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Somehow, we are now less than a month away from Christmas. Only, a few weeks ago it still seemed far too early to be thinking about the big day. But suddenly I've reached the point where I feel I need to get organised and fast. I love adding a few extra bits and pieces "for Christmas" in the weekly shop. Most of us remember the "special cupboard" our parents would keep and hearing, "No, you can't have that, it's for Christmas!" for weeks and months on end if you happened to reach for a Pringle or a Twiglet .
While shopping at Aldi for our fresh fruit groceries, with the savings I make, I can afford to add some Christmas buys to the shop too. I love all the seasonal chocolate available and these are also great for teacher gifts.
In the middle of Aldi, we come to the Special Buys section, my favourite part. I have picked up lots of stocking fillers from here and love how you can buy the stocking and everything to go inside in one shop, all for a great price. It's all grouped close together so you can shop quickly and never have to queue long. There are some pretty amazing main presents on this aisle too. You can find something for everyone.
This week I bought the kids advent calendars (94p), mixed nuts (£2.19) and everything to go inside my youngest daughter, Isabelle's stocking. I've made a start on the older kids too.
What to Put Inside a Christmas Stocking
- Something to wear
- Something to eat
- Something to do
Hat, gloves and scarf
Toy (small figure or cars etc)
(for adults a bottle of someone's favourite Christmas tipple can go down well (Irish cream, Cava or Prosecco for me if you're asking) and a bottle of perfume or aftershave is a lovely surprise too!
How Much to Spend on a Stocking
When I was a student we always used to have an early "Christmas Day" in our student house so we could all celebrate together. We would each make another housemate a "Secret Santa Stocking" and we would set a budget of £5 (well, we were penniless students and it was surprising how much we managed to get for that fiver).
When I went shopping for my stocking fillers, I'll be honest I hadn't given myself a budget, I was so time poor I just popped in and picked up what I needed. It came to just over £10 with pyjamas being the most expensive item at £3.99. There were lots of other items to choose from to make up different sorts of stockings too so you can tailor it to your needs.
How to Pack Your Stocking
Take larger items, such as the pyjamas out of their packaging. Fold them up small and wrap them. Clementines, chocolate coins and candy canes don't need to be wrapped.
If the stocking is a magical one to be opened on Christmas morning then I first sprinkle in some silver glitter and shake it around the stocking before I add the gifts. That way magic dust will appear when the stocking is opened-very exciting!
Add your presents to the stocking and finish with some gifts poking out of the top- I've hung the candy canes over the stocking tops.
This wool stocking is £3.99 if you need to buy a stocking too. Ours will be hung lower on the fireplace on Christmas Eve. This is our first year without a stair gate so I need new hooks to hang them on.
I always make up a Christmas Eve basket for the kids too with new pyjamas, book, Christmas treat and a shared DVD so these fillers will also be used for that. A Christmas Eve Stocking would be great too.
Do you make up Christmas stockings as well as the main presents? What are your stocking filler favourites?