We haven't done stockings for a few years now, but I used to LOVE doing stockings for Mr B and for my folks and Mr B's kids. I'd stalk the areas near the registers in stores like TJs and Whole Foods for small-sized "gourmet" type candy bars or other food items, as well as in other stores like Target, etc. for other smallish items you may not think of otherwise. I usually did a mix of practical (new toothbrush) and fun stuff. Mr B is a Virginia tech fan (and grad), so I'd always get him something VT-related like a Christmas ornament or key chain. Since Mr Spring does some cooking, you could go to Sur la Table or wherever for small cooking-related stuff.

One year it occurred to me that it would be even more fun to wrap every single little item in the stocking - that was a big hit. Instead of just dumping out the stuff and seeing what it is right away, they had all these odd-shaped little items to unwrap, and everyone loved that. They'd almost get as excited as little kids trying to figure out what everything was. I'd save the little gift wrap scraps as I was wrapping the regular-sized presents and use those for the stocking stuff.

I'd also try to have one really special or pricier item in there (and naturally I can't think of an example at the moment for Mr B, but for my Mom it would have been a piece of jewelry), and that would go way down in the toe of the stocking so that it would be opened last.

ETA: Webbie just reminded me - SOCKS! Years ago my Dad complained about always getting socks at Christmas, so I began putting a pair of socks in everyone's stocking. I'd remove all the packaging if there was any and would roll them up as tightly as I could so they'd fit in there better and I could cram more stuff in there.

Last edited by B-wavy; 11-29-2012 at 07:56 AM.