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I love Christmas, but nowadays it’s more about the preparation and choosing presents. Mostly because the day itself is always a disappointment because the last few years the rest of the OH’s family go off elsewhere and it just ends up being us and my brother. The OH has to then work (and doesn’t care about Christmas). My brother’s not keen on it, but will at least be a bit more jolly.
I’m hoping to get the in laws to ours, but I bet the OH didn’t invite them like I suggested, so I guess by this time they’ll be going elsewhere.
The one tradition I love is Father Christmas coming and delivering the stocking gifts. When we were children, we lived on a modern housing development where a lot of parents were sent the Studio mail order catalogue. It was brilliant because each year, Father Christmas seemed more real than ever because all the children got similar stocking gifts. One year it was all 10 in 1 colour and scented pens, another it was all personalised pencils, and another was little wooden bird or animal pencil sharpeners. Not quite what’s in a lot of stocking’s nowadays but good fun back then.
This year Santa will be bringing N some great stocking fillers. In our house, Father Christmas only brings stocking presents. Other presents are under the tree and are from those who’ve bought the presents. I don’t understand why Father Christmas would ever bring other people’s presents and luckily the OH’s family don’t do that either so there’s no conflict in our house agreeing what will happen.
Throughout the year I vaguely spot things that would be suitable for stocking gifts, although I don’t tend to buy until October. I have to admit I’ve been a bit rubbish this year with organising Christmas. N’s present is sorted, as is my godson, god-daughter/niece and best friend, but other than that I’ve not sorted out anything.
But the stocking gifts are pretty much bought and finished now. Only N gets a stocking (if the OH was more fun about it, he’d have one too, but he isn’t so it’s only N) and he’s easy to think of gifts for.
Stockings in our family always include some traditional items, some useful and then lots of fun ones. N also has a proper stocking (homemade by me – it’s not the best but it does the job and has his name on it), rather than a pillowcase or sack that seem to be getting more prevalent.
Here’s some of the fabulous items I’ve spotted that Father Christmas may be bringing N for his stocking…of course, only if he’s good
The traditional stocking fillers
A real coin – probably 20p-50p
The useful stocking fillers
Socks – because every boy needs socks
Gloves – last year’s are usually too small
The fun stocking fillers
Funky pen – the one I found in Tiger is like a disco light.
Robot/hand grabber – annoyingly he found one and bought it with his own money before I could think of a reason why he shouldn’t!
Harmonica – to replace his one that was lost, unfortunate because the old one was really good
Colour changing pens – I loved these as a child. Felt tips that when you go over the ink with the white pen they change colour. Hopefully will encourage him to do more writing
Mini bike lights
Where to buy stocking fillers?
I have a few favourite shops for buying small fun gifts for either Father Christmas or for party bags. I used to buy a lot from Hawkins Bazaar when they were on the high street, but now it’s more of a mish mash.
This year, Santa’s gone to
- Tiger – like IKEA market street, but Danish. They do have online and a few stores. Our town’s only opened a couple of months ago but I love it for Christmas gifts.
- Wilkinsons – I virtually lived in Wilkos during my student days, having never seen a store before in the south, but this is great for presents – party bag/stocking fillers, crafty bits, and Wilko branded versions of popular toys and games. I also often go there for kids birthday presents because I can buy a bulk lot of presents for a bargain price (eg jigsaw puzzles)
- Home Bargains – great for toys and little gifts, stationery, dvds – all at good prices.
- Independent toy shops – ours has a brilliant pocket money toys section, and has saving/purchase plans in the run up
- The Entertainer – great for small jigsaws, crafts, pocket money toys and packet models
I probably spend up to £15 on stocking fillers and although the OH moans at it being tat, I do try and get decent things that N will love playing with and that will last.
The question is of course, to wrap or not to wrap stocking gifts?
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