family fun

Christmas: Stocking Stuffer Strategies—Include The Big Kids!

family funfamily fun-traditions

I once spent a Christmas visiting an old high school friend and her family. I was intrigued and delighted by a tradition of their family’s. They filled each other’s Christmas stockings! The adult kids all drew names and then sneakily filled each other’s stockings.

I asked how long they had been doing this and was told since they were big enough to be ‘in on the secret.’

handmade Christmas Stockings hung by the chimney

A New Holiday Tradition Is Born

Brilliant Idea! As soon as my two older kiddos were old enough to enjoy the sparkle of clandestinely surprising another on Christmas morning, our new Stocking Stuffer Tradition began.

5 Strategies to Kick Off A New Stocking Stuffing Tradition

1. Parent’s Fill Each Other’s Stockings

This is important. I mean, some of the rules below don’t apply ... sometimes I DO expect a fancy bobble from Santa Baby in my stocking!

2. Kids Old Enough Draw Names (if enough) and Fill Designated Stocking

Help your kids on Christmas Eve to separately sneak in and fill the sibling’s stocking. Hide the stockings until the others are filled! (Don’t worry about them ‘knowing who did it’, I promise they get caught up in the fun of giving!)

3. Stick to a Small Budget

The brilliant thing about filling a stocking is that you can only fit so much in it! Small and inexpensive items are perfect. Give each kid a set amount to spend or if you’re like us, we make them save up allowance over the year exactly for times like this!

4. Be Creative!

If the sibling is into photography, look for a small photo album. If the other is all about cupcakes, then find cupcake supplies she’ll love.

5. The Basics Never Go Out of Style

When I was a kid, we always got chocolate orange sticks, a small necklace or earrings and, yes, a new toothbrush in our stockings. I figured Santa was telling me something? Encourage kids to add items to the stockings that are practical as well as silly or whimsical.



Keeping the magic alive for older kids is as simple as including them in the Christmas Eve Traditions or inventing a few new ones just for them!

  • How do you keep the magic alive for older kids?
  • And what types of traditions have you created for older kids?

What type of things do you put in your family's Christmas stockings?

In a former life, Carissa Rogers was a molecular biologist. In her current life, she is the chief researcher of bloggy karma, parenting dos (and some don’ts), new recipes, and for spice she pretends to be a photographer. Carissa writes freelance for the 'goodncrazy' of it! She started blogging in February of 2008 and publishes her good & crazy thoughts on Also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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