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The stockings were hung by the chimney with care….

December 1, 2012

Years ago we happened upon a Victorian tradition for filling Christmas stockings:

Something to eat

Something to read

Something to play with

Something they need

So simple and so beautiful.  Plus, limiting four things for each stocking saves a lot of money and a lot of time, but does not sacrifice on significance.  We have seven children, so it is helpful to have a plan for stuffing the stockings!


Here are some ideas:

Something to eat:

  • Favorite fruit
  • Favorite candy
  • Individual box of cereal (a real treat because our family doesn’t usually eat cereal)
  • Gift certificate for burger at In-N-Out or drink at Starbucks
  • Cupcake or big cookie
  • Dried fruit or nuts

Something to read:

  • Pocket Bible
  • Magazine
  • Puzzle, Sudoku, or brainteaser book
  • Write and illustrate tiny little books for the little kids
  • Prayer books (use a photo album and fill it with pictures of family, friends, and heroes of faith along with inspiring Scriptures and prayers)
  • Audio books
  • Used classic book
  • Favorite nostalgic picture book for an older child or adult
  • Personalized calendar


Something to play with:

  • DVD
  • Paper dolls
  • Little wooden cars
  • Travel games
  • Classic toy such as yo-yo, tops, pull toys, slinky, marbles
  • New crayons, colored pencils or markers
  • Juggling scarves


Something they need:

  • New toothbrush
  • Sewing kit
  • Mittens
  • Lip Balm
  • “Fun” Bandaids
  • Fuzzy socks or leg warmers

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose…

(Linked to Tiny Tip Tuesday)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2012 3:41 am

    I use this idea for all their gifts. 🙂 grandson was not so happy with ‘need’ bit when I gave him socks ! LOL..

  2. December 3, 2012 10:45 am

    Reblogged this on familyfrugalhome and commented:
    I love this idea from The Provision Room! I already decided on 3 gifts under the tree, but never know what to do with the stocking stuffers!

  3. Anna Evans permalink
    December 26, 2012 2:01 pm

    That is a really cool idea!

    P.S. I love those pictures they are so cute.

  4. Natalie permalink
    December 14, 2013 12:56 pm

    I have heard of using that method for Christmas gifts too. Do you have a tradition or budget or way to manage the gift giving for your kiddos?

    • December 14, 2013 1:15 pm

      We’ve done different things in different years. Sometimes we do one big or significant present for all the children to share. One year it was a wii. One year a shofar. 🙂

      Then other times we get one present per child, aside from the stocking which contains the four things. For us it isn’t about the number of presents or the price, but on the meaning of the thing for that particular person.

      We have our children pull named among themselves. This keeps that manageable as well. So, each child isn’t trying to buy seven other gifts. In years past it was just TOO MUCH. Here we were telling them Christmas wasn’t about the gifts and yet we had gifts (often cheap, junky ones) coming out our years as each child bought for all their siblings. Now they draw names and it’s been much better, with them being able to afford and focus on one quality thing for one person.

      Another thing we do is save up all our credit card reward points throughout the year (we use credit cards and just pay them off each month, just so we can rack up reward points) and spend them at Christmas. We’ve purchased a lot of our Christmas gifts this year with points.


  1. Preparing Our Hearts and Homes For Christmas! (Helpful links!) | The Provision Room

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