‘Tis the Season
Cheap stocking stuffers your kids (and you!) will love
If you’re like me, the stocking is the LAST item on my list that I’ll attend to, and if you’re also like me, when I wait till the last minute, I usually end up scrambling and filling it with a bunch of crap that the kids don’t even need, want, use or pay attention to. In fact, half of the stuff from last year can probably be found underneath our couch. Hmm … think they’ll notice if I slip it back into their stockings this year?
Here are some unique and cheap items to toss into that sock hanging from the mantel.
An iTunes card is nice, but can you say typical and BORING? Last year, I bought glass stones and painted a lowercase i on each one. I tossed a handful of these glass i iTunes pebbles into my kids’ stockings, each one redeemable for a song of their choice!
Create a mixed CD of songs they love. Think of all the movies they’ve seen throughout the year and create a Best of the Movies CD, or go with tunes from the current artists they like or create a theme CD. Something that will surprise your child when she pops it in and starts playing her new tunes.
Harmonicas, kazoos and mini shakers all make great stocking stuffers, as long as you can stand the music they’ll make. Hey, if you have a stocking, maybe Santa should bring you some earplugs!
Play-Doh at any age is just good, clean fun, as long as it doesn’t get smooshed into the carpet. And have you seen the colors it comes in these days? Bright, glorious fun! Toss in a few of the mini containers and a couple of cookie cutters, and this stocking stuffer will bring hours of entertainment to your little one.
For the creative ones in the family, pads of paper in unique shapes and fun coloring pens, mini sketch pads and oil pencils will spark the imagination of most anyone. Stickers, glue sticks, mini spiral notebooks, a pack of new fat crayons … a blank page is a landscape waiting to be drawn upon!
The retro toys are so much fun, especially when your kid pulls it from his stocking and asks, “What is this?” and you get to explain exactly how cool a Rubik’s Cube was back in the ’80s and how you can actually make one side of it all one color! But remember, it’s a gift for your child, so try not to hog it! Retro Slinkys, Silly Putty, Barrel of Monkeys, even magnetic Wooly Willy will intrigue your child and make you nostalgic! Heck, I can’t wait till my kids pull out their very own Sea Monkey set from their stockings. I could never get those suckers to grow, and now that I don’t have to send away four box tops and $3.95, I can see if they really do work! I bought the kit at Toys R Us! (Secretly this is a gift for moi, but the kids don’t have to know that, do they!)
HYGIENIC ITEMS & “NON-FUN STUFF” TURNS FUN:
What’s a stocking without the requisite hygienic stuff? My kids STILL talk about the deodorants they got last year from Santa … REALLY! Along with the packs of gum and chocolates, sneak in a brand-new colorful toothbrush and their very own tube of toothpaste – they’re much more likely to take ownership of their mouth when they’ve got their OWN toothpaste, don’t you think?
Lip balm, gloss, mittens, tiny bottles of lotion and face creams, a new comb or brush … stuff they NEED but you never find the time to buy for them are great items to include in their Christmas loot. They look at it as a gift. You’re thinking NECESSITY!
And why not go the extra mile and WRAP each item? It’s so much fun to ooh and ahh as the kids unwrap a tube of toothpaste or a stick of deodorant, and come on, you know you’ve got PLENTY of time to do THAT!
Betty’s parenting editor, Stephanie Elliot, overdoes it when it comes to her kids’ Christmas stockings, only because she grew up with parents who didn’t believe in them! Visit her blog at manicmommy.blogspot.com.