Stocking Stuffer Stumper…Solved?

For the most part, I have a lot of my Christmas on a schedule.  I’m very thankful for that schedule this year especially because of my lack of energy and brainpower during this part of my pregnancy.  I mentioned in my goals post this month that I really wanted to enjoy this particular season, and if there is a way to streamline something in order to de-stressify it, I am all for it.

I love the little poem that has been passed around the last few years (or maybe it has been longer) for parents purchasing presents for their kids (but really, it has helped me in years past when I blank on my own Christmas list).

Something you want, Something you need

Something you wear, Something to read

And since this was so helpful to me in years past, I thought, “Why not try something similar to help with stocking stuffers?”  You see, stocking stuffers are the biggest bane of my Christmas existence.  After sorting out all the Christmas gifts and the wrapping and the food and the decorations, this one little extra just taunts me.  I almost completely forget it every year, and when I do remember, I am racking my brain, trying to think of something to fill each stocking and stay within my overall budget.

This year, I think I found a solution.  By using a similar poem to the one above.

Something to try, Something to buy

Something to eat, Something for feet

Let me break this down a bit.

Something to try – This is what I call the “sample size” portion of the stocking.  Maybe it’s a beauty or skincare product that you think one of your family members will enjoy.  I noticed that Ulta has a lot of these available this time of year (not sponsored), and the shelves right before the Sephora checkout always have some good travel goodies (again, not sponsored).  One suggestion is the facial sheet masks that seem to be really popular this year.  There is an excellent brand I have used before that has one, and I’m willing to bet my stocking will include a sample of this particular mask in it.  I also shared some beauty favorites in June that could also easily fit in a stocking and a budget.

But it doesn’t have to be beauty related.  Mini-coloring books or little puzzles can also fit into this category.  Some hobbies, like cross stitch or crochet, can have smaller projects that you can fit into a stocking for a beginner.  Or even just a small mini-game or pack of cards.  Anything that you think the person in question might enjoy, especially if they have never tried it before.

 

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Something to buy – This one is pretty simple.  Gift cards are the perfect size for a stocking.  And it doesn’t have to be a whole lot!  I know that most Christmas budgets don’t leave a lot of room for stockings, so a five dollar gift card to Starbucks in each stocking may be all that’s needed.  Or you can just put money in their stocking.  You can even fold it into an origami heart or Christmas tree if you are feeling really creative.

Something to eat – This can be as lavish or simple as you want to make it.  Traditionally, at least in my family, an orange at the bottom of the stocking makes for a good morning snack while waiting for others to wake up.  But you can also add their favorite candy or Christmas treat.  Lindt comes out with bags of individually wrapped candies that are really good.  I saw these Godiva dessert truffles that are also individually wrapped as well, and you can’t go wrong with Godiva in my opinion.  You can divide them among stockings or simply get one bag for each person of their favorite flavor or brand.

Something for feet – A few years ago, I was hosting Christmas at my house, and I included footsie socks, or non-slip socks, in the stockings for my mom and sister-in-law.  They were perfect to wear on a cold Christmas morning, or even throughout the rest of the winter season.  And this year I thought, what can fit more perfectly into a stocking than socks?  And what other time of the year do we ever get around to buying socks for ourselves?  And they don’t have to be the fuzzy, non-slip kind.  It can be themed socks, like a superhero or whatever show your family member is into.  It can also be plain socks (because let’s face it, sometimes we need a refreshed set).

So this is the poem I’m using this year to navigate the dreaded stocking stuffers. What I like most is that I can use this, again and again, each year.  Just one more thing I don’t have to stress about so that I can enjoy the holiday season even more!

Do you have any traditions when it comes to stocking stuffers?

I also wanted to let you know that I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  These are all things I have used or would purchase personally.  Thanks!

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Since I shared some of my Thanksgiving decorations, I thought I would share some of my Christmas decorations with you too.  I’m just going to share my mantle, which holds some of my favorite decorations, both old and new.

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My oldest decorations on the mantle are the Coca-Cola bottles that I collected between college and when I got married.  My dad’s side of the family lives in Atlanta, the home of Coca-Cola, so it’s a reminder of my roots.  Plus, the company makes adorable bottles for Christmas.

The puppet is our fifth anniversary gift (which is wood) from Italy.  I bought it while we were in Rome.  It’s usually on the mantle all year, but it’s red and green, so I thought it could stay up for Christmas.

The candle, I made this year with my mom at Thanksgiving.  It is made from sheet music from an old, falling apart music book that used to belong to my great grandmother.  I’m so glad we could re-purpose the music sheets in such a beautiful way.

The countdown is the newest decoration to my collection.  We got it on sale at Michael’s this year.  I’ve always wanted a countdown of some kind for Christmas, so I was pretty excited when we found a cute one for such a good deal.

The stockings that are hung by the ‘chimney’ with care (okay, by the gas log fireplace with a small flue) are from Hobby Lobby.  I am a huge fan of plaid, especially at Christmas.  And I love the matching dog stockings as well!

How do you decorate for Christmas?  Do you put out the same decorations every year, or does it depend on travel, hosting, or busyness in general?

Do you have any special decorations?