Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Stocking Filler Ideas

We don't do Santa Claus, so we use fabric gift bags that we call Wise Men Bags in an effort to keep the focus on the Reason for the Season-the amazing and wonderful gift of Jesus Christ. Filling those bags for everyone in a large family can get expensive fast. We try to fill them with practical things and healthier choices than the traditional chocolate Christmas candies.

Here are some of our favorite items:

nuts (buy in bulk and use small sized snack bags)


pretzels (drizzle white and dark chocolate on them to make them festive; ditto on the buying in bulk and using snack bags)

individually packaged fruit snacks, fruit leathers

pretty pieces of fruit

exotic fruit like star fruit or clementines

homemade cookies

individually packaged granola bars

combs for the boys

brushes for the girls

deodorant for the teens

razors (shaving) for the teens

sample items/snacks we receive in the mail

flashlights with batteries for everyone

homemade perfumed body lotion for the older girls

homemade lip balm for everyone (recipes online are easy to find and make)

fish food for the ones who have fish bowls* in their room

cat treats/toys for the ones who have cats* (that are constantly sneaking into the house)

lip gloss for the teen girl

keychain and a tire gauge for the drivers

sippy cups and toddler sized spoons for our 17 month old

pacifiers for the baby

card games

toothbrush-everyone gets a new toothbrush-great timing with it being in the middle of the cold and flu season

nail clippers-everyone over 5 gets their own nail clippers

pencils and pens with Bible verses or other novelty sayings/pictures on them

a new box of crayons for the younger ones (purchased with school supplies when prices are low)

a water color paint set (the ones found in dollar type stores) for the youngers

glue or glue sticks for the younger ones (purchased with school supplies when prices are low)

various crafting supplies for our creative teen daughter

small books we find in the thrift store

safety scissors for the younger ones

birdseed/treats for Caleb who has parakeets*

We put initials on some items for easy identification.

Any small gifts they are getting that will fit also go into the Wise Men Bags.

*Our children are expected to pay for their pets food/treats/toys with their allowance so they appreciate the food as a gift. The exception to that is that we do buy dry cat food since the cats work on the farm keeping pests away.

A wonderful idea for homemade Christmas gifts is to make your own homemade marshmallows with a toasted coconut topping. Packaged in cellophane gift bags with a festive ribbon and name tag, these are very attractive. You can find recipes online and they are relatively easy to make. Give with a homemade cocoa mix and coffee mugs in a basket. I have found nice baskets in our thrift store for under a dollar and spray paint them (if needed) for gift giving.

No bake cookies are a good gift for busy moms to give too. I also like putting a nice big bowl with popcorn and homemade popcorn seasonings with a good family movie in a basket.

Wise men still seek Him.

"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near." Isaiah 55:6

Don't wait until it is too late!