Home & Decor

Solutions & Substitutions Column

Stocking Stuffers for that Someone Special
By Reena Nerbas

Candy canes are great, but the time has come to think outside the sock! Forget the gift exchange and bring in the holidays with a ‘Stocking Stuffer’ party instead. Get those creative juices going!

Stocking stuffers are generally little gifts that are inexpensive; candies and fruits and make thoughtful additions to this wonderful time of year.

Start a family tradition of placing oranges in everyone’s stocking, to eat Christmas morning.
Bags of French Clay Recipe: Combine 1 cup flour, 1-cup salt, 1 tbsp. cream of tartar, 1 tbsp. oil, 1- cup water, food coloring and one-quarter tsp. peppermint extract into a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for 3 to 5 minutes, until mixture forms a ball. When cool, knead until smooth. Divide into balls and place in airtight containers. Give this gift to children or people at your office that need an outlet for their frustrations.
Disposable camera: With all of the activity going on during Christmas, you probably don’t have time to take pictures and document the day. Let your friends and family members take on the job. Note: Choose a camera suitable for indoors.
Gold Chocolate also known as, “Snowman Soup”: Into a holiday mug place 1 pkg. hot chocolate mix, 3 chocolate kisses, 15 mini marshmallows (in a baggie), one candy cane
Add this poem:
”Was told you’ve been real good this year
Always glad to hear it
With freezing weather drawing near
You’ll need to warm the spirit
So here’s a little snowman soup
Complete with stirring stick
Add hot water, sip it slow
It’s sure to do the trick!”

Homemade Christmas Ornament Recipe: In a large bowl mix; 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, half tsp. cinnamon, half cup water. Stir and add one more half cup water. Knead until the dough is smooth, this can take up to 10 minutes. If dough is runny add more flour. For flat dough ornaments roll out the dough and cut with; cookie cutters, play dough molds, Jell-O molds, and clay molds to create unique designs! Dust dough with flour and begin to add details to the ornaments with a toothpick, Popsicle stick, and knife. Use a straw to make a hole so you can hang the ornament. Bake at 325 degrees for approx. one and a half to two hours (or until dry). Let cool. Decorate with acrylic paints, glue on beads, buttons, sequins or lace. To preserve ornaments, coat with acrylic varnish or spray with clear sealer.
Theme pillowcase: Pillowcases are very easy to sew by hand or machine. Choose fabric that represents the receiver’s hobbies: golf balls, princesses, donuts or chipmunks etc. Since it’s a stocking stuffer, you only need to make one! Fill the pillowcase with gifts that match the theme of the pillowcase.
Assortment of batteries: Instead of wrapping batteries, separate them into stocking stuffers. Since you may need to purchase them anyway, they aren’t an extra expense. By separating them out, you make a start on your stocking stuffing and the recipient’s will love them because they can immediately start playing the electronic devices they receive.
Good Enough for the Queen Tea recipe: Mix together half cup instant ice tea, 2-cups orange crystals, 2-cups sugar, 1 package instant lemonade, 1 and three quarter tsp. cinnamon, 1 and a half tsp. ground cloves. Separate into smaller portions. Package in tightly covered containers. Include the following instructions: To serve: Combine 2 to 3 teaspoons of mix with one cup of boiling water. Stir well. (Makes 32 cups of tea)
For the handsome man in your life: An all-in-one screwdriver will come in handy at home, the office or in the car. He’ll appreciate a tire gauge that he can keep in his glove compartment or trunk. Other items to consider are a corkscrew, flashlights in various sizes, pens, pencils, pocket knife or calculator.
Paper airplane patterns: Why not use your computer know-how to print off several different patterns for paper airplanes, one for each member of the family? Tuck one unfolded paper into each stocking and have a distance flying contest on Christmas morning.
Whisk: Purchase a kitchen whisk and fill it full of chocolate kisses with a note that says, “We whisk you a Merry Christmas”.
Christmas Cookie Tips:

After being thanked by my good friend Gord for sending him “cookie crumbs” a few years back I reevaluated my cookie packaging concept. So, if you decide to mail batches of homemade cookies to someone special, keep the following kitchen secrets in mind.

To keep flavors from changing or blending with others, pack cookies in separate containers or wrap different types separately within a container.
Use sturdy foil-lined containers or tins. Wrap round cookies back to back in pairs, stacked flat or on end. Layer bars between sheets of waxed paper. Cushion well with tissue or waxed paper up to the top of the container to keep them snug.
Place crumpled newspaper, shredded paper or popcorn below, above and between containers to cushion them in the shipping box.
Seal the box with shipping tape and cover the address label with clear tape for protection. Mark the package clearly with the word “perishable” to encourage careful handling.

Reena Nerbas is a professional speaker and the author of three national best sellers, “Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions”, “Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets” and “Household Solutions 3 with Green Alternatives”. Books and Household Solutions 1, 2 and 3 Christmas Gift Packs are available on-line or by calling: 204-320-2757.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming!

Check out my web site! www.householdsolutions.org

The following two tabs change content below.
Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.

Latest posts by Canadian Home Trends (see all)