I absolutely love Christmas stockings and all of the joy that they bring, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite ideas for this sweet fireside tradition!
Annual Felt Stocking Patches
One idea that I had this year that I’d love to start is giving each of my boys a big, blank felt stocking and a bunch of felt squares. Each year, they could create a new “patch” for their big felt stocking, depending on what they were excited about that year. Maybe it would be a football patch, a Minecraft creeper or a Batman logo. Every year we could sew their new patch onto their big felt stocking, until it was covered in memories and uniquely theirs!
The Stocking Ladder
For those of you that may not have a fireplace hearth to hang your stockings on, or for those who would rather NOT dangle a bunch of fabric so close to an open source of flame, consider a wooden ladder! Ours is an old bunk bed ladder that was no longer being used. This option keeps your stockings portable and won’t put any holes in your mantelpiece. I love this option because we use our fireplace regularly. I didn’t want to have to move all the stockings every time I wanted to cozy up by the fire. Now I can just quickly move them off to the side, easy breezy!
Stocking Stuffer Ideas
I have three BOYS, so my list below is a compilation of things I’ve done in the past for them.
- A roll of Road Tape – make your own roads!
- G.I. Joes (unpackaged)
- Their own personal local library card!
- Magnets – hours of fun.
- Mad Libs
- Bike pegs – they can transport a friend!
- Glow-in-the-dark or LED plastic bike spokes
- Silly straws
- Silly string
- Silly putty
- Back scratchers
- Mini pocket knife – for older kids
- Magazines & books
- Candy – of course!
- Sports cards
- Pokemon cards
- Hot Wheels track pieces
- Clip on bow ties
- Small lock and key
- An annual Christmas ornament
Stockings for Mom and Dad
Although the stocking tradition is primarily for our kiddos, it’s always fun for mom and dad to find something tucked away in their stocking too! You can keep it extremely simple with just one small item that you know your love would love like a pair of cozy socks, a book they might enjoy, a box of their favorite hard-to-find tea… just a small gesture to say that you care and you were thinking of them too.
The aftermath of all of the stockings being torn into can be… a total mess. Usually, all three boys have gotten a lot of the same items in their stockings, so one helpful tip I’ve learned is to LABEL everything right away. Put their names on ALL of the things, so that the “No, that one is MINE!” arguments are kept at bay. Also, give each kid a small plastic tote (with their name on it) to help keep all their items organized. My kids’ stockings tend to become a semi-permanent ‘catch all’ bag that they tuck away in the dark corners of their rooms if I don’t give them something else to store it all in right away!
Dollar Store Shopping Spree
For your older (or younger) kids enlist their help! Give them a few bucks and let them pick out some fun items for their sibling’s stockings at the dollar store. This is always a fun way to include them in on the fun and excitement of gift giving. Often they come up with the most creative ideas that never would have crossed your mind. Last year our youngest got oodles and oodles of scotch tape in his stocking because he was just completely obsessed with taping things, dangling toys from tape and setting up secret tape booby-traps in all his brother’s bedroom doorways. I never would have thought of the idea, but one of his brothers came up with it in a heartbeat. Needless to say, it was a big, sticky hit!
I’d love to hear from any of you out there who have fun Christmas stocking traditions or ideas. How do you make it fun and unique for your family?