When it comes to Christmas, I have to admit that I absolutely love the gift giving!
But I’m less about extravagance and more about experiences, thoughtfulness, and fun. So this week’s challenge was right up my alley!
During the holidays, there are lots of opportunities to get overwhelmed, distracted, comparative, and forget the intentions behind our traditions.
For years, giving presents brought me fiscal strain, and I doubled my stress by focusing on finding the “perfect” gift for everyone.
I wanted to get a gift so good that the recipient would automatically feel loved and understood and special. This is always my preference for giving a gift, but sometimes you have to be okay with a gift that just makes someone smile.
Thankfully, my husband, Darrick, helped me find a way to really take the pressure off!
For Christmas we exchange only stockings, and then together we decide where to take a small trip with the money we would have otherwise spent on gifts.
For this challenge, I decided to fill a stocking with kitchen gadgets and treats that make me smile (the gifts also make a really nice themed basket!).
Here’s what I found…
Chopstick Set - $3.50
I found these at an oriental grocery store in Louisville. The design on the top reminded me of the blue willow pattern you see on old china. My thinking behind this gift was that it invites in a bit of adventure and can inspire cuisines and cooking at home that may be new.
Travel Tea Infuser and Masala Chai - $7
We went to India last year and I developed a deep love of tea in the afternoon. I found these travel tea bottles on sale for 50% off. Because loose teas are often much more affordable than bagged tea, my thought behind this was both practical and a bit self-care-inspired. Also, many cities have boutique tea shops that sell tea by weight. This travel thermos gives you the tool needed to experiment with new less popular teas and blends.
Bamboo High Temperature Spatulas - $3.99
High temp spatulas are incredibly useful kitchen tools. These are simple and hold up well.
Unicorn Bag Clips - $5.99
The intention behind these surprisingly helpful gadgets was to give a useful gift that was also cheerful. These bag clips nailed it!
Kitty Kitchen Timer - $5
This timer is easy to use and totally precious. The kitty will keep you from burning your biscuits!
Candy + Treats - $4.50
It’s not a stocking without treats. I like to do a mix of high- and low-quality treats so that everyone feels excited.
Standing Cupcake Liners - $2.99
These beautiful cupcake liners make baking cupcakes and muffins easy. The pattern on the liners stay true and can be used for baking more than 12 cupcakes at a time.
Apples - $3
And to honor and remember my dad, who always hid fruits in our stockings, I am adding apples! One of each of my three favorite types of apple—gold rush, pink lady, and honey crisp apples.
Using a few “stuffing” rules, we can make sure everything fits in and looks pretty.
Heavy items in the bottom.
Unwrap items from larger packaging to help them fit.
Make sure to save a few eye-catching treats to place on the top of the full stocking. Candy makes a stocking feel really fun!
And if some of your stocking stuffers spill out of the top, that’s okay too!
As you can see, our stockings are hung by the chimney with care, but they still need some more filling…
I think whomever receives the stocking I created will be inspired to have lots of fun exploring in the kitchen!
And to leave you, I just want to say that finding deals can be hard! So I wasn’t able to buy the entire stocking for less than $20. However, it would be totally acceptable to just pick two or three of the stocking stuffers I mentioned and then supplement with extra candy and treats!