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Unique Christmas Stocking Tradition Ideas

This ‘Unique Christmas Stocking Tradition Ideas!’ post is sponsored by Tayo Toys.  As always, all opinions are my own.

Hanging Christmas stockings is a tradition that many families enjoy.  From toddlerhood through adult, everyone enjoys getting a stocking filled with a variety of fun little surprises.  But if you’re on the hunt for ways to make this tradition even better; I’m going to share what my family does each year.

First, I’ll start by saying we developed this routine a couple years ago after the tradition of opening our stockings started getting a little dull.  So while these changes have really amped up the excitement for our family, I know there are lots of other fun ways to do stockings too.

Unique Christmas Stocking Tradition Ideas – How To Make The BEST Christmas Stockings For Kids!

Unique Christmas Stocking Tradition Ideas

While some families choose to have ‘Santa’ fill their stockings, mom and dad are in charge in our home.  On Black Friday, we go cut down our Christmas tree and then come home to hang up our empty stockings.  Then, early to mid December, I wrap up some little gifts and stuff the stockings for the kids.  The day they see those stuffed stockings is exciting for sure!  Sometimes they notice right away, other years it takes a day or two.  

Because we typically have 3-5 different Christmas celebrations to attend where the kids usually get at least one gift each at, so we actually ‘do’ our stockings about a week before Christmas.

Christmas stocking -- Unique Christmas Stocking Tradition Ideas

The Day Of The Stockings – TREASURE HUNT!

Now, we never tell our kids in advance when we’re going to open the stockings.  When we have an empty day and just need some pep, we surprise the kids!  What we’ve found to be the most fun and add excitement is to make a scavenger hunt.  So once we decide we’re going to do the stockings, we send all the kids upstairs to work on a project or to clean something.  Then, my husband and I each grab a couple stockings and we hide them throughout the main level of our home.  

Once we’re all set, we call the kids down and send them on the hunt.  They rush around and if they find a stocking that ISN’T theirs, they have to leave it be and keep quiet.  Once everyone finds their stockings, we all gather at the table and they open the gifts together.

Last year, we hid one of the stockings under the Christmas tree skirt and it took our oldest the longest to find!  Everyone was giggling so much as she scurried about looking for it as a couple kids had discovered it on their search.  We finally had to give her a room to limit her searching location.  It was a really great hiding spot that I’m sure we’ll use again in the future.  So no matter how you do it, adding fun to the process is a great way to add excitement.  By creating a hunt, we add at least 15-20 minutes to the process as well as loads of giggles, fun, and memories.

fireplace with Christmas stockings -- Unique Christmas Stocking Tradition Ideas

UPDATE:  2020 Stocking Hunt Complete!

***UPDATE:  We just did our stockings and the hunt lasted over 30 minutes this year!  The kids were laughing and having so much on the hunt.  We had to give several hints but everyone FINALLY found their stockings.  Then we headed to the table and hung out together for the next 45 minutes opening gifts, sharing, talking, and playing with our new items.  It was such a fun time!

So if you do a hunt this year, let me know how it goes!

Additional Unique Christmas Stocking Tradition Ideas

  1. Create themed Christmas stockings!  So, for example, if your child loves cats, have each item in the Christmas stocking feature a cat on it.
  2. Change it up and have your children hang their stockings on their beds instead of the mantle.
  3. Make experience based stockings.
  4. Create a winter essentials stocking.
  5. Give out a traditional jut fruits stocking.

What Do You Put In A Kids Stocking – Our Top 5 Gifts Ideas

Now, do you struggle with what to put IN your stockings?  When our kids were young, we’d hit up the dollar store but over the years, I realized that everything just ended up in the trash within a couple days so I became more particular about what I give the kids.  I like to give one toy and then some essentials that the kids enjoy.  That way, I know the money I spend on stocking stuffers will be put to good use!  Here are the top 5 things I recommend for kids:

toy cars - Unique Christmas Stocking Tradition Ideas

Tayo Mini Cars Toy for Kids

Making sure there’s at least ONE toy in their Christmas stockings is a must for us.  (Because let’s be honest, what kid isn’t hoping for at least one new toy, right!?)  These Tayo Mini Cars are the perfect choice!

Christmas stocking - Unique Christmas Stocking Tradition Ideas

This Tayo Mini Cars Set consists of 9 different vehicle inspired toys that feature the characters in Tayo the Little Bus, which kids and toddlers love. Made from durable metal construction, kids and adults alike will appreciate the longevity they offer versus some of the plastic options on the market.

  • Tayo is friendly and playful. Gani is hardworking and warm-hearted.
  • Rogi is conceited, outgoing, and also mischievous, but he is good-hearted.
  • Rani is cute, cheerful, kind, sweet-natured.
  • Pat is an experienced police car who is always serious when working.
  • Bong Bong is a very chipper light blue baby minibus.
  • Kinder is a kindergarten school bus.
  • Nuri is a calm and professional female taxi who first met Tayo in the first-season episode.
  • Heart is Hana`s kind pink helper car.

These toy cars are light weight, making them easy to play with and offer loads of fun!

cars on Christmas stocking - Unique Christmas Stocking Tradition Ideas

Lip Balm

Winter is rough on our skin here in Minnesota so adding some necessities such as BeeEssential Lip Balm is a MUST!  Everyone has their own for the seasons and we take a sharpie and write names on each so everyone remembers which scent is theirs.

Snack Or Special Candy

Kids LOVE snacks and special candy treats.  So I head to the store and grab each child’s favorite and slip that into their stocking.  It’s extra special because I do not typically purchase these particular snacks or candies.  Not to mention, the snacks I do purchase are usually a free-for-all and need to be shared, so they get to keep their Christmas stocking snacks all for themselves!

Bath Bombs + Salts

Everyone feels better after a hot shower or bath and to encourage good hygiene and cleanliness, we slip some bath bombs and bath sals into their stockings.

Pair Of ‘Fun’ Socks

Socks are a necessity in most areas so getting a new, fun pair of socks is always exciting for my kids.  There are so many great options when it comes to socks that you’ll be able to find the perfect pair for anyone.  My son’s lion socks from last year still get worn every week by him!  I’d consider that a great investment!

So tell me, so you have any Unique Christmas Stocking Tradition Ideas for the holiday season?

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gloria patterson

Thursday 9th of December 2021

What a great ideal!! going to share that ideal with my niece.


Wednesday 30th of December 2020

What fun ideas for stockings! So much more engaging than just laying them out.

Kelly Freeman

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

I wish I would have read this article last week

Rebecca W

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

These are great ideas. I don't usually do stockings, but I think it's a fun idea.

Ashley Chassereau Parks

Monday 28th of December 2020

I love the Scavenger Hunt idea! That sounds so fun!! Santa fills ours right now, while our kids are young, but that's a great idea when they get older! This year the kids begged to open the stockings after seeing what gifts Santa left. (He usually leaves a few and everything that is wrapped is from mom and dad.) I need to buy some time to make and serve breakfast before the upwrapping began, so they dug into their stockings and played with everything in them! Our stockings are usually filled with some candy, small toys (like matchbox cars and lego bracelets), hairbows, etc. I love the idea of the bath bombs and the cars you showed above! Those are super cute!