For kids, the only thing better than getting to open the presents that have been toying with their imagination in plain sight under the tree is getting to dig into the stockings that have been hanging from the mantel. The Christmas stocking is one of the most enjoyable holiday traditions, and gives parents an extra opportunity to surprise their kids with great gifts. Stocking stuffers can make an already great Christmas even more special or save the day if the presents under the tree didn’t go over as well as you imagined. Stuffing stockings isn’t just about what you put inside. It’s also about how you layer gifts. Here’s our take on the 5 essential layers.
Layer 1: Best for Last
Your very first layer fits nice and snug right at the toe of the stocking. It’s the very last thing your child will pull out, and if you open stockings last, the final gift they’ll probably be getting during the holidays. It’s the perfect spot for that special toy they’ve been talking about for the past few months, as long as it’s small enough to fit.
Layer 2: The Cover Up
After you’ve stowed away the star of the stocking deep at the bottom, you need a gift that can also double as a clever disguise. This is the perfect spot for an apparel item like pajamas or a superhero cape, a blanket or a stuffed animal. Make sure to use it to wrap the gift in the toe to cover up the surprise until the last moment.
Layer 3: Licensed to Thrill
The third layer nests right on top of the soft or cozy cover-up, right in the middle of the stocking. At this point, it’s time to set the scene for the special prize at the bottom of the stocking with an equally special, but maybe less expensive gift. It’s a great place to feature one of their favorite licensed characters from movies or TV.
Layer 4: Lesson Learned
Kids are going to assume that the best of the best is at the bottom of the stocking, so it’s better to take a risk at the top of the stocking. Reserve this second-to-last spot for something borderline educational like a book, game, art supplies or puzzle. It’s not going to be the gift that makes them drop everything and run off to play, but it could easily be the present that’s still entertaining them when the sun finally sets on Christmas Day.
Layer 5: Top Surface Sweets
Reserving the top layer for sweets is a good idea for several reasons. One, it’s an exciting sight for kids who are definitely in the mood for something sugary on Christmas. Two, it’s not a gift you have to wrap up in any particular way or worry about being identified. Three, putting treats at the top keeps weight and warmth off.
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