One of my greatest Christmas joys as a child was waking up to find a jam-packed stocking at the foot of my bed. Apart from the year I turned seven, when I was traumatised that the dog had chewed my last dummy (!!!) and I got briefly distracted by grief before going back to eager excitement. I remember getting older and waking up every couple of hours to check if the stocking had been filled yet, and on more than one occasion bouncing in to my parents at awful-o-clock in the morning.
It was made more exciting because we weren't allowed to open our main tree presents until after the queen's speech, so my brother and I always relished our stockings! (And mildly resented the queen's speech, although that tradition has continued into adulthood!)
As I got older, the stocking disappeared, and I'm going to be completely honest -- I'm pretty mad about it! I keep trying to bring back the stocking tradition but alas, the hints have fallen on deaf ears so far. Maybe this blog post can act as the biggest hint of all?!
In recent years, not only are there amazing stockings available, but we've also been introduced to Christmas sacks (personalised, no less) and Christmas boxes. Basically any kind of container we can utilise to bring festive, gifting joy. Christmas stockings (or your own trendy alternative) are a lovely way to start the day, and typically include things like toys, sweets, satsumas, chocolate coins, and other small gifts. We used to get some snazzy new PJs in there as well!
A few of the Cheerfully Given sellers have created smaller items which are perfect for using as Christmas stocking fillers alongside all the usual things, and are ideal for a wide range of ages, whether you're buying for your children or teenagers, or whether you're sending your family a little hint for your own stocking stuffers.
So without further ado, we present...
*cheesy trumpet music*
1. Colouring Books
Colouring books are a childhood favourite for many, and have become incredibly popular for adults in recent years as well. There's something therapeutic about doodling, especially when it involves colour as well! Ali from Ali Marriott Stationery has a couple of colouring book options, and Beth from Treasured Creativity has a set of five colouring sheets which are great for any age.
2. Pocket Mirrors
You never know when a pocket mirror is going to come in handy! We love the Cheerfully Given sellers' pocket mirrors because they have a pointer to the Living God on them, encouraging us to look outwards to Him and all that He has provided instead of becoming more obsessed with ourselves. There are lots of different designs, all with affirming words on them. Find them all here!
Whether you enjoy keeping a journal, or you're an avid list-maker, or you just love stationery, a notebook is a magical gift with blank pages full of hope and possibility. And you can get one for less than a fiver, so talk about some bargain hope and possibility! You can find a range of notebooks and journals here.
This list of stocking stuffer ideas is a little bit on the "stationery-heavy" side, but is there any such thing as too many stickers? They're so versatile: from snazzing up your Christmas card envelopes or happy mail to sticking in your diary or using in your journalling Bible, there's something really fun about them. Check out these options from Christian Lettering Company and Morning by Morning Illustrations.
Ahh, the Christmas Classic. What even is Christmas without socks? It's an existential crisis, that's what. Never mind celebrating the incarnation of Christ or reminding ourselves of His return: did Dad get his annual M&S socks? Shake it up a little bit this year and check out Jollie Socks -- which is run by a Christian guy called Ed Vickers, these snazzy socks give a pair to a homeless charity for every pair bought. Or one of my favourite creative businesses of all time, Lucky Dip Club, has recently started a sock subscription featuring fun designs like these pencil socks (pictured). There are also some avocado on toast ones for the foodie in your life. You could take it one step further and get a sock subscription!
6. Enamel Pins
Another popular trend at the moment is enamel pins! I have around 12 that go on my coat lapel in rotation, and I love them. They're also a great conversation starter! I'm currently rocking an "It is well" pin by Franchette Atelier as well as a Clever Clove one and a Veronica Dearly one. Check out some of the Cheerfully Given pins below (the It is Well one gets a lot of love!).
7. Independent Magazines
We all love a good magazine here in the Cheerfully Given community -- especially when they're printed on luxuriously tactile paper and they're full of inspirational articles, images, and general loveliness. Clarity (pictured) is a top favourite among the seller community, and is full of all the normal things you'd find in a women's magazine but from a Christian perspective -- so what does the Bible teach us about relationships, careers, fashion, and appearance? It's suitable for teenagers and upwards. Other favourites include Oh Comely, Caboodle, and Frankie (Australian, but available pretty easily in the UK) or the recently-started Fare for travel-lovers. I particularly enjoyed issue 1, which was all about Istanbul, as that's where my Turkish family are from and it made me feel exceptionally nostalgic!
8. Temporary Tattoos
These are a wonderful novelty, whatever your age! During my summer holidays in Turkey as a child, my brother and I used to buy bubble gum (which we absolutely were not allowed in the UK) just because they came with little cartoon temporary tattoos (which looking back, were actually pretty creepy!). There's something really fun about putting them on whether you're a smaller child mystified by the magic that is water and transfers, or whether you're getting into the festival mood as an adult (which is obviously completely irrelevant during the British summer, but we can dream of warmer days). We MIGHT have helped a well-known comedian put one of these on at our Big Church Day Out stall. Guess which one?
Ah chocolate, the quintessential Christmas breakfast food. Between you and me, I've already enjoyed a festive amount of this incredibly delicious candy cane bark from Cocoa Tabby -- a chocolatier based in Derbyshire. SO TASTY. Their milk chocolate/everything they make is also mega yum. For chocolate-loving grown-ups, there's also The Grown Up Chocolate Company -- I recommend their Salted Peanut Caramel bar.
These badges by GingerTwentyTwo were super popular at the summer festivals we exhibited at, and are perfect for popping on school bags, backpacks, or coats as a little reminder.
More stationery, I hear you ask? YES! Because it's awesome. Bookmarks are a great gift for anyone who is sensible and refuses to desecrate the printed word by folding down corners. Ali Marriott Stationery has some lovely coloured designs, or find some more monochrome styles at Treasured Creativity and Christian Lettering Company.
It's always a treat getting luxury body and bath supplies at Christmas, and one of our favourite organic brands is Nathalie Bond Organics. With a wide range of skin balms, bath salts, and soaps, they also create beautifully scented candles and body oils, as well as really great quality lip balms. Their packaging is stunning, and also plastic-free so great for the environment. As an aside, it's also run by a Christian couple! Pictured is the Rose Bath Time Box.
If you loved the badge set from GingerTwentyTwo (which is also available as magnets!) then you're also going to love these pencils. They're available as individuals or as a set of four. Alphabet Suitcase do an epic set of "NICE" pencils that feature the phrases "Turn the other cheek", "You are loved" and "Honesty is the best policy".
These go well with suggestion number 15, and are a staple gift for anyone who loves mugs and/or hot drinks in general. From Frog & Gnome's ceramic coasters inspired by the Psalms to Izzy & Pop's beautiful designs featuring Liz's lettering, they're sweet little Christmas stocking fillers that can be used all year round. Sarah Bennett Studio has a range of fun coasters in a brighter colour palette that are great for encouraging friends as well.
Last but not least, what about including some quality tea in those grown-up stockings? You'll need the caffeine after getting woken up at 3am, 4am, and 5am by excited little ones, and what better way to kick of the day than with a first-class cuppa? Bluebird Tea Co. are a brilliant indie tea company, and Unitea Blends have recently launched their quality range of loose leaf teas (I think we all need a bit of Nativi-tea in our lives this advent, don't you?).
So that wraps up our little Christmas stocking fillers post for this year -- I hope you're feeling suitably inspired!
I'd love to hear more about your family's Christmas stocking traditions. Did you have one as a child? Has it gone the way of all the earth now you're an adult? Are you mad about it or are you being a mature grown-up and enjoying passing the festive excitement along to the next generation?
I hope you enjoyed this whistle-stop tour of stocking filler ideas!
With love in Jesus,