By: Jessica DePasquale
I start planning Christmas presents by the end of summer. For me, the best Christmas festivity is buying, wrapping, and giving gifts! It’s so fun to have a secret to surprise friends and families with. For some friends, I know something that they really want - a supply for a hobby or an outfit from their favorite store. But some friends I’m not sure what to get! It’s not that I don’t know much about them. I know them so well that I know they don’t need another sweater, I know they already have a bunch of books on their to-read list so they don’t need a new one, and all my other good ideas, I already got them for their birthdays! So what can I get them?
This year I decided to do something different. I decided to fill a stocking with small but meaningful gifts. This is good for multiple reasons. I love the idea of presenting someone with an overflowing, red and white sock! It will look so pretty without any work on your end. I was also thinking of what a waste of paper Christmas wrapping is. I am remembering our family Christmases where we would fill a couple trash bags full of wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons. Giving a stocking will be economically friendly and your friend could use the stocking for their own presents the following year! Check your old Christmas supplies to see if you have any extra stockings and if not, the dollar store is always full of them!
Here are some ideas of what to put in your friend’s stocking! This would also be a good generic gift for a Secret Santa or a family member you don’t know very well - just throw some small items in the stocking. Be as specific as you want (your friend’s absolute favorite candy) or as generic (candy canes and gifts cards) depending on who you’re giving it too! Everyone will love it!
I love giving homemade jam for Christmas and it has become a tradition! If you make any holiday foods like hot chocolate mix or cookies, you could throw a small container of them into the stocking. You could also add their favorite chocolate or candy - especially for kids. For someone who loves baking or hosting people, throw in a bread or soup mix. Tea and coffee are perfect for the cold weather!
Think about small items of clothing that could be rolled up and put in a stocking. For kids, a fun t-shirt or silly pair of socks would make them laugh. A nice pair of tights or a pair of slippers would be a cheap addition to the stocking. You could also add headbands, jewelry, or even scarves and mittens!
If this is for someone you don’t know very well, think generic. A $5 coffee gift card or a gift card to a gas station would be perfect! If they’re a close friend, get one for their favorite restaurant. Think about their hobbies such as a skiing pass or a gift card to a fabric store. If you are willing to spend more money, you can find gift certificates to a nice bed and breakfast or a spa. For kids, add in a ticket to a concert or passes for an amusement park!
There are so many practical things that many households need. Stick one in there! Pot holders or wooden spoons for any chefs in your life. Cell phone chargers are always handy! For kids, add in fun pens and pencils that they can use at school or a new phone case. If someone just moved into a new house, stick in a small candle, a picture frame, or a household decoration.
Add in Some Christmas!
Think Christmas - ornaments, candy canes, Santa coloring books, a classic Christmas movie, or reindeer shaped cookie cutters!
Grab a couple things from each category and you will have an overflowing Christmas stocking that will surprise your friends and family! For a Secret Santa throw in some candy canes, a gift card, a box of tea, and a pair of Christmas themed socks! For friends and family, be more specific and choose things you know they’ll love. Have fun filling up the stockings!