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8 creative ideas for stocking that stocking

By ALLISON MILES
Dec. 15, 2012 at 6:15 a.m.
Updated Dec. 16, 2012 at 6:16 a.m.


Did you know ... ?

• Nationwide, holiday spending is expected to reach $586.1 billion. That's 4.1 percent more than last year.

• Online sales will reach an estimated $96 billion, up 12 percent from last year.

• Retailers will hire an estimated 585,000 to 625,000 seasonal employees this year, which is in line with last year's 607,500 hires.

Source: National Retail Federation news release

It's that time of year again, when toy ads dominate TV breaks and wish lists make themselves known.

Yes, Christmas is nearly upon us.

But when it comes to shopping lists, under-the-tree items are just the beginning. Christmas stockings are another holiday tradition for many.

Everyone knows it is Santa's job to provide the stocking stuffers, but sometimes the big guy needs help.

Here, retailers offer up creative ideas to spread that holiday cheer.



Personalized presents

Soda koozies, tote bags, tea towels and the like are all small enough to fit inside a stocking. Adding a monogram or person's name, however, can turn that small gift into something special.



A bit of bling

Bracelets, rosary beads, watches and other jewelry are always options, especially since the stocking is typically reserved for fun, less-expensive items. Jewelry might be an unexpected surprise.



Something for the little guys

For infants and toddlers, the possibilities are endless. Teething toys, small blankets, mittens and pacifiers are some ideas, while rattles, books and spoons would also work.



Tech-savvy treats

Most cellphone and MP3 devices fit securely inside a stocking, but accessories are another option. Consider screen protectors, protective cases, decorative covers and more.



Sensible storage

Wallets, coin purses, makeup bags and small purses are stocking ideas the recipient can put to good use once the holiday ends.



A thousand words

Gift items are nice, but what about including a special photo? That could include pets or children with Santa, a framed photo of a special family event or any one of a number of things.



Shower supplies

Colorful shower caps, soaps and sprays, bubble baths and tub toys are all squeaky-clean ways to stuff the stocking.



Delicacies for the dog ... or cat

Pet lovers need stockings, too, and they'll probably appreciate receiving toys or treats for those four-legged friends. While you're at it, why not fill a stocking specifically for that pet?

Sources: Melissa Earl, manager of A Special Stitch, Eny Faultersack, owner of Animal Palace, Sonia Saenz, owner of Sonia's Boutique, Bianca Tristan, manager of Cell Fashions, Corri Urban, owner of Pidder Patter

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