Monday, 16 November 2015

Christmas Stockings For The Whole Family

About five years ago I started giving my girls Christmas stockings with bits and pieces and little treats in them.  This was in addition to their other presents they received from Darren and I.  Although we've never done the Santa thing in our home we do call the stockings " Santa Sacks " mainly because they are red.

Two years after the beginning of the Santa sacks I thought it might be fun for Darren and I to get a Santa Sack each.  With trepidation I bought treats throughout the year for both of us with Darren buying a few surprises for me.  After opening them on Christmas morning I asked Darren if he'd like to do them the following year.  Let's just say he was very excited about the idea and a new family tradition was born.

The size of the Santa sacks or Christmas stockings depends on your budget and the size of the treats you put in them.  I originally started off with small stockings because we were on a limited budget and I bought the treats from the $2 shop.

We graduated to large Santa Sacks to fit in a box of cereal and chips etc.  Last year our budget was tight again so I made up some Christmas stockings from a material panel bought at Spotlight the previous year for $1 a stocking.  It's handy to have a few options and sizes depending on your budget. You don't want a sad looking half empty sack under the tree when a smaller bulging stocking would look the part

Here are some photos of the stockings and sacks we use -

The first two photos are of stockings suitable for lollies




Large Santa sacks


Christmas stockings I made from material panels bought at Spotlight for $1 a stocking.




If money is really tight,  a colorful pillow case would make a wonderful Santa sack.  If you can sew,  a couple of pieces of Christmas material bought on sale before Christmas or at the Boxing Day sales will make a very cheap sack / stocking.


To fill the sack / stocking,  I shop all year round to get the best prices and to make my dollars stretch further.  I check clearance tables in department stores,  op shops,  supermarkets in February / March for stationery clearance sales and  shop the Boxing Day sales.  I also check the shops after Grand Final Day for novelty items, and lollies / chocolates.  Easter Sunday and the following few days are a great time to buy all sort of chocolates and Lindt bunnies and half price.

Checking the supermarket catalogues all year round for half price toiletries and lollies will save you a small fortune.

Here's a list of items I've included over the years depending on the age of my girls and the bargains I can find -

Shower Gel - they tell me their favourites
Razors
Little packets of tissues
Hand sanitiser
Hair ties and clips
Packet of chips
Packet of lollies
Box of fancy cereal
Novelty stationery - note pads,  post it notes,  erasers etc etc
Gel pens
Sticky tape - because they are always borrowing mine
Face washers I fancied up - they asked for them
Drink bottles
Bag of share size chocolates
Mini torch
Colorful sports socks
Thongs
Imitation Van sneakers bought in Big W for $4 ( they were a hit )
Travel mug
Glow sticks
Magazines ( sometimes from the op shop )
Deodorants

For Darren and I I've included -

Bags of mixed nuts in shells for Darren
Flavoured cashews ( and plain )
Lindt balls
Colored socks for Darren
Box of fancy cereal if requested
Chocolate and lots of it ( we are easy to please )
Cookie cutters
Shower gels
Scented candles
Craft supplies
Veggie seeds and garden supplies mostly for Darren
Travel mugs
Lynx deod for Darren
BBQ sauces
Packet of chips
Packet of lollies

I've been able to fill a Santa Sack / stocking on a budget of $30,  $40 or $50 depending on how our budget is travelling.  If you are starting out for the first time or your budget is tight,  have a look in your local $2 shop  or op shop.  $10 or $20 could buy a handful of wonderful treats.

14 comments:

  1. Your Santa Socks are very pretty! I also fill Christmas stockings for our whole family in addition to their regular gifts. My husband and I no longer buy other Christmas gifts for one another, but consider a trip, something for the house, etc. our gifts to one another. For our family that is local, we use the same stockings every year which get returned to me to save for next year. My husband isn't much of a shopper, so our younger daughter usually gives him a hand filling mine. Your lists look much like mine. I hadn't thought of chips or cereal---may add them. thanks! Shopping all year long for discounted items certainly helps, doesn't it! I enjoyed your post!
    Elaine

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    1. Thankyou Elaine. Yes, if I bought everything at the last minute I would be paying full price and only buying lollies and chips. Variety is the key to an exciting stocking.

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  2. My children have small stockings and this year they are getting items like bubble bath, a 3 pack of children's dvds (split across 3 stockings!), chocolates, a small pack of lollies each and some snack pack of chips. My oldest is only 5 and we don't usually buy junk food so packets are very exciting to them. That said, sometimes i think the awkward shape of our stockings make them harder to find supplies that are small enough to fit but big enough to make it look full.

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    1. I understand about the stocking shape. That's why we have different sizes as well as the sacks.

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  3. Hi Wendy,

    Great post and timely for this time of the year. We have always given the boys Christmas stockings although up until last year, they only contained lollies. After seeing your Christmas special story last year, i included other things like Matchbox cars, stationery, deo, hair gel and socks etc...
    They loved it!!!!! So this year , DH and I will be also getting a small stocking (probably it will mainly contain Chocolate ) heeee!

    Thanks,
    Maureen

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    1. Love a stocking filled with chocolate !!!

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  4. Hi Wendy! Your Christmas stockings look lovely and im sure the 4 of you love opening them up on Christmas Day. Just wondering what other normal gives you give to your daughters for Christmas? I too, have 2 teenage girls and am struggling with what to buy them this year.. as they get older i find it harder to buy for them. Love your blog and thank you for sharing all your frugal tips and tricks with us all. Kerryn

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    1. It can be harder to buy as the girls get older. I put sheets of paper inside the linen cupboard and ask everyone to write down what they'd like to receive. This helps a lot. They like celebrity perfume and Chemist Warehouse has quite a few on sale at the moment. They like getting furnishings for their rooms like cushions, wall art, hat boxes, jewellery stands etc as well as movie gift cards and phone accessories.

      When they have their own cars I'll buy them picnic blankets, sun visors, first aid kits etc.

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  5. I really like the idea of little treats and practical things. One I love I is the mini packs of cereals as when I was little I thought they were the most thrilling thing! Saving things all year is the way to do it.
    This can also be a whole gift... I'm doing something like this for my niece who is always camping so it's light things that she can take with her, drink bottle, mini torch, snacks, wet wipes etc.
    Yours sound great and very handy too. xxx

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    1. Annabel, I have fond memories of the little cereal boxes too.

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  6. Stockings are such fun! My family has always done them and we refill the same stockings each year. This year our church is filling stockings for a local charity. The church bought the stockings so all would be uniform in size and we have a spending limit so all of the stockings should be similar in value. Each person is supposed to fill a stocking for a person of similar age to him/herself. My husband, teen daughter, and I had a fun time in the dollar store picking out warm hats, useful items, and treats for our unknown recipients.

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    1. The stockings would have been lots of fun to fill.

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  7. Hi Wendy,
    I live in S.E. Queensland and find keeping chocolate bought ahead of time a bit tricky. I'm worried if stored in fridge it may go white or look less than perfect. Do you have any suggestions for storing chocolate?
    Julee

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    1. Julee, I keep my chocolate in the back of the wardrobe down near the floor. It needs to be next to an internal wall, not near an external wall that heats up.

      I have heard of some people freezing chocolate but I can't confirm it's freshness or look.

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