Handmade stocking stuffers make Christmas morning sustainable, meaningful and increase the magic. Who doesn’t love finding a gift that can’t be bought in the store?
Opening the Christmas stocking on Christmas morning is an important part of many family Christmas traditions. Perhaps your Christmas stocking is a gorgeous, hand sewn and embroidered confection that only appears at Christmas time. Many stockings are hung up all season as part of the decorating and on Christmas morning appear, stuffed to overflowing, at the foot of the tree. Even in homes where Santa and Father Christmas don’t make an appearance, Christmas stockings still show up under the tree or at the foot of the bed on Christmas morning.
What’s in the Christmas Stocking?
First, there’s the coin and the Christmas orange in the toe of the stocking. Then the stocking is filled with 10 to 15 small, inexpensive gifts. But 10 to 15 stocking stuffers can cost anywhere from $5 to $20 a piece. This can add up really quickly to being more than the cost of the gift under the tree. When the Christmas stocking is filled with store-bought gifts, not only can it hurt the environment, but it can increase the clutter, too. Are you ready to switch to handmade stocking stuffers?
7 reasons to choose handmade stocking stuffers
1. Inexpensive or free
Homemade Christmas stocking stuffers can be inexpensively made. They don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You might even use things you already have in your kitchen or in your herb storage. That’s a double win when you can create from your stash and make someone happy.
2. Handmade stocking stuffers don’t take a lot of time
Many homemade gifts can be batch created. They can even be made while you are doing other jobs in the kitchen. A lot of the time is just waiting time.
3. Not cheap or easily broken
The problem with most stocking stuffers is that they are made of plastic, from cheap materials and they break within the first week of use. When you make a handmade gift, even a small one, you can craft quality into the gift, too.
4. Handmade stocking stuffers are not plastic
Plastic is toxic, both to the one using it and to the environment. Plastics contain chemicals that disrupt your delicate hormonal balance and can make you fat, and give you cancer. Plastics don’t break down in the environment so that toxic stuff stays around for centuries. Your handmade stocking stuffers can avoid plastic materials, too.
5. Handmade gifts will be both age and interest appropriate
My eldest has a cabinet full of homemade soap that he doesn’t use. Every sink and tub in his home has a bottle of liquid detergent or body wash right beside it. He uses and prefers these store-bought items, so he doesn’t need yet another bar of handmade soap.
He isn’t ready to appreciate the finer qualities of Goat’s Milk Soap and that’s okay. Since body wash is toxic detergent, he won’t be getting that in his stocking either. When you make stocking stuffers you can ensure that the gift is appropriate both to your own values and the values of the recipient.
6. Contribute to a Greener environment.
We all don’t want to produce more garbage. Handmade stocking stuffers can be created with the earth in mind. Aim for a zero-waste gift and reusable packaging.
7. Handmade stocking stuffers will be something that the recipient can value
Handmade stocking stuffers should fill a void in the recipient’s life, spark their creativity, give them pleasure and joy or even have play value. Look through this list and see if there are any recipes or DIY crafts that fit the bill for the people on your list.
Food ideas for handmade stocking stuffers:
Homemade candy is an ideal DIY stocking stuffer. Its consumable, you can make it with organic sugar, honey, or maple syrup and avoid the GMOs and Soy that are an integral part of commercial candies and chocolate bars. You can even include the kids in the creative part. Package it in 1/4 lb. paper candy bags, that you decorate with stickers and rubber stamps, to individualize for each recipient.
Although most candy recipes call for corn syrup which is made from genetically-modified corn, you can use honey (a combination of fructose and glucose) in the place of corn syrup, or maple syrup. Corn syrup functions as a fructose which helps to inhibit the formation of sugar crystals in the finished product.
A single sugar crystal formed at the side of the pan can cause more crystallization of the candy and cause the batch to seize. Other things that you can do to inhibit the formation of premature crystallization is to not stir the syrup while boiling, put a lid on the pot for the first part of the boiling time to allow the steam to wash down the sugar crystals from the side of the pan, and to add butter or milk to the pot to inhibit the crystallization process. See these tips for candy making success.
Fudge is a candy where you want crystals to form, but you don’t want them to form until the candy is cooler. So make sure your fudge drops in temperature before you begin to beat it or it will seize up prematurely. Maple sugar candy is a type of fudge.
Some candy recipes to try:
Nougat (this is a bit tricky so make sure that you read the directions carefully)
Herbal Gifts for the Christmas Stocking
Your herb garden is the perfect place to find the ingredients for homemade stocking stuffers. Try these ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
For more ideas on using beeswax in handmade gifts, get my book, The Beeswax Workshop.
From the Knitting Needles
This one takes a bit more time. It’s a small package but with a big investment of time.
Sewing and Stitching gifts
More handmade stocking stuffers
If you are looking for more handmade stocking stuffer inspiration have a look at my Pinterest board here.