Thursday, December 18, 2008

FINALLY!!! Stocking Stuffers (in three parts)

Aaaah, Stockings! My favorite thing. And YES I think grown ups should still get stockings, the bigger the better, and stuffed to the brim. Hopefully the ideas below can be helpful for the 8 days of Hannukah and the gifts given each night too. Depends on your traditions.

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 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.

Tiny Matchbox Music Box: Tiny figurines and scenes are animated. $15 ON SALE FOR $10.49 at Restoration Hardware, all on sale. For their full list of stocking stuffers, CLICK HERE

Magic Eight Ball: Hey, it's as good as any source for predictions in these times! $12 ON SALE for $9

Wooly Willy: You must remember this fun use of magnetization... $7 for stocking size board.

Rubics Cube $14.99 ON SALE for $9.49
$8 (ouch!) ON SALE for $5.49
ON SALE for $5.99
Voice Changer Comes with little clip on mic and speaker the size of a cell phone, you can sound like 9 different voice disguising effects. Needs battery $12 ON SALE FOR $7.99

Also look for snow globes and tiny wind up novelties.

Silly Putty -Still found at most drugstores and certainly at ToysRUS or novelty stores.

Keychains with games -- I've seen these all over, a keychian or pen that at the end has plastic Soduku, or the old game like Operation, etc... It's just for the fun of opening, not necessarily practical.

Celestial Seasonings Teas:
This company makes wonderful teas in bags for the season, with names like Candy Cane Lane, gingerbread spice, Nutcracker Sweet it's a great stocking stuffer. Make a bigger gift of it by packing it in a box with a mug and some honey. They make a nice, mild green tea and my ultimate favorite is their almond tea. They even have African and Rooibos tea. Should be able to be found in any grocery store for under $4 for 20 bags. Just in case --the link CLICK HERE

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

Chip clips - can find at Bed Bath and Beyond, but most houseware and grocery stores.

More to come! CLICK HERE for Part Two and HERE for Part Three. They only get better!!!


AlbGlinka said...

Wow Sydney, this is seriously a lot of work! Why do I feel like Scrooge all of a sudden? I am a total last minute shopper and have pratically no Holiday Spirit as of yet this year, thanks to my wonderful retail job. :-(

My days off start next Tuesday and I hope I can do a mad dash starting then!

I hope you have a great holiday season, it looks like you're off to a good start. What can I say-- maybe next year for me.

btw, I did a RE:Ality TV post on my blog that you will want to read. hugs, Grove

Yolanda said...

I wouldn't mind having some of these in my stocking.

PDX Granny said...

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all your suggestions, Syd! I've had all my shopping completed for a while now, so didn't need them myself, but will certainly remember some of them for next year.

I love traditions, and have some silly little things I do every year. Like toothbrushes in both Christmas stockings and Easter baskets. Santa has also given my daughter a teddy bear every year since her first Christmas 27 years ago. My grandson has received a snowman every year. It's so much fun trying to find a little teddy that will fit in a stocking!

I always have to make a Christmas list. I hate doing it, but can't get away with not. When I was newly single, one of the things I asked for was a big hunk. My best friend took my daughter shopping for me, and came up with a Big Hunk candy bar. Now, every year that's on my list, and my daughter scours the city until she finds one.

Christmas just wouldn't be the same without the teddy bear, snowman and hunk!