There are many stories behind what began the Christmas stocking tradition one which recounts a tale of 3 daughters, whose father squandered away their fortune and left them to live a life of squalor when the good hearted St. Nicholas heard of their plight he kindly tossed 3 bags (balls) of gold down the chimney, which conveniently landed in the girls' stockings - left to dry on the hearth. Another popular claim of origination began in Holland where kids would leave clogs before the fireplace in hopes of receiving gifts from Sinterclass (later known as Santa Claus).
No matter which, if any, you choose to believe stockings have become a traditional part of the Christmas celebration.
Here are some inexpensive stocking stuffer ideas for kids that will leave them smiling come Christmas morning without leaving a large void in your pocket book. These are predominantly aimed at younger children, though some of these ideas would be great stocking stuffers for teens as well.
Games and Activities
Miniature versions of every day fun games such as Connect Four can make great stocking fillers and can be found at most shopping stores as well as many dollar stores. Other games and activities such as, decks of card games (Old Maid, Go-Fish....), paddle ball, color crayons with mini coloring or activity books, crossword puzzle books and jacks (for over toddler age) can be enjoyed by kids of many ages and are great inexpensive gifts to stuff in the Christmas stocking.
Helpful Every Day Items
Perhaps not the most exciting gifts, unless you are dealing with younger toddlers who seem to truly enjoy these every day items, but hygiene or personal pampering products can make great and inexpensive stocking stuffers for kid. Items such as: individual toothbrush and toothpaste kits, bubble bath, body wash, cosmetics and manicure sets can be purchased at a low cost and help fill room in those exciting and oversized Christmas socks.
You may find it difficult to cram a coat inside the kids' stockings this year but a pair of cute or comfy socks (girls seem to fancy furry or toe socks), winter hat and/or glove sets, hair accessories, scarf or ear muffs can be great inexpensive stocking stuffers for kids. These gifts serve a dual purpose - the kids get a gift and you get to provide them with something they needed anyways.
Sweets and Treats
It is hard to go wrong with some tasty treats. You can add just about any type of candy or even fruits (though berries and the likes are not recommended). In days of yore it was an appreciated gift to receive an orange or an apple in your stocking. Perhaps not as popular today with access to the not so healthy stuff but either way these make inexpensive stocking stuffers for kids. Candycanes, bubble gum and christmas themed candy is easy to find during the holidays so it also makes a great idea if you find out last minute that you just didn't get enough to fill the ol' Xmas stock. Don't feel bad filling the holiday stocking with candy, just be sure you've tucked that toothbrush in there too!