Imagine this. It’s Dec. 20, and you’ve purchased all of the gifts — plus you've assembled and wrapped them. The end is in sight, and you can sit back and watch your favorite holiday movie while drinking a glass of wine for the next four nights.
It sounds amazing, right?
But then you remember you forgot about the stockings.
Stockings should be the easiest, but they are often put off until the last minute. So your kids end up with junk and trinkets you’ll spend the next few months trying to get rid of. Instead, try useful gifts. Here are a few of my favorite things to put in stockings.
1. Hit up the dollar aisle. My 3-year-old is obsessed with stickers and there are tons of those to be bought for $1 each in the dollar bin. Winter popper toys were also in my local Target store this week, and there are lots of coloring activities as well, which are perfect for trips or restaurant activities.
2. Games. So many card games are inexpensive and can easily fit in a stocking. Also, I saw this week that a grocery store was selling travel-sized versions of games such as Battleship and Connect 4.
3. Little trinket items and toys. For the girls, you could get some nail polish, earrings (stick on or pierced) and hair accessories. For the boys, get some Hot Wheels, superhero figurines and Lego people can add to their collection and still bring excitement.
4. Books. Chapter books can easily fit into your child’s stocking and is a win-win for everyone.
5. Gift cards. My daughter is getting a Kindle Paperwhite e-reader for reading this Christmas, so an Amazon gift card to accompany that would be perfect. My kids also love gift cards to coffee shops so they can pick out a treat (aka a cakepop) once in awhile.
6. Art supplies. Gel pens, markers, glitter, washi tape and more are all fun stocking stuffers.
7. Bath bombs. Enough said. Other fun bath items are glow sticks for a glow-in-the-dark bath and grow sponges that turn into different animals.
8. Personalized 'thank you' notes. Let’s be honest, any way you can get the idea of writing thank you notes into your child’s head is a win.
9. Treats. A favorite treat is always something easy to add if you’re short an idea.
Overall, anything that isn’t something I want to throw away immediately is a shoe-in for me.
And while this list is only helpful for your kids, don’t forget to stuff your spouse’s stocking too. Oh, and the dog's, the cat’s and, well, probably your own. Hint: It’s an easy way to get coffee and some gummy bears — guilt free!