Stocking Stuffers from A to Z

Christmas is coming - and if you're one of Santa's chief stocking-stuffers, then you're probably already starting to wonder what on earth to fill those socks up with this year.

I teamed up with Guilty Chocoholic Mama to bring you this handy list of ideas...

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‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas
and all through the house,
all the creatures were stirring
(including a mouse!)

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that the mom would stick something clever in there...

...which is where this alphabetical assortment of items comes in!

A little over a year ago, my life perked up considerably when I received a blog comment from Elizabeth over at Guilty Chocoholic Mama.

She cracked me up right away by sharing that she had been shouting, "Me, too!" the whole time she'd been reading my post, which led her to turn all blog-stalker and follow me via every vehicle possible (except anything smartphone-related, because, like me, she was still muddling through life with only a dumb phone!).

Of course I had to immediately go and snoop around her site myself, at which point I started shouting, "OhMyGoodness, she's so right - Me, too!" after practically everything I read.

Thus began a fabulous friendship - and I'm just so very thankful she took that courageous first step and reached out to me, because she has been such a blessing to me ever since!

How can you not love someone who brings treats like these into your life?

One of those "Me, too!" moments came when we both discovered our love for playing The Alphabet Game.

Elizabeth and I decided to play this game over email - sending messages back and forth over the next few weeks and getting to know each other, along with sharing our answers for our first game topic, "Stocking Stuffers."

(Our second game topic was "Names I'd never name a daughter," which was pretty hilarious, let me tell you!)

We finished up our stocking stuffer game just in the "Nick" (get it?) of time on Christmas Eve - each sending off our final letter's answer as we were walking out the door for church that evening!

After much back-patting for totally rocking our game and finishing before Santa landed on our doorsteps, we agreed that we'd actually come up with a list of some great ideas - and some really unique things to stuff a stocking with!

Naturally, we realized that we couldn't just keep these brain bursts to ourselves and we decided to share them with all of you!

Remember, we took turns with each letter - so you'll probably notice the two distinct "voices" in this list (Can you figure out which one of us started the game off with "A?")

You'll also notice that neither of us can merely make a list, so there's plenty of what we call "icing" for each letter, as well.

So, here you go, 26 A to Z ideas for stuffing all those stockings in your house:

(The lists are the same on both blogs, but we each wrote up our own intro - and even though I haven't read it yet, I can pretty much guarantee hers will be brilliant!  Click on over to her page after you finish reading everything here!)

A is for aftershave

You can't go wrong with this classic!

Notice I said “aftershave” and not cologne?  That’s because for every year of my existence, this is one item I have got to give to my dad and he cannot stand cologne! This gift is also pretty much my only chance to give my dad something “wild,” because his Christmas list always consists of the following:  brown socks, black socks, brown belt, black belt and those little plastic wallet inserts that hold your credit cards. Every. Single. Year.

B is for bobby pins 

This photo has the wheels of my brain turning - a bit of modeling clay and hot glue to create them, perhaps?

Because although I have bought approximately 10,000 of these necessities of long hair and ballet buns for my girls, on any given school morning at 6:13 a.m., how many do we still actually have in our possession (including the ones under the couch cushions)? Three. We have three. If we're lucky.

C is for chocolate 
This is one tasty brand G has stuffed my stocking with in recent years.

Now, I'm not saying this means there won't be other chocolaty food items on the list later, but I just think chocolate deserves its own mention.  I mean, I'm writing this post with The Guilty Chocoholic Mama, for goodness’ sake, so this is just a given, right?  But this chocolate refers to just plain chocolate and not some nut/creme/caramel-filled concoction. I'm talking about some fancy-schmancy bar from deep in the the mountains of Switzerland or something.  Deliciousness like that deserves its own category, dontcha think?

D is for deodorant 

What we use here at the Healy house.

It's not only adolescent boys who smell, er, "pungent." Dancing daughters do, too. As well, my mom was a firm believer in and practitioner of practicality in stocking stuffing. As adult children, my siblings and I still get family stockings, and my favorite item is the roll of heavy-duty blue paper towels my dad throws in, which I ration all year. Which reminds me: will my current roll last until this Christmas? Must conserve.

E is for Etch-a-Sketch! 

This one would slip easily into a stocking!

The one I got in my stocking was keychain-sized, but I'm pretty sure they have versions that are a bit larger than that, but still small enough to fit in a stocking. Your crew might not be into etching a sketch themselves, but at the time, I thought it was a fun trinket to get and would often fiddle with it while waiting for something, since I kept it in my purse.

F is for flossers or floss-ups or whatever you call those preloaded dental floss picks

Gv's totally getting a pack of these in her stocking this year!

A package of these is definitely going in my husband's stocking because in the category "you know you've been married a long time when..." he puts one out for me every night when he gets one for himself. I guess you could say dental hygiene is one of our love languages.

G is for gum

I don't even think they make my beloved Carefree anymore. Sniff.

...which, nowadays, I don't really like to chew.  But it was always a big thrill to find it in my stocking back in the day.  And it always had to be Carefree (sugarless) pink gum.  Yes, pink was the flavor, which was technically labeled as "bubble gum," but let's be honest and just tell it like it really is - that the very specific taste of this flavor can only be described as Carefree pink!

H is for Hershey's kisses

Have you tasted these yet? I've dubbed them the turducken of kisses.

The milk chocolate version, because even though it is common-folk chocolate and not some fancy imported Swiss deal, I still love it. I think the kiss shape makes it taste better or something.

I is for ice skating stuff  

What? You don't have an ice skater under your roof? Pick whatever you do have, then!

Anything ice skating (and small, obviously, because it has to fit into the stocking) goes here.  In years past, this has included ornaments (lots and LOTS of ornaments - have I mentioned we have a skating tree?), jewelry, keychains or anything else random that happens to have something skating on it (these things are hard to find down here in FL, let me tell you!), new laces, gloves, get the idea.  (I'm afraid this idea is not going to be very helpful for most households out there in the world, but it is an extremely important one around here!)

J is for Jello cups

Evil plastic cups

You know those individual evil plastic cups filled nothing more than red dye #5, cherry "flavor," and artificial sweetener? Yes, my middle-schooler loves these wicked things, and I am That Kind of Mom who buys them for her for after-dance late-night snacks.

K is for Kit Kats

I like 'em in any flavor!

K is so easy for me, because one of my must-have stocking items is a whole bunch of Kit Kats!!!  Mmmm, I love those things...

L is for lip balm

I've never tried these, but I'm hoping one's in my stocking this year!

A staple item along with water and toilet paper in this house of estrogen. My girls and I are pretty addicted to the fabulous flavors and fun shape of Eos, but I'm also good with the 2-for-$1 grocery store regular version, which is a little bit vanilla-y.

M is for music CD

I think I have every year made of these CDs!

...and if it's MY stocking, then I know it will be the latest WOW hits CD - I think I have them all since the beginning of time.  They're pretty much the best bang for the buck, in my book!

N is for Nutella & Go cups

Are you a Nutella freak, too?

My girls discovered these for their dance studio gift exchanges last year, and I know my Anna would love one in her stocking this year. Lydia loves the idea of them but is not a Nutella fan. Oh well...she might get one anyway, 'cause they're the perfect stocking-stuffer size. Ooh, then I can eat hers. Genius.

O is for orange

Yay for Christmas shopping in your own pantry!

...because although I've never really taken part in that particular St. Nicholas tradition, we do usually happen to have a bag of clementines sitting on the kitchen counter due to their rock-bottom prices this time of year.  Shopping for stocking stuffers from stuff we already have around the house?  Yes, please!  That makes my hermit heart very happy!

P is for pens

My favorite pen (& they're super-cheap, too!)

Along with mechanical pencils, these are one of the currencies of middle- and high-school life. And we always have a zillion around here...except when someone actually needs one. At which time we have none. I like to get cutesy versions from the dollar store for my girly-girls.

Q is for quiet books  

You can read all about one of my favorite quiet books here!

The first thing I thought of for this letter was Q-tips - not just a plain pack, but one of those fancy make-up packs that have one flat side and one pointed side.  But then I remembered all the cute quiet books that I've seen floating around the interwebs and I'm choosing that, instead.  

R is for razors

I am in denial that I will ever be stuffing Gv's stocking with these!

Sorry to be boring and possibly horrify young mamas with the thought that their littles might actually have to shave someday, but razors are a hot commodity around here.

S is for socks  

I've crocheted (& re-crocheted) G a pair of socks like these each year...maybe this year's version will actually fit!

Who doesn’t like getting fun socks in their stocking?  I actually have 9 pairs to jam into Gv's stocking this year, because they're great fillers and also because her feet just exploded in the last few weeks and are already creeping dangerously close to her mama's clown-length hooves...

T  is for toothpaste/toothbrush

This is one of Gv's favorite things to find in her stocking - she's gotten one every year!

To complete the dental hygiene package I started with “F.”

U is for underwear  

Maybe I could get these and it'd make up for never getting the underwear that's fun to wear back when I was a kid!

I always secretly longed for some Underoos in my stocking, but I never got them.  Just had to imagine myself decked out in Wonder Woman undies in my mind…
Now, Christmas stocking underwear isn't just your everyday white variety - it is most likely purchased all on its own and not in the package of 6 or 8 like everyday underwear is (at least in my house) and does not have any type of fruit on the label...

V is for Vandoren V12 clarinet reeds

I wonder if G would like the saxophone version of these in his stocking?

Here, I am admittedly going with something that will only help a very small percentage of the world’s stocking-stuffers. But I am a clarinet mom, so this is my "v" choice. In the clarinet world, reeds are the Holy Grail of all supplies. Clarinetists are always looking for The One that will do everything they want it to do, every time. It is well known that in a box of 20 reeds, 2 might be "good." When you find a "good" one, you put it on your list of "stuff to save from the house if it ever catches on fire." After much trial and error (and weeping and gnashing of teeth), my high-school clarinetist has settled on this make and model of reed. All of which is just to say that she would be very pleased to find these in her stocking.

W is for water bottle  

These are our favorite water bottles, but so far, I haven't found them for the rock-bottom price we got our old ones for.

We're always on the hunt for good water bottles around here, so finding one that is not only stainless steel but has openings that are easy to clean is quite an accomplishment.  I found a 3 pack last year of these great skinny bottles that just fit perfectly in each of our stockings.  I've kept my eyes peeled for new ones for this year, but alas, I feel our dented beauties will need to last another 12 months.

X is for xantham gum

No gluten-free issues here, either, but it certainly is common these days! Hopefully this will help!

This powdery substance that looks nothing like gum is used to mimic the chew-enhancing powers of gluten in gluten-free baking. A small container would be a great stocking stuffer for anyone who does very much GF baking. But my main reason for including it on this list is to avoid copping out with “x is for extra” anything.

Y is for Yo-yo  

Go with a classic

Even though Gv isn't anywhere close to being ready for this toy, I have been anxious to stick one in her stocking since her first Christmas a few years ago.  It, along with a harmonica, were two of my favorite stocking stuffers to get, ever.

Z is for zipper pull

They've got a zipper pull for just about any subject. I'd choose skating, of course, but this one would be great for a Gilmore Girls fan - do you know why?

Ours cannot be the only house in which pulls come off zippers on a maddeningly regular basis. Coats, backpacks, hoodies, etc….all frequent victims of zipper-pull malfunctions. Without question, somebody whose life I oversee needs one of these in their stocking.

(On the other hand, if all the zipper pulls in your house are behaving, go with a Zero candy bar.)

Can you think of any must-add items to this stocking stuffer list?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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