Thrifty Gifts for a Child's Christmas Stocking
Spending money on stocking stuffers for children might seem wasteful, especially if the budget is tight. Buying lots of small things just to fill a stocking up feels like throwing money away on junk.
Kids often have too much STUFF already and consequently, their rooms are a mess. Adding more little stuff- just for the sake of filling a stocking, especially if there's already not enough money to stretch to the end of the month, would be foolish.
Need some ideas for stockings? As you wander through the stores, everything may seem like "wasteful, earth damaging, space taking, money draining junk." Here are some useful suggestions that you'll find affordable but still fun for the kids when Christmas morning comes.
Look for consumables, things you already need, things that will be used up.
How Many Stockings Do You Need to Fill?
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One of my favorite Christmas memories is reaching my hand down in that stocking and the long journey up to see what surprise awaited me! It was never anything grand or expensive but it was exciting all the same.— Sarah L.
Ideas for Inexpensive, But Not Junky Stocking Stuffers
- Small value gift cards for a frosty or an ice cream cone at a fast food place
- Lip balm or bubble bath
- An apple, orange, or some nuts in the shell, like walnuts
- Bandaids with a fun design
- Hair accessories
- New box of crayons
- A jump rope
- Bath crayons
Put a Baking Mix in the Stocking
Even More Ideas for a Child's Christmas Stocking
- A small flashlight
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Inexpensive gloves or mittens
- Cute socks for school
- Snack-sized bag of chips
- Card games
- A card promising an activity like a visit to the library or to the zoo
- Make a coupon...stuff like: mom or dad will do one chore for you, stay up 30 minutes later, you pick dinner on Friday night (at home), you choose the movie, etc. You can even do multiple coupons and staple it into a little booklet.
- Food items that they might not get often that seem like a luxury (a clementine, an apple, and instant oatmeal, granola bars, and a juice box)
Stocking Stuffers - Not Junk
Additional Ideas for a Kid's Christmas Stocking
- Simple art supplies like chalk or paint, an eraser, or colored pencils. Add rolled up printables from the Internet to color
- Batteries (to go with some gift they are getting or something they already have)
- Scratch-off lottery tickets
- Hair brushes, combs
- Fancy hot cocoa packets
- Little notebooks
- Unfamiliar candies or snacks from ethnic grocery stores
- A coupon for an outing or activity of their choice for a one-on-one date with each parent.
- Coupons for a meal of their choice, or an hour of gameplay of their choice, or a living room picnic on a rainy day, or a popcorn and chocolate milk for dinner plus a movie night.
- A letter from Santa in an envelope letting your children know how wonderful they are or a letter from you telling them how proud you are of them
- A Betty Crocker cookie mix-- sugar, choc chip, and snickerdoodle with a cookie cutter.
Put Together an Easy Activity Kit
Stockings were always one of my favorites too. My parents felt that if we were up early we were allowed to open our stocking without them. And my mom wrapped every single thing in the stocking, I think to buy herself a little extra sleep time, LOL. I remember my sister and I getting up early, grabbing our stockings and bringing them back to our beds (we shared a room) and opening them together. I loved it.— Elizabeth E.
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We fill each other’s stockings with slips of paper with words of encouragement, appreciation, and memories. Then on Christmas morning, we read them and create a paper chain that sticks around through the new year. It has become a pretty special tradition!— Alex Jacobson
Questions & Answers
Is it cheating to get really small Christmas stockings for your children? I'm on a tight budget.
Sounds like a good solution to me to save costs on filling a child's Christmas stocking. Browse back through my suggestions and you'll find some no-cost ideas for filling a stocking. Also, shop at yard sales and thrift stores for a few 25 cent items to serve as fillers.
© 2017 Virginia Allain