Saturday, December 17, 2011

For Fun - Christmas Gift Idea #3


Remember the fun you had as a little kid finding all the treasures in your stocking?

I have found that most people don't lose their fondness for stockings and preparing stockings for adults has become one of my favorite things to do.  Stockings take little time, little expense, and carry a childhood meaning that we adults often forget.

So.. what constitutes “stocking stuffers”?

I take issue with all the commercials that want you to buy items that I would consider GIFTS to put into stockings.   Because, to me, stockings are filled with small inexpensive items that are FUN...  stockings are filled with trinkets with little monetary value.   So stockings are simply fun.

My definition of a stocking stuffer is this:  Items are small (to fit in the stocking) and they are inexpensive.  Period.  If you can get personal with it too – well – that’s a bonus!

But I like to add to the challenge.... my stuffers are usually fairly useful because of my personal philosophies about material possessions.  This makes it more fun for adults – I rarely put anything in a stocking that I paid more than $1 for. 

One notable exception....  the first time I made stockings for adults was for my kids (of course)... and I put ice scrapers ($1) and de-icer in them.  That particular year.. I got a lot of grief about my ‘useful’ stockings.... for 2 days.  But then the ice storm hit.... and my kids had scrapers and de-icer and now I have to put that in every year :-)  (That de-icer is $3 this year!)

It is fun though – to find the little “under $1” items that people often run out of and find that they need....  this year, so far, I have collected hand sanitizer, individual tissues, stain wipes, thumb tacks, duct tape, rubber bands and little notepads & pens.   I cruise all the departments... kitchen, automotive, pharmacy, office and stationery.  (If you have time, you can shop for these things all year and get even better deals!  But this is still an inexpensive quick gift to do now)

Candy, OF COURSE!  But this year I am doing less chocolate and more individually wrapped snacks.  We’ll see how it goes but I know many people pack their lunches these days, including my kids.... so cookies & snacks for lunches might be a service I can help with.

And don’t forget the toys....  we all like to play!  The party favor aisle is always good with mardi gras beads, super bouncy balls and silly games.  At a minimum, these items liven up the party if things slow down :-)

Stockings themselves are often expensive – so my advice is this: buy them, lots of them, after Christmas......  if you can’t afford the stocking now.... get a paper bag and draw a stocking on the side.  Remember, this is about FUN!

Stockings are a tradition here... and I always do stockings.  I especially love it when we have extra people at our celebrations because I can do more of them!

But I have to tell you... my all-time favorite stocking... was for an elderly woman.  I filled it with little nothings.... sewing notions, snacks, puzzle books...  no big deal.  But she cried, literally ... and said, “No one has given me a stocking since I was a girl!”

Do I have to tell you how that made me feel?  You can’t go wrong with a stocking.

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