In my family we’ve given up on Christmas gifts for adults – there are just too many of us sitting around the tree on Christmas morning. Instead we’ve chosen to focus on giving to the kids. Except for one holdout: stockings. All of us, adults and kids, hang stockings on the mantle on Christmas Eve. It’s a tradition we all love – but buying three to four stocking stuffers for each person in the group can get expensive. Which is why I try and keep each item under $10 to stretch my budget.
Here are just a few ideas to that might help you fill your stockings on the cheap – and avoid useless chachkas that end up in the trash on Boxing Day. Feel free to share more in the comments below.
Accessories: Every year, I snap up funky little scarves, bracelets and other cute accessories at places like H&M or the dollar store. I found a scarf for my sister for just $5.95. And I also picked up pretty hairpins for my young niece to wear at Christmas dinner – a bit of bling for a mere $4.95.
Kitchen gadgets: From measuring cups to milk frothers, there are lots of inexpensive kitchen goodies that fit perfectly into a stocking. I found a handy paring knife on sale for $5.19 – who doesn’t need a good knife?
CDs with your personal music mix: For next to nothing, you can make CDs of your favourite music to share on Christmas morning.
Notebooks: I always carry a notebook with me – I use it for grocery lists, personal thoughts, sketches and work ideas. You can get great notebooks for just a few bucks at art supply stores or even your local dollar store (wrap it up with pen and call it an inspiration kit).
Preserves and jellies: Put them in small jars and wrap them in tissue paper – a perfect stocking stuffer that can be enjoyed once the holidays are over.
Framed photographs: I’ve said before that in this electronic world we live in, a lot of people don’t bother printing their photos. It makes for a bare mantelpiece or fridge – so print out your favourite photos and share them with family as a stocking stuffer.
Chocolate: We’re all feeling overstuffed with candy and cookies during the holidays – do we really want to get even more of it in our stockings? I say it depends. For example, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a Terry’s Chocolate Orange in the toe of my stocking – or a few Quality Street candies. Traditional treats like those help keep me fueled up until turkey time.
Gift cards: $10 can buy a couple of lattes or an album on iTunes so why not throw in a little gift card from Santa? They’re easy to wrap and always appreciated (nothing like a free coffee to get you through the first week of the new year).