Every 24th of December, those who celebrate Christmas engage in the tradition of hanging stockings from a mantle of shelf in hopes that when morning comes, St. Nick would've filled their stockings with a number of gifts. The types of stocking stuffers vary, but generally speaking what's available to you if you'll be playing Santa come Christmastime comes down to a few select categories.
Toys & Candies
The age-old stuffers of choice of Santa that's sure to please kids come the morning of the 25th. You're limited by the size of the stocking, so toys larger than your fist are better left for under the tree. The toys of yesteryear are one idea: yo-yos, tin toys, small windup animals, Silly Putty eggs and mini-figurines fall into this category. Another is to stuff the stocking with more contemporary toys: small LEGO building block kits or travel-sized versions of popular board games such as Monopoly, checkers or Scrabble. Look for local candy makers to find sweet treasures and fill the stockings with handmade goodies.
Most stores offer gift certificates or gift cards in any amount. Using these as stocking stuffers practically guarantees that your loved one(s) can purchase what they want from their favorite stores. Certificates can usually be used online as well. If you go this route, be sure to find out if the certificates have expiration dates---most do expire after one year.
T-shirts can be folded and rolled to make it easier to place them inside stockings. Since it is winter when Christmas rolls around, stylish thermal socks to keep your loved one's feet warm can be balled up and stuffed down into the stocking. Some hats, skull caps, beanies, scarves, gloves and sunglasses are all small enough to be stuffed down inside a stocking, leaving room for other items like candy or gift certificates to be given as well.
Gags & Miscellaneous
Depending on your loved one's sense of humor, gags may bring a smile to his face Christmas morning. Gags might be ill-advised for little ones who might think Santa's playing a cruel joke on them, but otherwise, fake old- age pills (actually candy for adults) or "gross" candy may be suitable. Otherwise, collectible coins from the U.S. mint or collectible postal stamps that increase in value over time can become fun keepsakes.
- "Christmas Ideas: Make Good Cheer!"; Mary Engelbreit; 2001
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