If you have a bunch of folks on your holiday gift list, you know how fast even small items can add up. This year, why not stuff a stocking for each person on your list instead of buying a gift that needs to be wrapped?
First, you need some stockings. You can get inexpensive ones at the dollar stores – and you just saved money for gift wrap and a bow besides.
You also can make your own stockings, if you want. Better Homes & Gardens has a bunch of ideas.
Whether you buy them or make them, there are lots of fun and cheap things with which to fill them. Here are some ideas:
We browsed a Dollar Tree store and found tons of fun things. And everything really costs only $1.
1. Scented candles, votives and tea lights are perfect for decorating or setting a mood.
2. Got a budding little cook in the family? How about a child-sized apron and pretend cooking pots and pans and utensils.
3. Or maybe you have newlyweds on your list. Make a bouquet of great kitchen tools, like hand graters, spatulas and rubber scrapers. Colorful hand towels, dish cloths and oven mitts also make good stuffers.
4. Get a pack of dice or playing cards and teach kids some old-fashioned games that predate hand-held devices. Or how about a yo-yo? Or an activity book with puzzles and games? And did you forget about silly string? Or bubbles – what kid (or adult) can resist a bottle of bubbles?
5. Crafters on your list? We found glitter and glue, beads and feathers, stickers and so much more. Not to mention an array of things you can color (including poster-sized images) and things you can use to color them (pens, markers, etc.). They even sell generic craft dough for would-be sculptors.
6. Tiny toys might delight some kids – everything from matchbox-sized cars or motorcycles to miniature baby dolls and Disney figurines.
7. Know someone who likes fun socks? They have oodles of them, from funky patterns to cartoon characters. Nearby, there are mittens, gloves, hats and scarves. And there was quite an array of hair accessories, from barrettes and bands to scrunchies and bows.
8. Check out the tons of books for babies through adults. And for young students, pick up some fun flash cards or other educational toys.
9. If there’s a feline or canine on your list (or someone who loves them), check out the fun, colorful leashes, dishes and toys for pets. Treats, too!
10. For the home, we found picture frames, calendars, refrigerator magnets with cute and funny sayings, clip-on book lights, mini flashlights, soap dispensers and soap dishes (frogs and dogs and sports themes). Some fun toothbrushes are sure to get youngsters brushing regularly.
More than a dollar
A visit to a Big Lots store netted a treasure trove of slightly more expensive items but with a broader array of possibilities.
11. How about buying some batteries to go with all the remote control cars and toys that require them (but don’t come with them) so they actually can be used on Christmas Day? You can get good deals on multipacks.
12. For that seasonal hot chocolate or tea, you can find pretty or fun mugs (flowers to Snoopy) for about $3. You can get packets of flavored hot chocolate mix at the grocery store for less than a buck apiece.
13. They had Minnie Mouse and princess-themed nail polish and other little girls’ cosmetics for $1.
14. In toiletries, find colorful net body scrubbers or exfoliating gloves for less than $2. Or check out the Frozen or Trolls body wash for kids ($!).
15. For the handyman (or woman) of the house, we found work gloves for $1.50 to $3 and tools at $3 to $7. Who can’t use a utility knife around the house ($3)?
Of course, there’s always Wal-Mart and Kmart (if there’s any left in your town), and Target has a new mini store up front by the entrance that always has rally cheap goodies, like packs of colorful pencils for $1.
We also found knit “trapper’s hats” (with ear flaps) for everyone from little girls to grown men for $3. And we also found Vivitar earbuds and screen protectors for $5. And what kid wouldn’t want a “Finding Dory” color sheet complete with markers and glitter for $1. Check it out
The whole idea is to get creative and find little treasures for each person. You never know when your video-game-addicted nephew might get hooked on his yo-yo!