Why We Don’t Do Christmas Stockings

Gift guides are pretty popular amongst bloggers, especially at Christmas. I occasionally read them for a bit of inspiration, especially for the kids. I’ve never had a 5 year old boy before – so reading guides from people who have bought gifts for 5 year old boys can be pretty useful.

One sort of gift guide I will never read though are any for stocking fillers. We just don’t do stockings here. I know my family never did it when we were little, and Graham can’t remember if his family did or not. We have some hanging up in our living room simply because the kids decorated them at a Christmas fair last year. Come Christmas morning, they will be empty as they are now.

Why We Don't Do Christmas Stockings

That’s not because we are mean or anything like that, but what we absolutely do not need at Christmas is yet more stuff to find homes for and clutter up a house. Stocking fillers to me suggest tat. Stuff that no one really needs but it is bought to simply fill a stocking. I know some people buy useful stuff like socks and underwear but we just buy that throughout the year as and when they need them. The children absolutely do not need any more colouring pens or pencils, colouring books, bubble baths and definitely no more chocolate – all the usual stuff you seem to find suggested in gift guides as ‘stocking fillers’.

The kids get an awful lot of presents as it is at Christmas – from us, their aunties and uncles, grandparents, great grandparents..and there’s also two birthdays in the run up to Christmas, not to mention all the lovely stuff we get sent to review. No way do we want to add to that with a giant sock stuffed with rubbish they won’t use. It’s the same with advent calendars with toys in and Christmas boxes…it’s yet more stuff, making an already materialistic event even more about the stuff they get. It sometimes feels like it is all about how much money you can spend. Rather than spend the money on that, we would rather use it to take them to Christmas fairs and on days out where they can get into the Christmas spirit and have fun. A Playmobil advent calendar costs about £20. That would be £60 on bloody calendars. No – we would rather do something like we did last year, taking them on a steam train ride, or something like that. They won’t remember an advent calendar toy in 10 years time, but I bet they remember the steam train ride!

I know some families choose to do stockings from Santa and ‘main presents’ from parents, or variations on that. We differ from that. All of their presents come from us – Santa is purely a courier in our family. We pay for the presents, and Santa looks after them and delivers them…if they’re good of course. It means that they will hopefully understand that they can’t always get what they want because we aren’t made of money, and to be honest, we get the credit for getting them the presents! It worked well for my brothers and I when we were little and it’s worked well for us so far with our kids.

Saying all that, I’m a massive believer in people doing things their own way. Just last year I had a huge rant on Facebook over a meme that was going around telling people how to celebrate Christmas. If someone wants to spend £1000’s on their kids, that’s absolutely fine. If someone wants to buy their kids just one present for Christmas, that’s fine. if you want to do stockings and toy advent calendars and Christmas Eve boxes, that’s cool. If you are like me and hate them, that’s also cool.  Each to their own and all that shizzle. It’s not for anyone else to dictate how you celebrate anything.



8 thoughts on “Why We Don’t Do Christmas Stockings”

  1. Santa fills our children’s stockings. Usually, they only contain a book each; this year, the boy also has an outfit and the girl a drawing mannequin. We keep it low-key and it stresses the importance that books play in our daily lives. I certainly don’t fill the stockings with sweets or small just-because presents which break after 5min or will be tossed into a corner, to be found only when we move house.
    I fully agree that Christmas seems more of a spending fest than what it was all about originally – a time for family and friends to gather and reflect, as well as an occasion with which to pass the darker days of the year. We put our emphasis on spending time as a family.

    1. Those gift ideas are nice – definitely not tat. We buy things like that but wrap them up and just put them with the main pressies. I definitely agree that it is a time for family and fun – the presents are lovely but it’s definitely not the be all and end all of Christmas! x

  2. I kind of love this post. Definitely understand where you’re coming from, especially on the materialistic side of things like (pretty but also kind of pointless Christmas Eve boxes etc). We do stockings because the ‘stocking’ itself is a tradition for us as the children decorate a plain white pillow case (new one every year because we keep them as souvenirs) with fabric pens. But I don’t buy ‘stocking gifts’ just any smaller presents they are getting will go in there. X

  3. I agree totally with you, for us Christmas is minimalist, no stockings for any of us. We just give one thoughtful gift to each other and that is it ~ not piles of stuff just for the sake of it. I have three girls and they appreciate the one gift far more than many smaller ones. To be fair we choose instead to dot the year with random gifts to surprise them when they are feeling down as they all suffer from differing mental health issues and work hard to overcome the hurdles that creates. I have bunked our family tradition though as my mum was a pile the gifts up high woman who loved watching people opening the presents which ranged from the insane to the ridiculous but made her incredibly happy. I suppose we all have different view which is great and whatever suits you and your family is what matters most. xx Love the blog xx

  4. I keep the Christmas stocking tradition with useful stuff.
    This is a great time to stock up on underwear.
    Not exciting but I would be sad to see the tradition go.

  5. I stopped the Christmas stocking madness years ago. I’d rather spend the money on a family outing. I love buying thoughtful gifts, but stocking fillers always stressed me out.

  6. I am hoping to give them up this year. They are so expensive and half the stuff is not appreciated. I’m nixing a few traditions this year. I hope my family will get on board.

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