If The Stocking Fits

Ho, Ho, Ho!!!stockings

Welcome to the first of the 12 Days of Bandit Christmas!

Soooo many potential Christmas topics that could be covered: Trees, ornaments, trivia, carols, reindeer games (hmmmm) but I picked one near and dear to my cold little tootsies. The Christmas stocking!

The tradition of this is well known, associated with wooden shoes initially in the “Old Country” and St. Nick who finally got tired of trying to cram that pony into such a small receptacle and segued to wrapped packages. But habits die hard and so we continue to hand our stockings with care.

Now goodies stuffed into these stockings are often regional and filled with nostalgia. Oranges and hard candy anyone? It might even be filled with Dr. Scholl’s Odor Eaters depending on whose stocking it is :0

 But I imagine nowadays with gift cards, iPods and all manner of WOW items it’s a lot easier. Me? Well…I was raised in a simpler time. Here are my top five stocking stuffers:marshmallow

1. Chocolate Marshmallow Santa.

2. Ribbon Candy (Talk about nostalgia…THIS is the symbol of my 1960’s childhood. Sigh)

3. Puzzle books

4. Doll clothes

5. Chocolate Snowman (I sense a theme here)

candyThe Santa and Snowman are self-explanatory. I mean it’s CHOCOLATE, for gosh sakes! Now the hard candy? Those beautiful, colorful, fruity pieces of shiny sugar stacked in ribbon shape, with pretty little designs in the middle? Sigh. THAT’S Christmas!

Puzzle books were simple, easily and quickly done. The doll clothes though…those were BARBIE clothes! The pinnacle of fashion! My Mom made me lots of wonderful Barbie dresses. (Another nostalgia jolt…the pattern books at Woolworths) but to get a elegant gown with glitter? Santa, you rocked my stocking.

What about you? What are some of the stocking stuffers you’ve received? Anything unusual (Remember PG blog here 😉 What do you like to give? Do you and your family still hang them with care? Is your stocking store bought or homemade? C’mon…Santa wants to know.

One lucky commenter will receive a Kindle download of THE PATRICIAN’S FORTUNE in their stocking 😀








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  • Amy Conley says:

    Did I gdt him?

    • Amy Conley says:

      Our stockings are store bought, but as our family has grown and so the number od stockings, I have put everyonr’s name on their stocking.That’s my limit as far as craft things go.
      As far as stocking stuffers go for the little ones all the old time candy you mentioned, usually a new toothbrush (this way their parents can’t be so mad about the candy), little toys and puzzles. For the rest of us bout the same thing but instead of toys usually small things of toilettres… I read about this right as I was getting ready to graduate from hs and someone suggested sending older teens off with travel sized items for college and weekends away. So since my kids have been teens they always get things like that. Older family members get cologne or perfume, small jewelery items, and of course the candy 🙂

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Woot woot! You DID get him! You get the rooster for a day.

      The question is, what are you going to do with him?

      • Amy Conley says:

        He’s going with me to pay bills and get our truck fixed. Wonder how he’ll look in a sock cap? Don’t want him to get cold! Although we are suppose to get above freezing today, it is suppose to snow again tonight. 🙁

  • Jane says:

    Hello Joanie,
    My cousin’s husband usually gets everyone stocking stuffers. I’ve gotten a Pez dispenser, package of highlighters, lip balm and scratch off tickets. No homemade stockings. No one here is crafty enough to knit them.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Ooooo, highlighters!

      I’m such an office supply ho. I would totally squee if I got those, or my favorite pens, or post-its in my stocking. I love the postits that come in shapes like hearts and stars, but I never spend the extra to get them. Highlighters is a GREAT stocking stuffer!

  • Kaelee says:

    Hi Joanie ~ I’m old enough to remember when Christmas stockings were actual socks that some one would wear. My poor dad always had to give up his socks on Christmas eve. I remember my older brother being a bit of a nut and hanging up a pair of ladies leotards in the hope that he would get more stuff. He did. He got a bigger piece of coal and a larger piece of wood to keep him warm and a grapefruit instead of a mandarin orange.

    I’m going to have to go looking for some of that hard candy. I loved the pretty colors. loved liquorice allsorts as well. Sometimes we would get chocolate coins. Yes my theme is the same as yours. We would also get a new toothbrush. Just what we needed after all that sweet stuff.

  • Helen says:


    We have never hung stockings as a kid we got our presents in a pillow slip at the end of our bed and there was always some chocolate as well when my kids were young they got the bigger presents under the tree and a Santa pillow slip on the end of their bed filled with lollies chocolate a book pencils and a small game and I now have sacks store bought for all of my grandchildren that I put chocolates lollies a book etc in it for them but they all have beautiful home made sacks that my bestie Barb has made for them that they have at their homes so sacks here instead of stockings 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Helen, that’s a really interesting tradition….a pillow slip at the end of the bed. Is that an Australian Christmas tradition?

      And it sounds like people can buy decorated pillow slips there the way we can buy stockings here..

      • Helen says:


        Yes I think lots of people do it here in Oz and yes at this time of the year there are lots of Santa pillow slips my kids have had one each since their first Christmas and their kids are using them now as well 🙂

        Have Fun

    • Joan Kayse says:

      Woooow….Santa pillow slips??? I would LOVE that…with or without chocolate! And of course, your kiddos would get BOOKS in theirs 😀

  • flchen1 says:

    Our stockings when we were kids were these felt numbers that we put together at some sort of winter camp? They were red and had our names emblazoned on them in gold glitter. We usually got an orange and a stash of chocolate and a candy cane. One year I saved some of my chocolate under my dresser, and alas, enticed a bunch of ants to visit instead 🙁

    My kids’ stockings are gorgeous–they were lovingly handmade for them by a good friend’s very talented mom. They’re crossstitched by hand, and have their names on them. I do still stuff clementines into the toes, and some fun candy. Not sure what else I’ll stuff in there… these looked fun: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003A0UDRC/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    • Fichen –

      LOL – I gave my son one of those poppers a couple of years ago. His was a fish, which worked because he loves to fish. Those poppers are fun and caused lots of chasing and ducking to hide. The ultimate winner was his dog, though, who felt the game was really a game of fetch.

    • OMG, Fedora!! If I got those for the grandkids, chaos would ensue…and I suspect some grown males of the family would get in on the fun!

    • Joan Kayse says:

      YEARS ago I crosstitched a friend one with Santy’s on them.

      I used to do that a lot, but alas…got away from it. Now with the kittehs….thread + needles? Nope

  • Barb says:

    Hi Joan

    My family all have fancy stockings that I have made … I put lollies in them and they go under the Christmas tree at my daughters as we all go there on Christmas Day. The grandchildren like a novelty item in there’s along with the lollies.. The adults just get chocolate and lollies.

  • Minna says:

    We don’t use Christmas stockings here in Finland.

  • Mary Preston says:

    My Mother had made us all stockings from her wedding veil – dyed red. It must have been quality because they withstood a lot of rummaging & I still have mine. The stockings were laid out at the foot of the bed.

    There was always a small parcel of shelled nuts in the toe. A tradition from my Mother’s side of the family. The goodies became larger as the stocking opened up to the top. ALWAYS books & chocolates.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Mary, what an amazing thing to have! Part of your mom’s wedding veil as a Christmas stocking.

      Thank you for sharing that!

  • Heathercm2001 says:

    Our stocking were store bought, but our names were put on them with glue and glitter. It has been a few years since they have been used, unfortunately, but they can be found at my parents’ house. Our stockings were filled with fun things, such as puzzle books and candy. We were allowed to open them as soon as we woke up on Christmas morning, even if some of us were still sleeping. There are so many wonderful Christmas memories. I love this time of year! Merry Christmas!

  • Maureen says:

    One of the things my mother put in our stockings was these lollipops that I don’t know what they were made of but they were delicious. I had forgotten about them until I read your post. Happy Holidays to everyone!

  • Caren Crane says:

    Joan, I love stockings, too! The chocolate marshmallow Russel Stover Santas are my current favorite, once-a-year treat. Mm…

    As a kid, I always looked forward to the Life Saver album. They had one-flavor rolls and a multi-pack. It’s because of those that I learned I liked the Buttered Rum flavor. Pretty sure they don’t make THOSE anymore! 😀

    Anything solid chocolate was very welcome. Also, the chocolate-covered orange cream patties. I still love those things!

    We also tended to get batteries. Because, with 5 kids, there were never enough batteries. 🙂

    • Caren Crane says:

      Also meant to say that my mother and grandmother handmade our stockings, one for each new baby. We used those all through my childhood and my mom still has them at her house. I love mine!

      • Caren, I started cross-stitching stockings for the whole family years ago. All the grandkids have one now, except the youngest…I just have to get out the sewing machine and finish putting the back on his and he’ll get to join in the fun this year. (He’s not quite 3 so it’s the first year for him to know what stockings are about!)

    • Caren –

      I loved those lifesaver books as well – and butter rum was my very favorite. I used to hunt those down to put in my kid’s stockings every year, but those days have passed. Now that you mention it, I don’t think I’ve seen one of those candy albums in a long time 🙁 .

    • Joan Kayse says:

      Caren! I had forgotten about LIfesaver books! Man! Nothing said special like one of those!

  • Mozette says:

    Stocking stuffers in my family varied. Mum bought these huge bags she called stockings with my brother’s and my names on them and they are very 80’s, but boy! Have they lasted the distance! Well, Mum and Dad put the big ticket items in them; and sometimes those expensive items didn’t fit in those stockings – like for example: a bike. They just hung the stocking over the handelbars!

    Then, I got my first watch in my one once – an Adina watch – when I was around 10 years old. And it was worn for so long that it was only 2 years ago that Mum bought me my second watch in my life. I took it into the place at Stone’s Corner and the man who sold it to Mum opened it up said yes it was okay, but no it will never work again as it had rusted stop… it was just so old!… and I’m 40 this year (so you can see it lasted around 30 years before dying on me. 😀 )

    Both my brother and I got toasted sandwich makers – and his ‘died’ while mine is still going. Mum said it’s strange that my one isn’t gone and yet he said his broke… quite a few things he’s gotten over the last few years have broken mysteriously since he and his fiance began living together including a pancake pan getting a huge scratch in the middle of it on the first use (dunno how that happened, but it did)…but this is another story for another time.

    I’ve gotten books, chocolate, pencils, pens, stamps, ear-rings, rings, hair clips and my Apple iPod Touch (which looked funny being the only thing in the bag right at the bottom of it!)… but Mum and Dad often try to fill the Santa Sack up so we have a lot of cool things to open… and once we have all our pressies opened and looked at, we can put them all in the Santa Sack to transport them home! 😀

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Mozette I love your stories.

      And the Santa sack to transport your stuff home–that’s a great idea!

  • Diana Huffer says:

    We did stockings every year. There would always be an orange, some mixed nuts, candies, and all kinds of great little gifts! The rule was that when my sister and I got up (extraordinarily early!), we were allowed to go downstairs and get our stockings and go through them — everything else had to wait until Mom and Dad got up and got a cup of coffee! ~LOL~ Luckily, they never made us wait too long!

    I still do them for my dogs–they love them! 🙂

    • Joan Kayse says:

      Awww…stockings for the pup. I actually HAVE gotten those pre-made ones for the baby cats but…they don’t much care for the balls.

      Am putting my tree up this weekend. I’m just praying the ornaments stay on!

  • Di R says:

    Stocking stuffers included lip balm, small hand lotions, puzzle books-once a rubics cube, and always a piece of fruit in the toe. I always hoped for an apple.


  • may says:

    Mostly candies and chocolates in my stockings. That’s what I usually give as well myself.

  • Deb says:

    Hi, Joanie. I still have my stocking (and hang it every year along with my daughter’s and one I made for the DH) that my mother made for me when I was a toddler. It is white felt with a little cut-out angel and a teddy bear on it with my name written in red at the top. Santa always filled our stockings with a good piece of chocolate or two, an orange or apple, a pretty little necklace or bracelet or ring, and sometimes Sweet Honesty perfume.
    This year, my 13-year-old daughter will have her stocking filled with a $10 iTunes card, a bracelet, a couple bottles of fingernail polish, an ornament (she gets one every year), a Dutch chocolate orange, and two eyeliner pencils since she seems to sharpen them to the point of nothing.
    My students and I always read Chrismtas stories the week before Christmas break and one of the is the legend of stockings titled “The Stockings were Hung with Care”.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Oooh, stocking stuffers. What a wonderful memory of childhood. I remember getting a watch one year, my first ever, and it was very elegant. As I grew older the stocking stuffers weren’t inexpensive. Diamond earrings, anyone!

    But mostly, as I child, I love the candy. Lots and lots of candy!

  • Joanie – what a fun post. Will you put up little stockings for the kitties this year?

    I so needed to read all these comments when looking to fill stockings for my kids. It’s amazing how much stuff it takes to fill those babies – which explained why we always got oranges or nectarines in ours when I was little. The stockings hung on the mantel now are purely decorative – I don’t fill them with treats. But it was always fun shopping for little things to put in the kid’s stockings.

  • sandyg265 says:

    We usually got candy and small things like crayons

  • gamistress66 says:

    never been a fan of the ribbon candy so you can have my share 🙂 we always got an apple or orange in our socks, there was the usual pratical item or two as well like socks (which simply belonged in the sock), dad had a smaller sock in which santa always included a can of shaving cream & razors

  • Hey Joanie!! LOVE Christmas stockings!

    Everyone in my family gets one and it takes almost half an hour for us to unwrap everything stuffed inside. I try to get funny and weird things, as well as the annual toothbrush! There’s always an ornament, something sweet, small toys and crayons for the kids. One year all the adults got Maglites to put in their cars.

    This year I got the guys all “pi” teeshirts. Cute sayings to go with the word pi…you know, pi alamode, chicken pot pi. I’m rolling them up and stuffing them in their stockings. 🙂

    Mine? Well I hope hubby just slips some Godiva chocolates in mine!

  • Carol Roddy says:

    I don’t actually remember much about what my folks put in stockings when I was a child. The stuffing of the socks, however, is a huge big deal in my own home. When the kids were small, it became the place they went first ignoring the big boxes. As teenagers they refused to give it up. We went through a stretch of years where all gifts had to fit in sock. The rules were: under $5, fit in sock, and if at all possible be FUNNY. I’ve gotten everything from cacti to scotch.

  • Mona Haskins says:

    My mother made each of us beautiful stockings from felt decorated with what each child liked, books for me, balls and trucks for my brother, and dolls for little sis. Then she used matching color sequins to sew them on. They are beautiful! I have gotten a kazoo, Barbie clothes, and candy. The best though was a skate key, I didn’t know what it was and mom said maybe Santa got mixed up…until I opened my roller skates ! Whoohoo, best gift ever!

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    My favorite stocking stuffers are socks, candy, a good book, a movie, gift cards, and jewelry.

  • CateS says:

    We exchange Santa gifts at the breakfast table.. After our mom built a new house, complete with fireplace and mantle..she didn’t want us pounding holes in the mantle anymore. So before we go to bed, we place the gifts where we sat for dinner. Nowadays, Santa brings things like lip balm, some candy, knit gloves/hats, little flashlights, it’s all stuff we’ve found over the past year that might be fun, quirky or useful!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Oh, what a fun thing to look forward to–going to the breakfast table to cool little gifts!

  • gamistress66 says:

    never been a fan of ribbon candy so you can have my share 😉 we use to get an apple or orange in our sock as well as some candy plus something practical such as socks (cause socks in the sock just made quirky sense) 🙂

  • Connie Fischer says:

    My favorite stocking stuffers have always been candy canes. However, we got rolls of LifeSavers that were yummy and something chocolate!

  • catslady says:

    I never had a stocking but I had them for my 2 girls. It started out as simple things and I put in more and more as they got older. Finally I switched to gift bags because I jammed so much into them – from socks, jewelry, candy, books – almost anything that wouldn’t take a box lol.

  • Mary Chen says:

    I’ve had stockings only one year, and that year I received a remote-controlled dinosaur and truck. Afterwards, only giftcards, so that Christmas was very special. 🙂

  • Great post, Joanie! Going through our Christmas stockings has become our family’s favorite Christmas morning tradition. My SIL and I load them all up with everything from gift cards to dental floss. 🙂

    The boys get things like screwdrivers and … hmm, fart bombs! Yes. I really do buy those for my brothers. But they’re boys! So you know, gross. LOL. Girls get lip gloss and emery boards. There’s candy and usually a few practical items like pens and tape measures and flashlights and chocolate. Yeah, lots of chocolate.

    The dogs have their stockings, too. Chew toys, beef sticks, Petco gift cards, important dog stuff.

    • Diana Huffer says:

      My dogs have always had their own stockings! They love them! They’ve figured out how to get the goodies out by sticking their noses in! A riot to watch! 🙂

  • Megan Kelly says:

    I began cross-stitching a stocking for my firstborn and found a companion pattern for the second child. I call them heirloom stockings, as in, whoever finishes stitching can put on the name they want. Probably a crafty great grandchild.

  • Cassondra Murray says:

    Joanie, I LOVE this post!

    I hadn’t thought about this in years, but I have a memory–very faded now–of an orange stocking–made of some kind of mesh, with a decoration at the top. It was long and narrow, like the stockings you see in cartoon books. Gosh, I’d forgotten about that stocking.
    Later I got a bright red fuzzy stocking with a big poofy white top. The stocking always had a big orange, an apple usually, nuts and candy. Sometimes there was a chocolate Santa. Later my mom clued in to the “little presents” thing and I’ve gotten everything from a toy truck to scotch tape to a small calculator to a flashlight. Just cheap little gadgets, but it’s so fun to open them! And who doesn’t need Scotch tape?

    Steve and I haven’t done stockings in years. Maybe we’ll have to start that again.

  • Joanie, we never had stockings as children. Santa brought us wrapped gifts but I do remember chocolate Santas that were a tradition in our house. Chocolate before breakfast, yay!

    Now my children have pillow cases as stockings, which are a bit of a challenge to fill, I have to say. I don’t like giving them a heap of plastic junk they’re going to tire of very quickly. My elder boy doesn’t like lollies or chocolate (or most other foods, actually!) so I can’t fill it with that kind of thing, either. It’s a challenge! Puzzle books are a good idea, though. Thanks for that!

  • I always loved getting Hershey’s Kisses and those ginormous Hershey bars. Yes, my love of chocolate started really early. 🙂

  • bn100 says:

    Don’t give/get stocking stuffers

  • Ann Doman says:

    We had knitted (by Mom) stockings. 1Apple, 1orange and a Hershey bar filled the foot. The rest held coloring books, crayons, etc. I miss those simpler days.

  • gamistress66 says:

    my earlier post appears not have gone through 🙁

    Joan, since I’m not a fan of ribbon candy, you’re welcome to my share 🙂 we use to get an apple or orange in our socks along w/ socks (because socks in a sock just makes sense) 😉

  • Becke Turner says:

    I love Christmas stockings and for years all of mine were home made. My mother and grandmother were very good with the sewing machine so they started it.

    For my first, I bought a kit @ Frank’s. It was red velvet with a cross stitched Duck with my son’s first Christmas on it. I made several with those kits. I love them. They were personalized and made with love.

  • We hang our stockings at my Mom’s. She doesn’t have a fireplace so hang them on the wrought iron rail on the stairs going into the living room where the tree is. We have had the same stockings for years and years.

    We still get oranges, apples, all sorts of nuts, peppermint sticks and all sorts of candy. Our stocking stuffers are strictly food !!

    My dogs have stockings and they get chew toys, dog biscuits and rawhides in them. Their Nana usually sends a big bag of chew bones for their stockings. My cat gets the same as the dogs because she thinks she IS a dog.

  • Joan Kayse says:

    Wow, such great stocking stories! Sorry I was MIA most of the day. THIRD 12 hr work day don’t cha know :0 I’ve slipped my socks off and am soaking my feet….wish I had a chocolate Sanda…hmmmmm

  • Marcy Shuler says:

    Stockings are a huge deal in my family. My mom made them and after she passed away I took over that task for each marriage and birth in the family. We’ve never hung them because they’re way too heavy once filled. We line them up along the couch by age. 😉

    5 things I’ve gotten:
    Hot Sauce
    Almond Roca candy

  • Lianne says:

    When we were young my brother and I would find a santa sack on our beds on Christmas morning. Filled with things we could open straight away.
    A few years ago I bought Christmas stockings for my Mum and Nana, would fill with things such as chocolate, pens, jewellery etc. They would find them hanging from their at the dining table in the morning1

  • Lianne says:

    When we were young my brother and I would find a Santa sack on our beds on Christmas morning. Filled with things we could open straight away.
    A few years ago I bought Christmas stockings for my Mum and Nana, would fill with things such as chocolate, pens, jewellery etc. They would find them hanging from their chairs at the dining table in the morning!

  • Laurie G says:

    I received my stocking as a Christmas gift. i made my husband’s stocking while working as a RN on the 11pm to 7am shift.

    My children’s stockings, two are homemade, two are store bought. I just didn’t have enough time to knit the younger two’s stockings.

    I put in candy, gift cards, socks and small toys. They each always received one Christmas ornament for the tree too.

  • Carol Cork says:

    When I was young in the 1950s , I hung a pillow case and, when I woke Christmas morning, it was exciting to see this misshapen pillow case and get all excited about dipping in there. I’d find a tangerine, a net of chocolate coins, a magic colouring book and paint brush, School Friend Annual and a Famous Five book. I wonder what the children of today would make of it ? For me, it was magical!

    We put all our presents around the tree now.

  • Carol Cork says:

    When I was young in the 1950s , I hung a pillow case and, when I woke Christmas morning, it was exciting to see this misshapen pillow case and get all excited about dipping in there. I’d find a tangerine, a net of chocolate coins, a magic colouring book and paint brush, School Friend Annual and a Famous Five book. I wonder what the children of today would make of it ? For me, it was magical!

    We put all our presents around the tree now.