Christmas stockings are my favorite part of the annual Christmas gift exchange. My mom used to put together some fantastic stockings for the three of us kids. So when I Christmas shop for my husband and kids, I always leave healthy room in the budget for stocking shopping. The kids are always easy, some candy, some smaller toys, Pez dispensers and bath products that smell like candy, and they’re done.
Stockings for adults are more difficult, particularly if you’ve been married to that person for a while. David and I are coming up on our 20th Christmas together, and its official, I am relying on themes to direct me. I’ve done them all. The Movie Stocking, the Bizarre Candy Stocking, the Fishing Gear Stocking. And generally, they’ve been well-received. The Bacon Stocking did not go over as well as I’d hoped. (See below)
So here’s a list of ideas for that special someone, to help you out in these final days of Christmas shopping.
The Traditional – A cute Christmas ornament, their favorite candy, one of those frighteningly large candy canes, and your favorite Christmas DVD. A Christmas Story is a good choice. We always end up watching it way before the Christmas Eve mega-marathon.
The “Do You Remember Everything About Our First Date?” Stocking – Recreate your first date with the DVD of the first move you saw together, gift cards to the restaurant where you first had dinner, etc. Remember to include silly reminders like game tokens, movie candy, or a big fluffy Scrunchie like you used to rock in the old days.
I put a big red lollipop in my husband’s, because my mother-in-law scheduled a doctor’s appointment for then-16-year-old David right before he was supposed to pick me up. So our date began at his doctor’s office.
This is sort of a long-term-relationship only theme. If you’ve only dated a few weeks, this might come across as sort of psycho.
The "Athletic Support" Stocking – Did you know that Jelly Belly makes jelly beans for runner’s? It sounds like a racket, but they’re called Sports Beans, and they include extra caffeine , carbs and potassium that runners need mid-race. There are all kinds of weird little pick-me –ups you can gather for your favorite athlete’s stocking, gels, powders, beans and cubes. I also threw in some special supportive socks, a bright orange hat, and nipple shields. I know that sounds weird, but if you or your spouse have ever run a marathon, you know why.
The Bacon Stocking - Go to a site called ThinkGeek and go to the Zombies and Bacon section. Last year, David got bacon jelly beans, bacon lip balm, a bacon-and-chocolate bar, bacon soap and bacon salt- a substance that makes everything taste like bacon. He did not appreciate the bacon lip balm or jelly beans, for the record.
The “This is Our Last Christmas With Just the Two Of Us” Stocking – When I found out I was pregnant right before Christmas, I prepared a stocking that included Be Prepared- The Practical Handbook for Dads and The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook for Parenting because he finds that kind of thing amusing.
I also included a Baby’s First Christmas ornament for the next year, restaurant gift cards, and information on getting his fishing renewed because the coming spring and summer was going to be his last chance for a little while.
The Camping Stocking – It’s amazing how many little gadgets you can find for camping. Pocket knives, compasses, small first aid kits, all-in-one utility tools, and funny headlamp LEDs. I avoided the little rolls of quick-dissolving toilet paper, because that seemed mean.
The Kitchen Stocking – Again, go to any cookware web site and you can find dozens of little gifts for your favorite chef. Digital meat thermometers, weird little measuring tools , exotic spices (Spanish smoked paprika is our favorite), small cookbooks, and other gadgets like garlic presses and “no ouch” veggie peelers.
Like I said, we’ve been together for a while and David loves to cook, so there been several variations of this theme, including the Baking Stocking, the BBQ Stocking, and Candy Making Stocking.
The Chuck Norris Stocking – Yes, this can be accomplished. Books, t-shirts, post-it notes, coffee mugs- there are any number of small gifts celebrating America’s favorite badass. Google it. Of course, this Christmas stocking list only exists because Chuck Norris allows it.
A word about XXX-Rated Stockings. This is not an amateur move. This is for well established relationships only. And you should be VERY VERY careful before selecting each and every item you put in that stocking. If you don’t understand what it does or what it’s for, ask the clerk at the adult store, even if he creeps you out. Which he inevitably will. The bottom line, which is a bit of an unfortunate pun, is that you should not put any adult toy or prop in your loved one’s stocking unless you’re willing to use it. Otherwise, you’re sending a bit of a mixed message. Feelings will be hurt, parts can be chafed- it will spell Christmas disaster.
Just put some thought into what your partner really likes and have fun!!