Divas on a Dime: The art of the well-stuffed stocking

Many families I know are cutting back on holiday spending this year.

One idea I’m seeing is buying one large gift for the whole family, like a vacation or one big-ticket item like a large screen TV. But for the enjoyment of opening gifts on Christmas day, they plan on making the most of the traditional stocking stuffed with small gifts. What fun!

So often stocking stuffers are an afterthought, just small inexpensive trinkets purchased at the last minute like candy and plastic toys. But for a smaller celebration, stocking stuffers should be just as thoughtful as gifts you ordinarily plan on giving. Just smaller.

When we say, “It’s the thought that counts” the key is that you need to really think about your recipient. What do they enjoy? What do they need? The best gift is one where the recipient feels seen, loved and appreciated.

Here are some ideas to help inspire you and narrow the search.

For the Girly Girl. Fancy bath soaps, lip balm, lipstick or gloss, essential oils, nail polish, single-use facial masks, costume jewelry, dry shampoo, nail art set, eyeshadow, blush or contour palates, beauty blender sponge, tweezers, Velcro rollers, eyelash curler, disposable make-up remover cloths.

For the Foodie. Pure maple syrup, a good bar of chocolate, tins of sardines or kippers, tubes of pesto or tomato paste or anchovy paste, a small tin of caviar, bottles of unusual hot sauce, wine stoppers, pineapple corer/slicer, k-cups, a tea infuser and loose-leaf tea, digital meat thermometer.

For the Guys. Swiss army knife or multi-tool, a good pen, a wristwatch, a small flashlight, wallet, travel mug, beard grooming kit with moustache wax, a flask, cigar cutter and butane lighter, electric screwdriver, cozy scarf, tie bar, personalized keychain, tickets to a concert or movie.

For Babies and Toddlers. Finger puppets, children’s flashlight, sidewalk chalk, light-up bouncy ball, toddler silverware set, bath color tablets, bath toys, board books, mini etch-a-sketch, slippers, shapes letters and animal flash cards, large sized crayon sets.

For the Kiddies. Lego mini sets, bath crayons, bubble bath, Hot Wheels cars, a yo-yo, a super-bouncy ball, glow sticks, battery-operated toothbrushes, silly straws, PEZ dispensers, temporary tattoos.

For the Techie. Cool little USB thumb drives, desk cord organizers, batteries, phone case, travel cord roll, selfie stick, portable charger, flash drive key chain, earbuds.

For the Artist. Washi tape, mini hot glue gun with glitter glue sticks, watercolors, blank pocket notebook or journal, calligraphy pen, mini canvases, sharpie set.

For the Traveler. Sleep mask, ear plugs, personalized luggage tags, travel adaptor for electric plugs, filtered water bottle, portable blue tooth speaker, headphone audio splitter.

FREE gifts. Write a letter to each family member telling them why you love them and collect them each year. “Gifts of your time” gift certificates, something homemade by the kids, make “get out of chores” coupons.

These gift ideas are so handy, whenever you find these items on sale grab a few and keep them for year-round gift giving. Perfect for birthdays, housewarming, hostess gifts and all the celebrations of our lives.

Frugal Festivity contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog – www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.