This subject has been dear to the hearts of bloggers lately, including one of my favorites, One Frugal Girl:
(She has a cool post on buying gifts for her little niece and nephew, too:)
And take note of this blogger's opinion on the subject:
What's in the Brick family's stockings this year?
Well, I can't tell you everything -- at least Daughter #1 reads this blog now and then.
But in the past --
chocolate bars (only the best kinds, including Toblerone or Lindt)
tangerines and bananas (the traditional fruit)
that person's favorite foods, in jars/bottles/cans
a can of tuna (for Daughter #1, who dotes on it)
can of black olives (a requirement -- to be worn on all ten fingers, and munched gradually away while reading the Christmas book)
a bracelet or necklace or earrings (usually garage sale-picked)
Maglites (Husband's favorite, hands-down)
a paperback or magazine
cans of nuts
fancy pens and markers
refrigerator magnets (preferably something weird)
free samples of various goodies --
make a note to yourself. Next year, start requesting them -- you'll be amazed at how quickly they add up. This includes shampoos, perfumes, cookies, granola bars, specialty drinks...
And on top -- a chocolate foil-wrapped Santa.
The key is the person whose stocking you're filling. Pay attention to what they really like -- buy a little bit here and there -- and that stocking will be full in no time flat.
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