Secret Santa Stocking Stuffing!

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Now seriously. Say my title five times fast. I can’t even do it twice! Christmas stockings have always been a huge part of Christmas gift-giving in my family. As a child, my parents told me that my gifts were from them, but anything in my stocking was from Santa. And I’d find such treasures – always unexpected, and always appreciated. Even after I already knew my parents stuffed my stocking, it was magical. I come from a family of five kids, and so now it’s five kids and spouses, plus our children and our parents. Stocking stuffing is SO MUCH fun in our house. I’d like to believe I’ve learned a few things too.


I’m often confounded by Secret Santa gift exchanges, and this year I’m participating in THREE of them within my group of friends and family. For both friends ones, I am giving stockings to women, although I’m not sure of the recipient yet. That’s part of the fun. I’ll be making stockings and then going out to dinner with friends. There, we will draw names and I will gift my stocking to my friend. It isn’t easy to make a stocking that would spread holiday cheer and delight just anyone.

It can be done, though!


How do you make a DIY Christmas stocking for a Secret Santa? I find it’s best to draw from experiences from your own special holiday memories, talk to other people and get them to share their special holiday memories of what they found in their Christmas stockings, do a little online research and then think about modern times. What do we want and need in today’s society? What would be delightful to find in your Christmas stocking? Also, and mainly, you go to the source! Go shopping!

Step one: Go shopping somewhere that you can find tons of options for all kinds of loved ones in your life – babies, toddlers, kids, tweens, teens and adults. I went to Dollar General and walked up and down the aisles.


Dollar General

Step Two: – One of the most favorite things to get in a stocking? A gift card! I always consider them like found treasure when I get one in my stocking. I think they’re special, and they’re the perfect size for a stocking!

Step Three: After going to a store with everything, and starting strong with a gift card in your shopping basket, consider what your gift recipient might need. Sometimes finding what we need in a stocking is still fun! I love pens, socks and sticky notes.

Step Four: Consider what they might WANT! For me, it’s chocolate bars. For others, it’s the gift cards, ornaments, nail polish and other cosmetics, games, cards, fruit, key chains, memory cards for cameras! That’s a big one!

Step Five: Consider essentials! These are the things that become traditions throughout time. For my family, it was candy canes, scotch tape, and then the big one! Gum! Gum is the PERFECT stocking stuffer. I get it every year.

Personally I go for Wrigley Extra® Spearmint Gum, Extra® Peppermint Gum, Extra® Polar Ice Gum, and Doublemint®. Not only is Wrigley gum a perfect holiday stocking stuffer for your Secret Santa, or any loved ones, it’s a great gift idea and affordable holiday treat! Plus it’s all minty fresh just like the tastes of the holidays. If it’s not already a tradition in your house to give gum, the way it is for us, let Extra® and Doublemint® gum add to your unique stockings. I tend to have them peeking out on top with the candy canes. It’s a holiday “look” I’ve grown to know and love over the years.

Find a Dollar General near you, HERE.

As a little bonus, here are five stocking stuffer ideas I’ve compiled for all of the loved ones in your life:

Five stocking stuffers for a baby: Teethers, socks, lovies, bath toys, rattles.
Five stocking stuffers for a toddler: Color Wonder books and markers, Little People toys, socks, cookie cutters, finger puppets.
Five stocking stuffers for a young child: Play-Doh, bouncy balls, LEGO minifigures, bubble bath, silly straws.
Five stocking stuffers for an older child: Rubix Cube, comic books, art supplies, slinky, accessories.
Five stocking stuffers for a tween/teen: Diary, vintage candy, card games, movie or concert tickets, camera.
Five stocking stuffers for your mom, wife, adult daughter, etc.: Photo book, cooking utensils, beauty lotions, kindle, bath stuff.
Five stocking stuffers for your dad, husband, adult son, etc.: Screwdriver kit, office supplies, photo book, magazine subscription, pocket knife.

Which Wrigley gum would YOU most want in your Christmas stocking?

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  1. Hmmmm. I’ve never had a stocking. I’m just now realizing the terribleness of this truth after reading your post. I do make the kids their stockings but I’ve never had one for myself. I WANT A STOCKING!! I have been cheated out of a quality life.

    1. That is the best part! I love the surprise aspect. It gets harder within my family because we’re all scattered but I have many fond memories.

    1. Me too! And stockings have always been really fun for me. Now that Santa doesn’t do mine, as well as my parents, Cassidy does! And we all know he’s full of surprises.

    1. Stockings are way cool! It took me three times to type that out because my kitten kept stepping on the space bar! ha! I think she likes your photo.

  2. Hi Tamara, I was bought up the same. Santa filled the stockings and the presents under the tree (which we open after dinner) are from family and friends. I am in the process of collecting small things to pop in the stockings and always battle for things for my son (girls are so much easier to get nicnacs for), I quite like the idea of popping a voucher in his stocking!


    1. Yes! It’s a really fun idea! It always feels like cheating a bit because in my family we open stockings first, so if you get a “real” gift in there, well.. it’s exciting!

  3. Isn’t it funny how even mundane little things become exciting presents when they are in a stocking? My in-laws used to put an orange in the toe of each boys’ stocking, so it held its shape. And a quarter. Always a quarter, even long after a quarter could buy much!

    1. That is so cool! I used to see little oranges at the tops of stockings. The toes would be awesome. We used to be allowed to open our stockings at 7:00am, but had to wait for everyone else to open presents.

  4. So, I had to laugh when I went through your list by age range. So many fantastic inexpensive gifts…and a Kindle for the adult female! Though I love the idea of a Rubix Cube. That may just have to make it into T’s stocking this year. (Plus, you always have the best socks, so getting socks from you would be a treat!)

  5. My husband and I were just talking abut stocking stuffers for the kids. We are probably going to to put workbooks in thier stockings since they both really love Kumon workbooks.

  6. The dollar store is always a great place to find little gifts to fill the stockings with and I love shopping there. It’s also a great place to pick up wrapping paper although I didn’t do them this year but I might need more so might take another trip. BTW those are AWESOME stocking stuffer ideas.

  7. We have a Dollar General across the street from my church and I am constantly running over there to grab stuff. They’ve got great stuff!

  8. I could have used these ideas when I was looking for a gift exchange gift today LOL I would be happy with any flavor of gum that is blue 🙂

  9. Lately, I’ve eaten more gum. I never considered it for a stocking stuffer though. I’m sure it’s a great one since you know it’s something that people will use. I love your stocking stuffer ideas.

  10. Honestly I think the Christmas stocking is the best part of Christmas morning. Baileys and Coffee aside. It’s like a little treasure hunt! My mom used to follow this guideline of what to put in it, and then always had 2 clementines in the toe. I still do that, but just about anything can go into the stocking. Usually a treat, a toy, something they need, something fun, something silly — they absolutely LOVE getting gum. Its’ crazy how crazy my kids go for GUM! ???
    And my husband and I just do stockings for each other, and usually save the rest of our money for either a romantic trip, or something we need for the house.
    One of my favourite things to get in my stocking? Canadian Moose Droppings!!!!
    LOL – it’s chocolate covered almonds with a hint of maple syrup. I am not THAT moose crazy. 🙂

    1. haha! Moose scat! Yummmmy.
      So as a kid we were allowed to opening our stockings at 7:00am, and then had to wait for everyone else. Torture! Although it’s still like that even though I’m a grown-up and I can make my own rules!

      1. There’s “squirrel nuts” too — chocolate covered cranberries! ha.
        And we do the same thing here too. Stockings first, a bit of quick breakfast, then we always read the Christmas story, and then the gifts. Then food, again. Food again will pretty much the recurring theme of the day. 🙂

  11. I love stocking stuffers! And I miss them a whole lot too. After we found out that it’s our parents who placed stuff in our stockings and not the actual santa, I think we never had it anymore back home. This reminds me to do it again this year for Reiko!

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