How To Create The Perfect Stocking

There is something truly magical about feeling that weight at the end of your bed and reaching to retrieve a stocking stuffed with presents.

They can be such a headache to create, though, not to mention expensive. We think you should be looking at about 12 presents for a decent stocking, but they don’t all have to be expensive.

It’s also a good idea to include some useful things: socks, stationary, hairbands etc are all pretty boring in isolation but they make up a great stocking.

Here are some stocking-related ideas – for children and adults.

1. Socks

Yep, every stocking should include at least one pair of socks. Try to avoid aggressively Christmas-themed socks as no-one wants to wear them at any other time of year.

For women we love JCrew’s socks…. e.g. green glitter; pink zig zags; stars and stripes.

For a suit wearer, you can’t go wrong with a bumper back of navy lambswool socks from M & S.

We love the children’s socks from Joules – they’re colourful and don’t go all hard in the wash and seem to last a good amount of time. Baby socks….. now they can be more trouble than they’re worth in our opinion. Go for a romper suit instead, then you don’t have to worry about socks falling off.

2. Something to use on Christmas morning

An egg cup is fun, if you are capable of boiling an egg for breakfast. We found some excellent ones on Trouva, in a pack of three, so you can cater for several members of the family at once!

Otherwise, a new cereal bowl or mug; Emma Bridgwater is our go-to, as she also does melamine tableware for children.

If you don’t do breakfast, go for something fun and Christmassy like a reindeer hairband to wear to granny’s.

3. Gloves, hats, or scarves

These are excellent stocking fillers and can be used later that day when you head out for a Christmas walk. Muddy Puddles does the best kids bobble hats; they come in numerous colours and are stretchy enough to cover ears, too. We also recommend their gloves, too.

For women, we love colourful wrap around shawls from Maje, which brighten up a dull winter coat, and fleece-lined gloves from Northface which are toasty warm and go with everything.

Men: Ralph Lauren leather gloves and a navy-dot scarf from Drake’s.

4. A good book

Definitely need a new book in a stocking.

We’re going for the new David Walliams, The Ice Monster, for the six-year-old; the latest in the Oi books  for the four-year-old and Pip and Posy and the Snowy Day for the two-year-old.

We’re hoping to get Miss Boston and Mrs Hargreaves in our stockings and the husband is getting the latest Robert Harris.

5. Stationary

Pritt sticks, glitter glue, post-it notes, pens, Crayola colouring crayons, you don’t need to go any more upmarket than this.

6. Bubble bath or similar

We found some brilliant coloured bath bombs in the toy shop earlier today. Otherwise head to Lush and invest in one of their luxurious bath bombs (they do kid friendly versions) or go even classier with a bottle of bubble bath from Little Aurelia.

This is also the part of the stocking where you top up on your husband’s/ wife’s cosmetics such as toothpaste, make-up, shaving balm (Trufitt and Hill is good) and nail files.

7. Chocolate

M&S chocolate sprouts or Prestat Chocolate Thins depending on the age and stage of the recipient.

8. Something frivolous

A cufflinks box or paperweight for your husband, for example (Cutter Brooks has a wide selection); a stretchy plastic man or dinosaur for your child (they cost 25p and provide endless fun). Maybe you’d like an electric blue card holder from Smythson?

9. Underwear

If your baby is still in nappies this one won’t be relevant. Otherwise, raid the M&S underwear department. For boxers, J Crew is good; for bras and knickers we love French underwear brand Princesse Tam Tam.

10. Clementines and walnuts

Don’t forget to shove these into the toe of the stocking before you start stuffing it.

11. Something funny

Wind up false teeth, for example, a jitter bug, a joke moustache or whoppee cushion (you can get them from Baker & Ross) or for adults, a silly secret Santa present from Paperchase. Anything that might make them laugh.

12. A magazine

Rolled up and poking out the top of the stocking. We’re big in to Beano in this household; the CBeebies magazines are good for craft lovers, though, and what adult doesn’t want the Christmas double issue of Country Life or Private Eye…. Or Grazia?

Beware, this might be the present you all enjoy most on Christmas Day.


Oh, and for the stocking itself – this one is on special offer at John Lewis…

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