looking for the nail clippers that he bought multiples and we all got them in our stockings. Tweezers, too.
as my four boys are getting older, I have had to get more creative. Containers of the favorite coffee creamer, Bottle of Nestle Quick, Starbucks Coffee Bottles, favorite soda or Flovor drops for water bottles. They love having their own they don’t have to share. I also do the toothbrush and toiletries. Own containers of Pringles & gum are always a hit! I actually focus more time and have the most fun filling each stocking than shopping for their gifts!!!
Yes, we do water drops and gum for our boys too! Those are great ideas. We’ve also done bottles of Panda Express sauces from the grocery, there are some we don’t like but the boys do. They make all kinds of unique concoctions with them…they eat 24/7.
Scratch off tickets or one dollar bills rolled up and tied with little ribbon.
We’ve done Pringles every year (thanks for the reminder–I’ve still not bought them!). When the kids were younger they’d get a coloring book and crayons. A little older they’d get a word search book and playing cards. This year they’re getting lip balm, gel pens, smelly erasers, a cube of post-it notes, chocolate…and I forget what else! Oh, and Pringles.
Movie passes from the local theater. You can put various amounts in the card and can also be used for concessions!
Mom put lifesaver storybook in ours. We hardly ever got candy, so I’d ration mine all year. (Think sticky…yuk!) Only my younger kids who still believe in Santa get stockings filled. They get a toothbrush and toothpaste, socks, a candy cane, a paperback book and storybook lifesavers. I still give my older kids. storybook lifesavers, and tuck cash inside. I just don’t put it in a stocking. I put a few things in mine too, usually gathered from my closet, along with a candy cane, because the younger kids think mama still believes in Santa too.
My daughter (6 1/2) loves crafts, so I got her some more materials for her beads. She’s also starting to read chapter books, so I got her another one of those, as well as a puzzle book.
Carol Becks says
We always had an orange in the toe of our stocking (may have been a cultural custom from ancestors somewhere?). Also, we always had a box of Cracker Jacks. I’ve been adding some (inexpensive) lottery tickets lately…
Yes, an orange in the toe of your stocking is from the old St. Nick traditions. I believe it is Dec. 6? I know they still celebrate in Milwaukee, WI & other “German” areas.
Sugar free gum! It’s like currency for our boys. There are a ton of interesting flavors out there too.
Michelle Bullock says
It’s not just good for kids craft supplies, if you have a craft addict in the house, washi tape and pretty embellishments ( can be bought from the pound shops or The Works) pots of glitter and even glue sticks…xx
At out house we generally fill stockings with snack items and many other things listed. I also get those dollar store paint by number sets or the “stained” glass ornament sets so they can have something to work on when the new toy buzz gets to be a little much and we need some quiet time. My kids are 11, 13 and 21. The oldest still gets paint-by-number and ornament sets and loves working on them!
Wooden spoons for the adult “kids”! My DIL loves getting a new one.
For all you moms out there filling your own stockings: trade with a good friend. You fill hers & she fills yours & that is your gift to each other–something a friend & I have done for years. It’s fun to see what things she’ll come up with & it’s truly surprising.
I still buy my own gifts & “sell” them to my kids at a much reduced rate. I will do this for their siblings (& Dad), too, until they get old enough to shop & pay for the gifts themselves.
(Dana, maybe you can do a new post with suggestions in the comments added to yours at the top? Then we don’t have to scroll down & skim so many comments to find new ideas.)
Diana Rice says
I am actually enjoying reading everyone’s comments so maybe both. You can use the list or read the comments. I see that everybody is doing oranges so now I want to also. Matter of preference I guess 🙂
I love this idea. Will have to do this next year.
As a Secret Santa gift, I buy chocolate ‘coal’ and put it in a mini stocking with a note that says “Oh oh! Someone’s been naughty! “
Ellison Alger says
•Little sewing / repair kit
•Eye glass repair kit.
•Flower seeds ( actually good gift for gardener with bag of soil & a pot).
•mole skin ( for the Boy or Girl Scout or Hiker)
Debra Wheaton says
I love these ideas. My granddaughter loves the blind bags for Doc McStuffins, Trolls, etc.
For my husband: BBQ lighters, computer screen wipes, sanitizing wipes for the car, travel size Purell, his favourite box of K-cups, lots of toiletry items (shampoo, deodorant, toe nail clippers), and cheap older movies from Walmart.
One thing that helped me bring stocking stuffer clutter under control was making lists, instead of running around craft stores and dollar stores buying junk. I take a legal pad, divide it into five columns, and write it all down. Everyone gets some gum, and a movie-sized box of candy. The kids who like pop get a one liter bottle of the favorite kind. Cans of silly string.
My youngest gets a small dish of ice cream most nights for dessert, and loves to put sprinkles on top, so we give her her own container of variety sprinkles each year. If we let her sprinkle, the container would be used up within a week, but if we do it, we can make it last almost the whole year.
Last year I purchased small nail clipper sets for my sons. They were tiny (maybe 3 inches) in a zipped black case. I believe it had 1-2 clippers and a small file. It went everywhere with them: camp, scouts, college. My oldest lost his set in college this semester and asked for another. They were $3.99 at Christmas Tree Shops.
Jewelry in general, I think. My sister and I used to get a bag of doll clothes every Christmas, but not in our stockings.
Lindsey J. says
Mini play-doh containers for my littles (sanity saver when I need to make dinner), restaurant gift cards ($5 or $10 to Starbucks, Steak n Shake, etc), chapstick, slim jims/beef jerky for my hubby and stepdad – all small and USABLE which means they get used/eaten and don’t end up in the Christmas clutter mystery box that shows up around the first of January.
Small sewing kits for adults and older kids. We used to include paddle balls and yo-yo’s and have contests with kids and adults. Flashlights are good for everyone. I love the idea of moms exchanging stockings. I am a single mom and usually wind up with an empty stocking.
This was our fourth year putting a can of whipped cream in our kids’ stockings–a huge hit the first time and begged for every year since (although a couple of them prefer Cool Whip which doesn’t really fit in their stockings very well so I just popped off the label to put it in the stocking and left the tub–with their name on it–in the fridge).
Dana White says
This is an awesome idea!!!
Polly Brooks says
I thrown in some carabiners – the little clip on rings. My men folk like to use those for all kinds of things. You can get them at dollar store or hardware store. They come in all sizes and functions.
Also, empty mini M&M tubes are the perfect size for holding a roll of quarters – and it adds weight to the stocking. Who doesn’t like to get $10 in their stocking.
Favorite foods to put in ours – Slim Jims, the long peppermint sticks, any kind of nuts, SUNFLOWER SEEDS are a favorite – and they come in all kinds of great flavors now. I usually put the bag inside a zip lock baggie so they have something to put the shells in.
Rachel MacDonald says
My parents used to always put a mandarin orange and a quarter at the bottom of our stocking! Then some other little things 🙂 As time went on and inflation happened, the quarter became a loonie 🙂 (We are in Canada, as you may have guessed! ) My parents and I are going to visit my nephew this Christmas. I wonder if the loonie will become a twonie 😀
Always great to have this little tradition. I was excited to find the orange and quarter every year 🙂
love it. everything i put in my kids stockings is on your list! i usually do socks and undies, but they are good on those this year and somehow i managed to get them all stuff that doesn’t need batteries this year, so no batteries! but lots of toiletries and personal items… bubble bath, chapstick, nail polish, and hair bows! also shower poufs for everyone! hubs is also getting everyone slinkies bc who doesn’t love slinkies? they’re probably going to be clutter inside of a week, but i’ll allow it. LOL
I put cute bandaids and neosporin in everyone’s stocking one year. I have kids aged 7-20. They were a hit. They all got used. Since I’m always being asked “Where’s a bandaid?” I think we will do it again.
Dee Jones says
My Mom always puts a small travel size bottle of Tylenol or Advil in all the adult stockings. With a pack of cards or tooth brush or something like that.
Mary Beth says
For students or people who use vending machines (laundry, snacks) — a roll of quarters.
Pam Britt says
We used to put the kids’ favorite treat in their stocking. One year one got a can of olives, another got jerky and the other got a small jar of pickles. They loved it!
So Oberleas says
THANK YOU!!! I needed some new ideas for the stockings.
I always do the traditional Orange and nuts and sometimes an apple too.
However, my sister does not want sugar so candy is always a big NO for her stocking. My niece is getting to this ‘no sugar’ thing too – and to be honest, I really do not need it myself.
These Ideas are GREAT! And most are Fat-Free too – LOL hahaha.
I want to do a ’12 Days’ gift next year and these ideas will work for that too.
Awesome – THANK YOU!!!!
Now on to your next list of ideas. :O}
Katie Clemens says
I always give one friend a little travel size thing of nail polish remover in her stocking. Couldn’t find it this year, so got several individual packets of nail polish remover pads. I also throw in $5 Dollar Tree gift cards. And this year, everyone is getting Scotch tape, a magnetic “shopping list” pad, and a kitty toy for their cats. Oh, and one of those extendable metal back-scratchers — they fit nicely into a pencil/pen cup, but work great. And after stockings are opened, I may throw a roll of toilet paper to each person. LOL
A small pleasure for my busy day was to take time to read all the helpful stocking stuffer comments. Your readers are so inventive.
Charlotte McWhirter says
How about the reusable hand warmers and/or gloves, we’ve had a fair bit of snow lately and my kids are great at loosing them.