Alright ladies and gents, we are down to the last week of shopping, runs to the post office, and pre-Christmas parties. Now, it's time to fill those stockings! Nowadays, SMALL is the NEW big, so you might just outdo yourself with the little things that come to mind!
Stuff your stockings with more than just candy! Try these 20 useful stocking stuffers that will be much appreciated. Sometimes, you don't have to go through a list of 100 stocking stuffer ideas when these few things can get you right on track. Some of these may be practical and repeated, but they are affordable and much appreciated. Whether it's for your dad, mom, children, or grandparents, check out some ideas I've come across and selected below.
Stocking Stuffers for Dad
Striker Magnetic LED Light Mine- This is essential for dad when working on the car late at night, or if he is stuck on the road. It's good to have an extra light that can be of service while he's able to work hands-free.
Kikkerland USB Hubdog- Talk about functionality. This multiple port can solve his device hook-ups at the same time. No more worries for him at work, or at home as he is able to adapt just fine.
MagnoGrip- This stuffer has some great features holding screws, scissors, and small tools. A one size fits all magnetic wrist that will assist him in home improvement, DIY projects, and woodworking.
Aspire Survival Pocket Tool- At a glance, this item may just look like a cut-out card, but it sure serves a purpose. This survival tool includes a can opener, knife edge, screwdriver, ruler, cap opener, 4-position wrench, butterfly screw wrench, saw blade, direction ancillary wrench, 2-position wrench, and key-chain hole. It's exceptional for traveling, and those rare camping trips.
Purse Hanger- These accent, foldable table hooks are so cute. Every woman can use one of these when going out to brunch, dinner, events, or relaxing at the bar. She doesn't have to worry about her belongings since it's right in front of her.
Romantic Comedies- We are suckers for romantic comedies, so why not get mom a collection she can enjoy. There's always time for a relaxed, movie night.
Chevron Scarf- Something to keep her warm, and is super stylish is a keeper. These soft cotton, cantina sheer infinity scarves are quite fashionable, and goes with just about any outfit. Chevron prints are trendy, and will last throughout the spring and summer season.
OPI Trend on Ten Mini Kit- This holiday collection of nail polish will keep mom fresh with her mani and pedi's. She gets to choose from a variety, and will probably have a few favorites by the end of the season.
Bath Bombs- End this wonderful holiday with a fizzy lush bath. Mom will have an option of 6 all natural assorted essential oil bath bombs. She can now enjoy a pure, luxurious bath!
Stocking Stuffers for Kids
LEGO Super Heroes- Small LEGO boxes can brighten up a kids face. Their excitement to build something is priceless, especially when it involves a superhero.
Play-Doh- Let the kids get creative with this Play-Doh Case of Colors. They love to smoosh, squish, and squeeze things into place for some reason, so let them have fun with it.
Fruit Snacks- These are a great addition to stocking stuffers. It's always nice for them to find a little treat they can snack on it while going through their gifts, or keep them energized on Christmas morning.
Creative Design Mini-Multicolor pens- Kids are so attracted to vibrant colors especially when it comes to gel pens. They would love this for writing little notes to their friends, or for drawing.
Plastic Rainbow Spring Slinkies- Kids have learned to enjoy these classic toys as we did when we were little. I even have one at home in my office, and it definitely relieves some stress. They can slip their little arms through it, or slink it back and forth.
Stocking Stuffers for Grandparents
Felt Ornaments- These crafty appliqué frame ornaments are wonderful stocking stuffers. Grandparents will love, and cherish these year after year.
2. The day after Thanksgiving, take a family outing and get your tree! Even if you don't (or can't) have a real tree where you live, opt for a little day trip. In our neck of the woods, we have Apple Hill. It's a great day to get some apple doughnuts and enjoy the company of family.
3. While you are outdoors, and live near snow, take the time for a snowball fight or build a snowman!
4. Decorate the tree! Make it a family affair. Everyone can help. Rotate each year with who in your family gets to place the angel or star on top of the tree.
5. Make popcorn tree garlands. Have you ever done this? They can be simply made with a thread and needle, and popcorn. You can even color the popcorn if you want.
6. Have everyone write a little something to add to your family letter that you can send out to friends/family to let them know what you were up to this last year.
7. Have a cookie making day! Invite the neighbors, or have friends over and have each person bring the ingredients to make their favorite holiday cookie. At the end of the day, everybody takes home a selection of cookies. What a way to share recipes and the work to create a variety of holiday cookies. You can also choose to do a Gingerbread house making party instead - each person bringing some decorations to use and share.
8. Sing Christmas carols. Have Christmas music playing on the way to dropping off the kids to school. Sing in the car!
9. Plan ahead for your annual holiday party. Maybe you can do a potluck style of appetizers and have each person bring something to share.
10. Make a personalized ornament each year to hang on your family tree.
11. As a parent, be sure to either buy or create an ornament for each of your kids so that you can pass them down to their family when they move out of the house. Grow their collection as they are growing up.
13. Make it a tradition to watch a movie on Christmas Eve. It can be classics such as It's a Wonderful Life, or animated classics like Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.
14. Open your stockings first before any gifts are open. I LOVE opening my stocking and remember as a kid, getting up in the middle of the night to see if Santa had come yet. Mums the word, but my sister and I would dump out our stockings in the middle of the night before our parents were even up. :-)
15. Be sure to take family photos throughout the entire month. If you incorporate some of these traditions, there are plenty of photo opportunities. Don't be in such a rush that you don't document your family history!
8. My ability to exercise. As I'm getting older, and feeling older, I appreciate the fact that I can still exercise. My dad recently told me of a tragic accident where a young 20-something was in an accident and is now paralyzed from the neck down. His church took up a collection special for this family as the medical bills are outrageous. It makes one stop and and thank God that you can walk, let alone run. While I may groan and moan about exercising and how hard it is to take weight off, I should be singing praises that I can exercise and sweat.
9. Silence. I know this may seem odd, but I thank God for silence. I truly enjoy the peaceful sound of nature, and not added extra noise. I am thankful for sleep. Not that every night is sound sleep, but I love sleep and wish I could get more of it. I know that I am not a regular meditation do-er, but I consider my drive home in silence part of my meditation ritual.
10. The outdoors. I love everything there is about the outdoors. I love the flowers, the bees, yes even the mud after a rainstorm. I love sandy beaches and the snowy mountains. There is something so peaceful about the outdoors and if I could, I would spend my working hours outdoors instead of in front of a computer screen.
11. Weather. We are lucky to live in an area that really does have all 4 seasons. I love the spring for the humming of the birds as we hike. I love the color of the leaves during the fall. I'm a heat lover, so I'm a fan of the hot summers. And while the winter is probably my least favorite season, I do love having the fire in the fireplace at night to heat the house.
12. The sky. I am a sun worshiper. Well, since melanoma skin cancer, I wear sun screen ALL the time, but I still love the sun. I love the heat. But I love, just as much, the cold nights where you can camp outside and watch the stars. When you can sit in front of the campfire, and see your breath as you breathe. And who doesn't love the clouds!?!? Nothing is better than those puffy shapes as they cross the sky.
13. Food. I love food. At first I was going to be smart and say 'enough said'. But that doesn't give enough credit to how much I love food. I love cooking new dishes, using ingredients from my garden. I know my husband would prefer for me to stick with say the best 10 dishes we both love, but I love to experiment. Sadly, he will just have to put up with my trial and error as I create both good and not so good dishes.
14. Traveling. I guess in some ways this leads back to #8 and my ability to move around, but I'm so thankful for the opportunities I'm given to travel. This last year I took a special 2.5 week trip with my sister to Spain. I'm thankful that my husband took care of our house and our chickens while I was away. And even more thankful that I had such a supportive husband who agrees to such trips. :-)
I hope that my last week of being thankful inspires you to stop and think about the items on my list. I would love to hear how you are blessed by any of this last week's items!
Christmas time can be expensive. Trailing off the heels of Thanksgiving, comes Christmas shopping and other holiday meals. Sometimes you need to tighten up the purse strings to meet your budgetary goals, it can feel a bit disappointing to not be able to buy the gifts you would normally like to give.
The value of a gift, however, doesn't necessarily equate with a dollar value. Try these 10 small ideas for NO COST gift giving to both friends and strangers at the holidays.
1. Write a letter or send a card to someone you love. Tell them what they mean to you and maybe even include some highlights of the best memories you have with them.
2. Call someone. Is there someone you've not spoken to in awhile? Reach out and just say hello. Ask them how they are doing and wish them a happy holiday.
3. Give up your time. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Help organize the can/food drive at work.
4. Remember it's not personal. Christmas time can be stressful to some, and for others, it can bring up sad memories. If you happen to be on the receiving end of someone being short with you, remember, you don't know their situation. Turn the other cheek and just move on.
5. As you plan your holiday meals, remember those who might be eating alone. Ask them over to join you and your family. They may not be a close friend, but you could sure make their entire Christmas by asking them to join in on your family fun.
6. Smile. It's as easy as that! Be sure to smile at those around you. Take the pressure off a potentially stressful time of year by just being pleasant and sincere.
7. Say thank you. Going along with the sincerity of #6, it goes a long way to others if you show your appreciation. Don't forget to thank those strangers who may hold the door open for you as you race inside from the bad weather.
8. Participate in "Pay it Forward" initiative. Rather than feel obligated in purchasing a gift at the holidays, create a web of connection with others by suggesting that you will send something at some point during this calendar year - anything from a book, a ticket, something home grown, homemade, a postcard, absolutely any surprise! There will be no warning, and it will happen when the mood comes over you when you find something that you believe would suit them, and make them happy.
9. Make home-made gifts. Most of us have supplies laying around the house to make something! Even for those of us who are not the sewing, hands-on type of creative artists, can make home-made gifts. I dried herbs from my garden this year and they make plentiful home-made gifts. I also have a library of cookbooks and plan to write my 12 favorite recipes out to give as a calendar of sorts.
10. Be an anonymous giver. Do you know someone who could really benefit from any of the above ideas? Leave a surprise note to a child telling them they are doing a great job on their efforts at school. Or leave an anonymous home-made gift on someone's door step and make their whole year!
Think outside the box of ways you can give during this holiday season. I would love to hear about your ideas?!
If you haven't already, it's time to start checking off your naughty and nice list. Whether you're working with a budget, browsing for gifts can get you a little tense, as well as bumping into the hectic crowds at the stores. Planning out your lists, setting your budgets, and choosing your stores can lead you to buying the right gifts. And we all know that this time of year, there are just so many items to choose from.
1-Make the List
Determine who will make your list. This will make your shopping much easier. Just think of it as a grocery-shopping list. I usually include immediate family (my daughter, husband, nieces and nephews, and mom), given the circumstances that my siblings and I only buy mostly for the kids since us adults can afford our own gifts. And it saves us on extra expenses, too.
Now, what about friends, co-workers and bosses? You can definitely add some of these people to your list, but this is the easy part. Getting together for a pre-Christmas party, and doing a gift exchange is always nice. You only have to buy one gift. My friends and I try to get together every year for a white-elephant gift exchange. It's great entertainment, and you're relaxing with awesome company, great food, and drinks.
After you've got your list, it's time to:
2-Narrow it down
You want the gift to be thoughtful, so categorize and narrow it down to what these people are currently, and actually into. For example, if they are big techies, get them something useful like a USB Port with multiple plug-ins. Just because they are big techies, doesn't mean you can't be frugal and find cool items. Or for kids, Frozen characters, and various Superheroes capture their little hearts. You can find many items related to these under $30.
Now, it's time to browse and ease your wallet. I did most of my shopping online (about 95%), and received them all within a week. Your delivery time may depend upon which company you're ordering from, and some may even have the option of store-pick-up.
3-Set a budget and choose 1 Main store, and 1 Online store
I've only spent an average of $210 on gifts so far, which is not bad at all. But, never forget yourself! This allowed me to splurge a little on myself, and completely filling the empty space under my tree. I hope you all can take these 3 simple tips, and use it to your advantage. It definitely helps and limits the overwhelming holiday shopping, researching, and excessive spending.
Now that you're done gift guide planning, it's time to shop for these hot items! Check out what to grab for the budget I've listed above on my 2014 Christmas Gift Guide post.