I remember rising early each Christmas with my younger brother and tip-toeing to each other’s rooms so we could dump out the contents from our homemade stockings together. Then we’d go around the upstairs, knocking on bedroom doors and hollering into vents to let everyone know that it was Christmas.
After several rounds of, “I know! It’s too early! Go back to sleep!” my brother and I would return to one of our rooms so we could play with our new things while we waited for everyone else to wake up.
As a child, I absolutely loved receiving those stockings at Christmastime and now that I fill stockings for my own children, I’m always on the lookout in December for fun stocking stuffers that won’t clutter up our house! After a few years of experience at clutter-free Christmases, I’d like to share some of my tips with you.
Stocking Stuffer Tips for a Clutter-Free Christmas:
1) Have one big item.
By big, I don’t mean expensive. I mean physically large. That way one item will take up a good portion of the stocking 🙂 Bubble bath, a book, or a box of candy all make good “big” stocking stuffers.
2) Focus on consumable items.
Things that can be used up then thrown out like lotions, bubble bath, crayons, or fun food make great stocking stuffers. Those items help people have fun and enjoy their gifts without the items becoming permanent fixtures in our houses.
3) Keep the recipient’s tastes in mind.
Stocking stuffer ideas you find online can be fun and helpful, but don’t feel like you need to buy the conventional stocking stuffers that are mentioned on those lists. Get creative and think about things the recipient would enjoy!
4) Stay within your budget.
I’ve filled entire stockings for as little as $5.00 per person when money was tight. I’ve also spent as much as $40 for one stocking on years that we’ve went all out – and the $5 stockings have been just as well received as the $40 one! Sometimes it truly is the thought that counts.
5) Consider whether stockings are really necessary.
If your kids get stockings from you as well as from grandparents or other relatives, if they’re just not that into stockings, or if you’re on a very tight budget right now, then consider cutting out stockings altogether this year – just make sure to sit down with your kids in advance and let them know what to expect.
6) Browse the internet for ideas.
Even though other people don’t know our family members like we do, we can still get really good ideas from other people’s suggestions! So do a google search for something like, “Frugal stocking stuffer ideas” to get your wheels spinning! You can also check out my own stocking stuffer & themed gift ideas here and here.
7) Don’t panic at the last minute.
Christmas will be here soon and it’s tempting to panic and run to the store grabbing stuff just to fill a stocking. Resist that temptation! A stroll through the Dollar Tree may be helpful in finding some consumable items, but most people will enjoy a stocking that contains a few thoughtful gifts much more than they’ll enjoy a stocking that’s filled to the brim with trinkets.
So there you have it – seven simple tips for creatively and frugally filling clutter-free stockings the recipient is sure to enjoy!
What kinds of things do you like to give or receive in stockings?