But now there are stockings looming on the horizon. They are larger and there is a tradition of stuffing them full of candy or really expensive tiny gifts. I like candy just as much as the next person, but between a national epidemic of obesity to include our children and my desire to keep Christmas a smaller financial burden, it is necessary to be little more prudent about what we put into the socks.
Here are my ideas for stocking stuffers to promote less sitting around, less sugar consumption but still keeping the magic and fun in Christmas morning.
Non-food Stocking Stuffers
1. Money in a pretty envelope (or gift cards).
2. Nice pen
3. Tin of Colored Pencils or Watercolor Pencils
4. Pictures of you and your child, grandparents, etc
5. Old fashioned toys: Jacob’s ladder, ball in cup, wooden cars/animals, etc.
6. Small Musical Instruments – harmonicas, castanets, maracas, etc.
7. Water/wind resistant matches
8. Pocket knife
9. Small Wooden Puzzle (this one is SO cool!)
10. Seeds to Plant
11. Small Dolly
12. Doll blanket kit (fabric, needle, thread, adult help)
14. Hair accessories
15. “Grown up” Items – handkerchiefs, wallet, change purse, sun glasses
17. Bike Tire lights
18. Small Poetry Book
19. Chap Stick/Lip Gloss
20. Temporary Tattoos
21. Gift for her doll
22. Miniature version of a favorite TV Character – Disney princess, MineCraft, Paw Patrol, Star Wars etc
23. Coloring book & Crayons
24. Coupons for a special time with mom or dad
25. Coupons to get to choose dinner or another meal
26. Mini Lego kit
27. Little People
28. New Hair Brush/Comb like dad’s
29. New Toothbrush & Toothpaste (make it a fun toothbrush!)
30. Paint brushes
31. Craft kit (Michaels, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn’s all sell these)
32. Movie Tickets
33. Coupon for a free ride to __________. (Wherever it is your pre-teen wants to go, within reason!)
34. Scavenger Hunt instructions to locate a larger gift.
35. Board Book
36. Deck of cards (There are simpler options, but I really like these!)
37. Hot Wheels/Matchbox cars
38. Jump Rope
39. Finger Puppets
40. Bath Bubbles
41. Crazy Socks
43. Mini fishing kit
Non-Candy Food Items
45. Nuts – peanuts (technically a legume), hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, chestnuts (fun to roast in the oven)
46. Citrus- oranges, tangerines, mandarins/cuties
47. Dried Fruits – raisins, apricots, mango, pineapple, strawberry, goji berries, and currants (look for those that are unsweetened)
48. Cookies – yes, still a sweet, but – – oatmeal, gingerbread, sugar, traditional cookies from other cultures
50. Other fruits – paper wrapped pears, persimmons, pomegranates
You have to have a little candy –
Try to avoid –
High fructose corn syrup or its relatives (corn syrup, rice syrup, etc)
Artificial sweeteners (sucralose, Splenda, aspartame, etc)
Artificial Food dyes – Red/Blue/Yellow followed by a number
Preservatives – Mixed tocopherols is ok, it’s Vitamin E!
Artificial Flavoring – it will say, “artificial flavor,” or vanillin (not vanilla)
Things that are ok in moderation –
Good old fashioned cane sugar (we know what it does to us)
Vegetable based food dyes – annatto, beets, purple carrots, etc.
Non-GMO corn starch, rice syrups, etc.
Fruit juice flavorings
Try to look for Fair Trade chocolate – the workers are paid a fair wage and if it is Rainforest Alliance certified the cacao trees are grown to promote local ecological health which in turn provides more stable employment for the workers on the plantations.
Good luck with your last bits of Christmas shopping. Remember to take time to slow down and enjoy the season. My eBook, How to Create a Joyful and Grace-filled Christmas has some great tips and it’s free!
What are you putting in your stockings this year?