Christmas stocking fillers- traditions and ideas

We love a Christmas stocking here at Closer.. there is nothing more exciting than waking up in the morning and opening a larger-than-life sock filled with little treats, and of course having chocolate for breakfast on Christmas morning!

But why do we even have Christmas stockings?

The history of Christmas stockings

In one Scandinavian legend St. Nicholas of Myra, who was believed to be the inspiration for Father Christmas, is traveling through a small village when he learns of the plight of a merchant and his daughters.

In one popular version of the story, a once wealthy merchant has fallen on difficult times and is worried for the future of his three beautiful daughters, who he is unable to marry off to suitable men, for want of a dowry.

St. Nicholas decides to help the man, and rides his majestic white horse by the merchant's house one night. He then tosses three bags of gold coins down the chimney of their house.

All the bags are luckily captured in the girls' stockings, which had been hung by the fireplace mantle to dry.

When the gold coins are discovered the next morning, the merchant’s daughters rejoiced, and went on to make advantageous marriages and live happily ever after.

Apparently, after the account of this miracle spread, children began hanging their stockings by the fireplace, in hopes that they too would receive gifts from St. Nicholas.

Isn’t that sweet?

What do you put into Christmas stockings?

Traditional stocking fillers are a variety of small treats which are fun or useful, and inexpensive.

Things which usually went into a stocking back in olden times were cheap, easy presents which were seasonal. So there was always a satsuma at the bottom, some gold coins added a little sugar rush and a couple of little toys would usually end up in there too. Sometimes a new toothbrush was given!

Many parents now give toiletries in stockings for girls, and little games or even useful little things for hobbies like guitar picks or loombands for boys (remember those?)

For adults it’s usually chocolate, fruit and some useful things like socks, pants, tights, little samplers of perfume, or skin creams or shaving oils. Tiny little pocket books which are very easy to buy in the shops can also be charming.

Here are ten ideas for stocking fillers this Christmas, five for children and five for the big kids in your life

Great stocking fillers for children


These chalks are great for drawing on paper, on pavements or anywhere really. Hours of fun.

Twirly Woos

A cuddly friend from a popular Cbeebies programme Twirly Woos

Chocolate coins

A classic in every stocking

Bath toys

These cute ducks will be a bathtime favourite in no time!

Colouring pad

Cute, and guaranteed to pass away the house until Christmas dinner is FINALLY ready!

Great Stocking fillers for men

Happy socks

These socks are soft, durable and really charming.

Pass the pigs

A classic travel game, great for taking on holiday.

Boozy chocolate brussels sprouts

Chocolate and alcohol – the perfect combination!

Bacon toothpaste

As it says here on the website, taste that breakfast goodness all day!

Key finder

Actually quite useful, and a relief for you, as you’ll never have to put up with ‘Where the XX are my KEYS’ every couple of weeks.

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Closer magazine cover