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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.
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.
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.
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.