I love anything and everything about Christmas. All of it. But in regards to the actual gift portion of it all, stockings have been my hand down favorite for as long as I can remember. I was happy they came first Christmas morning and always took my sweet time opening it to make it last longer.
It's a simple joy that I don't think everyone quite understands or appreciates.....but damn it they should!!
|Rockin' the local radio station shirt, PJ style|
My broski inlaw grew up in a religion that didn't celebrate Christmas. It wasn't until he began dating my sister that he would celebrate it for the first time. I didn't know this at first, but I specifically remember the moment I found out. The first words out of my mouth were "So you've NEVER had a stocking before???" With my mouth gaping open in disbelief. Not "so you've never had a Christmas tree?" or "what are you most excited about?" Nope. My mind went straight to the sock and trying to wrap my head around the thought of living 30 years of my life without one.
As you can see this is serious shit in my world.
As much as I love opening them myself , I think I might love putting them together for others even more. My deep love for stockings can definitely be attributed to (Spoiler alert: it's not Santa) my mom. She always put so much time and effort into them and I took notice of it. She wrapped almost everything in them. Every chapstick, box of candy, toothbrush, even our cotton pads for our face were wrapped tootsie roll style and tied with curly ribbon. The simple detail of wrapping each individual thing is what has made it so memorable for me. Now as an adult I stuff a stocking for her every year and will continue to do so forever. It only seemed right to turn the tables and now let her be on the receiving end of the tradition she created. Admittedly I've gotten a little carried away with them and they now go WAAAAY past just a stocking. I have to hand her a bag that holds the stocking plus the 4,056 things that don't fit inside. And the bag may possibly weight around 15lbs...give or take. But I just can't help myself! I LOOOOVVVEE it!
So what do you put in a stocking anyway? Glad you asked......
An orange- growing up the toe of our stocking always contained an orange. Once I got older and started stuffing them myself, I have gotten a little more creative and sometimes do avocados. But whatever you choose, a fruit in the toe is a must!
Nuts in the shell- the next layer on top of the orange was some form of nut in the shells. Some years it was just peanuts, other years it was the fancier mixed nuts that you can buy in bulk. You can even go wild and mix the two....it is Christmas after all!
Individually wrapped candies- this is pretty self explanatory. I always looked forward the to Reese's bells, or even better, the Reese's Christmas trees. We also always had a few candy canes hung over the edge of the stocking
Toiletries- every year as far back as I can remember we got a toothbrush, a travel sized toothpaste, and travel sized mouthwash. Some years we got shampoo and conditioner but not all the time. Then as we got older we would get cotton pads for cleaning our face, razors, and shaving cream. Deodorant, body wash, and face soap usually made an appearance too
Writing utensils- we always got new pencils and/or pens and when we were younger we would get fun erasers
Misc items: chapsticks, lotions, loofahs, nail files, emery boards, hair ties, and nail polish
That about covers the items that I would deem "necessary" and can go across all ages. In general I think kids stockings are inherently easier to fill. Small toys, puzzles, coloring books....it's just easier to find stuff . I think people get sort of stuck though when it comes to adults so let me share some of the things I like to use
Snacks: Beef jerky, small boxes of Cheez Its (dollar tree usually has them. They are so much cuter than the small bags because they are an exact scaled down version of the regular sized box), peanut butter cups (not reeses, actual cups of peanut butter), trail and snack mixes, dried fruits, fun cereal, sunflower seeds, popcorn
Coffee and/or Tea - try to get fun new flavors they have never tried before. Bonus points if you get small bottles of flavored syrups
Small functional tools and gadgets- small flashlights, tool sets, keychains, air fresheners, lens cleaning spray or wipes, lens cleaning cloth,
Alcohol- yes please
Makeup and/or makeup removing wipes
Shaving cream brush, after shave, beard wax
Hairspray, gel, dry shampoo
Monkey butt powder
Now that you have been given a decent list to get started, where is the best place to go and get all this stuff?
Dollar Stores- You can check off a massive amount of your list with one stop at the dollar store. In fact, be careful or before you know it you'll be like me and be giving someone a $60 stocking...it's easy to do!
Grocery stores/Pharmacy type convenience stores- these places are great to get the travel size items, but weigh out your options first. Some items you can get at the dollar store in a full bottle for the same price as the travel. All just depends on the look you are going for
World Market- they have a great selection of miniature items! I've gotten small coffee syrups, mini bags of coffee, mini bottles of hot sauce, vinegar, and olive oils, mini cheese wheels, as well as various international snacks
Asian/International Markets- if the person you are buying for is a foodie or even just a little adventurous, these markets are a really fun place to shop for stuffers. You can just browse around and choose the items that jump out at you, or shop the aisles of specific countries that you think they might be interested in. You may walk away with fun new snacks to try or even some ingredients to cook something new. I highly suggest it!
Last but not least, I'm going to close this out with some items that are my top picks for this year. If The Boy is reading this post I"mma need you to exit the page now.
Get out of here man!
Some of this stuff I bought you for Christmas....so go!!
First up is......
The WetBrush- I have crazy thick hair that is super knotty. I bought this brush about 8 months ago or so and it such a LIFESAVER!! I love not having to rip through my hair anymore...it's seriously the best! (HA! if you are still reading this, I made sure the first one wasn't for you)
Metal Straws- The Boy has a weird obsession with straws. Like he will save them from QT and put them in the dishwasher and pull them out to put in our drawer. It's weird. So I decided to get him some metals ones to see how it goes
Frother- I don't know jack nothin about coffee. I like it and I drink it daily.....but I'm talking Kcup, a squirt of Stevia, and a splash of heavy cream kind of coffee. I don't go out for coffee and I don't drink anything too fancy. A few months back when we went on a mini vacation The Boy ordered me a coffee from a nearby cafe. I was like OMG why is this soooo good?? He said they frothed it....that's it lol I guess I am easy to please. So I came home and instantly started looking up frothers. Since I don't know anything about anything coffee related I didn't want to get anything expensive to start, so I got this. I have used it everyday since and I absolutely love it!
Sphere Ice Mold- Great for drinky dranks
Poop Book- I'm on a mission to bring back the bathroom readers. Let's not forget where we came from before phones. Will you please join me in my cause?
Phase 10- I had completely forgotten about this game until recently, but I REALLY want it again! My friends and I went through a real serious phase (merp!) with this game while on a houseboat trip in 8th grade. We were OBSESSED! I have probably only played it twice since then and it was at least 12 years ago, so I'm ready to get hooked all over again!
Well I hope this post was helpful. If I helped one person in this world discover the love that is the Christmas Stocking, then it was all worth it (did that sound convincing?)