Don’t forget to stuff those stockings

From candy to sports game tickets, any small-sized gift can be a stuffer.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 10:48 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care … empty and cold with nothing to share.

Kind of puts a damper on the Christmas spirit, doesn’t it? Don’t let your stockings hang lifelessly from the fireplace this Christmas. With a wide assortment of great stocking stuffers available, there is no reason that those giant socks shouldn’t be stuffed to the fullest.

To stuff those stockings to the point of overfill, look for small and inexpensive gifts.

“I always buy inexpensive items between the $3 and $5 range,” said Susan Williams, a shopper from Columbia.

Candy seems to fit this mold the best. Candy bars, gourmet candy, candy canes, really any kind of candy works for a stocking stuffer.

“So many types of candy are popular during the holidays,” said Donna Atkinson, the owner of the Candy Factory in Columbia.

From ribbon candy to fudge, Atkinson said there is a candy for everyone.

“We make chocolate-covered grahams and Oreos, gold coins, handmade Christmas lollies and lots of foil candies,” Atkinson said. “We also have little bags of gummies that are good for stockings.”

If you want something a little less fattening to stuff the stocking, try some healthy stocking stuffers.

“My husband’s family always gives stuff like toothbrushes and dental floss,” said Dana Cateman of Boonville.

If you’re stuffing a stocking for a health nut, hand sanitizer and calcium chews are a great gift. Other healthy gift ideas include protein bars, green tea and assorted nuts.

Don’t go overboard with the health stuff, though; a lot of people like to indulge during the holidays.

“I personally think people should go the other way around and get fun stuff,” Cateman said.

There is a variety of fun stocking stuffers out there.

“We always put lottery tickets in the stockings,” Cateman said.

The Missouri Lottery offers holiday-themed scratcher and pull tab games.

There are also great stocking stuffers for young stocking fiends.

“I always get my daughter lip gloss and jewelry,” Williams said. “It’s small and inexpensive.”

Small lotions, bar soaps, nail polish and make-up also make great stocking stuffers for the ladies.

Stocking stuffers can also be tailored toward the men in the family.

“My son usually gets some kind of squishy sports ball,” Williams said.

Baseball cards, comic books, bar soap and golf balls make wonderful stocking stuffers.

There are a number of stocking stuffers that everyone will enjoy such as books, CDs, specialty pens and magnets.

A lot of great stocking stuffer ideas come in paper form, but they tend to be a little more expensive. Tickets to a sporting event, concert or play make fabulous stocking stuffers, as does a share in stock. Phone cards, gift certificates or a magazine subscription are also great ideas for a stocking stuffer.

Now that the humans are bought for, it is time to turn the attention to the furry members of the family.

“Our dog is like our kid,” Cateman said. “We always buy him stuff for his stocking like squeaky toys and bones.”

Almost any kind of treat, toy or chew makes a great stocking stuffer for the family pet.

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