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s/o stockings: how "gifty"?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
What is the tone of stocking gifts in your house?

For children, it's generally toys, candy, new markers. But, for adults, what do you do? In my family growing up, adults - and teens - always had practical things like a nice lotion, chapstick, batteries, socks, new underwear (ok, typing it out makes our stockings look really wretched!), kitchen towels, bungee cords, orange work gloves...

My first boyfriend in college was appalled when I bought kitchen utensils for my mother's stocking. In his family, stocking gifts were things like silk scarves and uber-expensive chocolates. (We were of similar social class, so it wasn't like his family was wealthy - mom teacher and middle management dad.)

So, what is it like in your family?
post #2 of 28
Well, pretty much all our gifts are utilitarian around here but stockings are almost always socks, toothbrushes, small chocolates, maybe a cd.
post #3 of 28
I'm with you....small gifties, chapsticks (the nice ones, like Burts Bees), deck of cards, candies, magnetic fridge clips, nice-smelling soaps, a small puzzle...silly things, often from the Dollar Store. We don't have the money to do it the way your first boyfriend did it. Even if we did, we'd probably still keep the gifts small in nature.
post #4 of 28
I buy way too much and go overboard, but the kind of things that go into adult stockings from me:

Tape (one year, I gave dh a roll each of electrical tape, duct tape, box tape, and masking tape)

Chapsticks, lip balm, etc.

Guitar strings & picks

Soap (dh loves pine tar soap)

Replacement razor blades

Eyeglass cleaning cloths/solution
Eyeglass repair kit


Candy (just loose stuff...icy squares, jelly beans, mini candy canes, etc.)

So, yeah - it's mostly little items and/or personal care stuff. In general, I consider anything worth more than about $10 to be an under-the-tree gift, not a stocking stuffer (guitar strings are one of my few exceptions to this rule).
post #5 of 28
We had a range of stuff for adult stockings. Lottery tickets every time. Maybe some costume jewelry, but perhaps diamond earrings (once, from my dad to my mom). Maybe an orange, if someone is feeling old fashioned. Almost always a Christmas ornament or two. New undies. Chocolates. Socks. Soap. Tiny bottles of fancy olive oil or some other cooking treat. Often my mom sticks a $100 bill in there and that's our main present.

I love stockings.
post #6 of 28
It's the one time of year we all get new underwear. When I was growing up, I didn't know stockings came without new panties.

We usually do a little candy, maybe a new novel, playing cards, and other small items and we always stick to useful items too. Nothing expensive though.
post #7 of 28
we always got toothpaste and toothbrush, oranges (probably just to fill space :P) and tapes (old-school), and anything that would fit in the stocking.
post #8 of 28
DH and I don't hang up a stocking for ourselves - so that solves that!

post #9 of 28
We all get oranges at the toe. Grown-ups get things like lotion, soap, chapstick, etc. and candy And kids get little toys, tooth brush, DD gets hair things, etc. My family always had the tradition of "chairs" which have taken the place of any "present" like things in the stocking. We always got a pair of PJ's, a book, a stuffed animal and hat/gloves set out in their own space. Stockings were mostly candy, an orange, and a few little things. This "chair" thing is a bit of a debate with me and DH, he doesn't like it, and thinks it's just more stuff to buy. It's part of my family tradition, and we've done it the past 6 years. Anyway, I digress
post #10 of 28
We have a tradition where we do an orange, an apple, some nuts and a candy in the stocking. Then they'll get a couple little things. I think DS is getting hotwheels and a toothbrush. DD will get playdoh and a toothbrush.

DH will get something he needs that he wouldn't buy himself but isn't really a 'gift' socks or underwear or gloves.

No clue what I'll get, last year I got knitting needles (the cheapie ones from WM)
post #11 of 28
orange, apple, sometimes nuts, chocolates. Then after that, it's anyone's guess. In our family--far flung as we are--we send stocking items to each other along with the other gifts. I agree that anything over $10 is generally an under-the-tree gift; I try to keep stocking gifts well under $5, just cause it really adds up otherwise. this year for dd1, I have a wind up Santa, a Hello Kitty luggage tag, a small zipper coin purse...then whatever shows up from aunts and uncles. Haven't done much with dh and dd2 yet. I'm sending glow sticks for the nieces and nephews.

I adore stockings. Would probably give up the rest of the gifts just for the pleasure of a well and imaginatively filled sock on Christmas morning.
post #12 of 28
A mix for the kids - utilitarian (aforementioned stuff, hand cream, hair clips, etc.) and the odd non-immediately disposable toy (eg. a miniature plasma ball, travel Connec 4, card games).
post #13 of 28
We have fruit, (always an apple and an orange in the bottom) candy, chapstick, and random stuff like $5 gift cards to Starbucks, gloves, slipper socks, a deck of cards etc. Occasionally something like a bracelet or necklace (not fine jewlery, costume/everyday stuff) or a cheap watch. Never gotten underwear, though, come to think of it, my dad and brothers usually get socks and boxers. Weird double standard there.
post #14 of 28
No gifts, just a little candy and some fruit.

I over did the gifts for the kids the first year I did stockings and have now scaled WAY back to just candy and other special food (dh will get some oyster crackers, which he loves) and maybe one small present.
post #15 of 28
I didn't realize growing up how much work and effort (and money) my Mom put into our stockings...they were all physically small things but not necessarily inexpensive things. Often chocolate or nuts, toothbrushes, maybe some underwear or mitts or gloves, a lottery ticket, a magazine or two, fun school things like nice pencils or once I got a stapler shaped like a turtle, that I still own, and other things that escape me at the moment. And now that I'm an adult (and for my parents they always did it for each other), always booze of some sort! A nice bottle of beer like a Guinness, or my Mom often got a small bottle of Baileys, etc.

My husband's family is much more on the 'things I may have collected from the kitchen last night' spectrum, with nuts, gum, chocolate, oranges, and all individually wrapped.

Now that we have our own family we're somewhere in the middle of these two. And we do the alcohol thing as well. I like to hunt down my husband's favourite imported beer. I often shop for my husband's stocking items at the grocery store, my daughter's at the dollar store, and maybe one or two things a little higher end -- a small hand tool or something of that nature. It can really add up fast if you're not careful though! But stockings are my favourite part too, so I like to make them creative.
post #16 of 28
We had a lot of practical things like the OP, but also a few more "fun" gift-y items. Nothing too expensive - stocking stuffers were always cheap so the "real gifts" could be more elaborate. But things like a gift card to a bookstore, inexpensive jewelry, small decorations, etc.
post #17 of 28
Stocking gifts for men arfe impossible, but I would usually put some tool he wanted, a nice pen, some candy, chocolate covered coffee beans, a gift card,

my xh never did stockiongs as a kid so he would fill them with expensive stuff. he hated that I put candy in them. Dude, thats what they are for. As a kid we have the bioggest apple and orange my mom could find (seriously she would visit more than one sho looking for something head sized, i mean we had apples or oranges every day, it ain't a gift if it ain't comicly ginormous) nuts and candy with a few small silly things thrown in.

my kids still get nice stockings. I think I went way over board this year...but I can always wrap something up and pout it under the tree. we do stockings on St. Nicholas day instead of Christmas. So they each got a cheap cross necklace (they wear their good ones to school and in the shower etc and it is killing me to think of them losing them. So cheap ones for every day and their good one for Sundays and special occaisions....), some small icons and other little icon things (religous things as well), candy (chocolate coins and a few other things), a couple of little goofy toys, and a starbucks gift card (tradition LOL )...hmmmm well maybe I did not go too overboard. There are some books. I haven't decided if I will give them those for Christmas or with their stockings .
post #18 of 28
For adults mostly do "small indulgences" - the vodka-infused olives, fancy hot chocolate, etc. My husband is opposed to the practical stocking stuff (I'm not, but I get his point). I pick them up as a part of our grocery budget through the fall so even though they probably add to up about $50 total the cost is spread out.
post #19 of 28
I'm not aware of any adults who get stockings. Maybe this is regional?

As far as kids go, I don't like giving dd much candy because she'd be a mess, but I don't ban candy so she gets a little. But it might have (for example) books, maybe a magazine with puzzles or something, markers, bubbles, some kind of crafty things, fun soap for the bath, a fancy toothbrush, slippers, etc.
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I'm not aware of any adults who get stockings. Maybe this is regional?
I think adult stockings started in my family when I was about 7. Everyone chose someone else's name out of a hat and filled that person's stocking the following year. I may have started it. I was the only grandchild, and the only one opening a stocking...and I may have thought that was unfair or something. It may also have been associated with me figuring out - for sure - that there was no Santa. And it may also have been associated with my grandmother making some beautiful stockings. And, finally (yes, this all happened the year I was seven), my aunt married someone Jewish, and my grandparents may have filled a stocking for him - because he'd never had one before or something like that. So, if Uncle S. and the 7-year-old got one, why not everyone else? That was my seven-year-old reasoning. And Uncle S. dressed as Santa that year (yes, he was large enough ). He gave me the chocolate gold coins, which I kept for several months, until a friend of mine convinced me that there was chocolate in there. Of course, for telling me that - and being right, she made me give her half of the chocolate.
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