It doesn't have to cost a lot, and it can be the thing you do first thing Christmas morning, since technically Santa would have needed to get there to fill them. But appreciation for all those goodies can tend to get lost when there are all those other boxes to unwrap. If that's your scenario, I think they're best opened when the spirit is high but you have a little quite time to enjoy each little item, like Christmas Eve, when people are itchy to open something. I could easily give up gifts altogether, but not the sock!!! It has great potential to sustain the magic of Christmases past and present.
My mother saved all the little scraps of wrapping paper from bigger gifts and used those to wrap each individual thing in our stocking. You may not be up for that, but it's worth it for the recipient, as each item coming out has added mystery. I'm just sayin'...
I try to personalize a few items to each person, but then there are categories that are good for everyone: some kind of toys and candies -- mandatory! Other categories: -- office supply stuff, beauty and grooming, health/vitamins, hobbies. Go to a store that carries any of these things -- a hardware store, an game shop, a stationery store, a 5 and dime, a drug store -- look for small items, and see what you find. The hunt is so much fun. And wear a Santa hat, because you'll have plenty of ideas in no time. TIP: Look near the cashier, as the things positioned there to tempt "impluse buys" are often perfect for a stocking.
Some delightful toys mentioned below can be found at most ToysRUS or local drugstore but they are also offered at Restoration Hardware.com or CLICK HERE TIP: Let your fingers do the walking first if you are short on time. Call ahead to the store, even ask them to hold it for you if you'll be coming that day.
Rubics Cube $14.99 ON SALE for $9.49
Slinky $8 (ouch!) ON SALE for $5.49
Harmonica ON SALE for $5.99
Also look for snow globes and tiny wind up novelties.
Flavored Cocoa: Grocery stores can carry individual packets of fancy flavors perfect for a stocking in the coffee/tea aisle.
GOT A HEALTH NUT? How about granola bars? A bag of tamari roasted almonds? Packets of flavored Emergen-C (found at most vitamin shops and helathy grocery stores)? Ginger candies? A small jar of exotic honey or cashew butter? There may be single service protein shake packs for the body builder. And Paul Newman's Own makes a ling of organic chocolate bars and carob treats.
Champagne stopper-THE BEST -- You can seal a newly opened bottle and open it two weeks later as if it were the first time. No more wast of expensive bubbly! Take this picture to your local fancy housewares or liquor store to find or buy at Amazon for New Years too... CLICK HERE
More to come! CLICK HERE for Part Two and HERE for Part Three. They only get better!!!