Ok, now that it’s after Thanksgiving and the Black Friday craziness has hopefully settled down, I can talk about Christmas without being chastised. Since I just ordered Trent’s Christmas stocking from the Disney Store (an embroidered Mickey one!), I just started thinking about what I’m going to put into his and Brett’s stockings, and what they might put into mine.
I’ll never forget the first couple of years Brett and I were together. He insisted that all throughout his years growing up, his parents would put things like movies and video games in his stockings each year. So I went along with it and also included the standard toiletry items, such as razors, shaving cream, shampoo, etc. Looking back, I can’t believe how much money I spent on his stocking stuffers! I also can’t believe how expensive razors are either…but I’ll save that rant for another time lol. It was only after a few years that I brought it up while talking to his mom and sister that we determined his memory must have been a little fuzzy because they insisted they always got stockings full of candy and low-cost trinkets…you know, stocking stuffers!
Well, I don’t want to put nothing but candy and worthless stuff in their stockings (Trent can’t even have candy anyway!) but I also don’t want to spend a lot of money on stocking stuffers and would rather save that money for under-the-tree gifts. I’m trying to at least be a little frugal during this tough economy, but also want to be creative and give small items that can be useful and enjoyed.
Here are some ideas I’ve considered for good stocking stuffers, for them and whoever you may need them for:
Magazine Subscriptions - Talk about a gift that keeps on giving! You could buy the current issue of a magazine, then stick a little certificate telling them they’ll also be getting a subscription in the mail for the next however many months! They get to read something now and for several months after! Magazines are becoming less popular due to the increasing popularity of eReaders or digital magazines, but it’s still fun to get the actual magazine to read and you can score some pretty cheap magazine subscriptions by purchasing online from sites like SubscriptionAddiction.com (use code mom15per for 15% off).
Travel-sized toiletries – Give little bottles of their favorite brands of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shaving cream, soap…pretty much anything in bins at Target or Walmart. Or you could give them brands they’ve never tried before! I’ve used coupons that were allowed on travel sized items to score super cheap or almost free travel sized items in the past.
Small picture frames – Maybe you could even put a family photo in it too!
Mini candles and tea lights or warmer scents
Pens and stationary
Trials for services (like Netflix or Hulu) – These are free or you could pay for one month of the cheapest service, which is usually no more than $10. Just make sure you remember to cancel if you don’t want to continue the service.
Low cost gift cards – As in $5 or less to places like Amazon, Target, Walmart, iTunes…anywhere they could use a gift card to pick out small items or download a few songs. I bought Brett a gift card to get his car washed last year that was used pretty quickly.
Gum and candy – Ok, I can’t deny it, these can be good stocking fillers…but in moderation!
Magazine Subscriptions - Same as above. I noticed my niece has a few magazines on her wish list this year too, such as Seventeen and Teen Vogue, so that could turn into a good gift. Boys may like Sports Illustrated or MAD.
Travel-sized toiletries – Same as above.
Perfume/cologne samples – Or any other samples you receive in the mail. You can get little “try-me” sizes of perfumes/colognes at stores or requesting them online.
Fashion jewelry – Mostly for girls, but places like Target and Kohls offer lower cost costume jewelry, like colorful rings and earrings. You could also add sunglasses or accessories.
Fun socks – I love fuzzy colorful socks!
Makeup/lip balm and hair accessories – Girls love that stuff…’nuff said.
Low cost gift cards – Same as above
Gum and candy – Same as above
Magazine Subscriptions - Kids may not understand the concept of getting a “subscription” which may make it better to include the current issue, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be excited to receive “Presents” in the mail every month! I look forward to getting Trent activity magazines, Disney Junior or other educational/fun magazines in a few years.
Coloring Books, Crayons and Other Small Art Supplies
Travel games – These are usually hanging up in the game section and can include travel Scrabble, Connect Four and Pictionary.
Small Stuffed Animals
Girly hair accessories
Gum and candy – Same as above
Rattles and Other Small Toys – Think travel toys, toys for the diaper bag, blocks, finger puppets, etc. Just don’t include anything too small that they can choke on!
Bath toys – Little squirter toys and duckies.
Mini-books – Can be found in the baby book section at most stores.
Socks or slippers
Headbands or Hats
Small stuffed animals – Again, not too small!
One of my favorite things to do is just roam around Target (can you tell I love Tar-Jay?) and just look around. They always have interesting items hidden throughout the shelves, and I especially love coming across a Clearance end cap…jackpot! Just look for little items but keep the individual prices low so that the cost doesn’t creep up on you when everything is added together! Happy shopping!