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With Christmas just around the corner, there are a few must-have items you need to celebrate the holiday season right. A Christmas tree is undoubtedly at the top of the list, along with lights, ornaments, and, of course, a star to put on top. Outdoor Christmas decorations also help keep up appearances in the neighborhood and turn your house into a sparkling grotto once a year. Some nutcrackers, a nativity scene and other Christmas ornaments, such as snowmen and Santa, are always a plus, but one decoration you don’t want to forget (unless you want to end up on the naughty list) is one of the best Christmas stockings.
Christmas stockings not only look the part and make a gorgeous addition to the festive decor when hung from the fireplace, but they also encourage the kindness of giving and celebrating through thoughtful sharing. No matter where you put your stocking growing up — the foot of your bed, on your doorknob, or even under the tree — Christmas stockings are always left with the same hope of Santa stopping by.
Whether you’re a firm Santa believer or the man himself has recruited you to help deliver gifts to stockings in your home on Christmas Eve, it’s a good idea to think about the best kind of fillers. Stockings come in various shapes and sizes, but they are usually best suited to smaller gifts.
Here are a few of the best Christmas stocking fillers to have on your wish list this Christmas:
- Candies, chocolates and lollipops
- Small toys
- Jewelry and watches
- Smart gadgets
- Cooking utensils
- Clothing accessories
- Perfume and aftershave
The Origin of Christmas Stockings
It’s picturesque. Christmas stockings seem to be about as old as the holiday itself. What are stockings? They’re essentially giant socks that hold all of your “stocking stuffers” or little presents which complement and add to your regular haul underneath the tree.
Christmas stockings are so pivotal to the holiday itself that they are explicitly mentioned in the classic Christmas poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” — where St. Nick “fill’d all the stockings, then turn’d with a jerk,/ And laying a finger aside of his nose/ And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.”
One of the most popular origin stories of Christmas stockings tells the tale of a recently widowed man who was having trouble raising his three daughters on his own. Santa Claus heard about his plight and decided to help him out by descending the chimney and filling all of the girls’ socks that just happened to be drying by the fire with gold coins. Thus the tradition of stockings was born, and many people still celebrate it to this day.
Oranges and Christmas Stockings
Many people also put oranges in Christmas stockings, and few know the reason why. Some speculate that it’s because there was a Great Depression-era time when fresh fruit was more difficult to come by than it is today. Another potential reason is that St. Nick gave gold balls instead of coins in the tale above, but bright, juicy oranges were the next best thing since gold balls were much more challenging to come by.
Christmas Stocking Alternatives
In other countries, like Iceland, Hungary and Germany, children leave shoes out for Santa Claus in addition to, and sometimes instead of, Christmas stockings to be filled with candy and goodies by the big man. In the Netherlands, children leave hay and carrots in their shoes for St. Nicholas’ horses, and in Spain, children leave shoes by the fireplace for gifts from the Wise Men instead of Santa Claus.
Filling stockings with goodies at Christmas is a widely held tradition in the USA, which adds to the excitement and cultural significance of the day. To help you prepare for Christmas this year, we’ve gathered our favorite Christmas stockings from around the web for you to check out. Whether you prefer something old school that closely resembles a sock from your dad’s drawer, or you want something intricately embroidered, we’ve found a stocking to suit your tastes.
1. Aitey Christmas Stockings
These Christmas stockings take regular ol’ stockings to the next level, literally, by adding larger-than-life plush decorations to the front and being large enough to stuff with all sorts of goodies come Christmas morning. These generously sized socks are approximately 18 inches long and 10 inches wide, have a 3D applique design, and are made out of high-quality cloth that will last you. The sturdy hanging look ensures a safe and secure hanging, even when filled to the brim with presents.
2. Wondershop Plush Christmas Stocking
You might consider the Wondershop Plus Christmas Stocking to be somewhat of a Christmas miracle due to its great value. This Christmas-style stocking which we automatically think of, come December 25th. It’s a faux fur red boot topped with a luxurious-looking white trim and a hanging loop. Despite the premium appearance of this stocking, it’s actually the most budget-friendly Christmas stocking in our round-up at the fantastic price of 10 dollars.
3. Original MantleClip Christmas Stocking Holder
BEST STOCKING HOLDERS
Original MantleClip Christmas Stocking Holders keep your stuffed goodie bags mounted on the mantel on display. These Christmas deer holders are made of brushed steel and are weighted, so they’ll stay in place. They’ve got a capacity of three pounds each and do not require nails or any permanent fixtures which might damage your mantle. Each pack includes two deer, but you can order more than one and create a family.
4. MONOBLANKS Canvas Christmas Santa Sack
The MONOBLANKS Canvas Christmas Santa Sack is what you need when generosity takes over. If you find that you’ve bought presents too big for a stocking or simply too many gifts, a sack is a go-to option for additional space. The front of this sack boasts a traditional, red Christmas truck carrying the all-important Christmas tree. It also has a text box for you to fill in the name of the lucky receiver. This Christmas stocking alternative is made from durable canvas with a drawstring closure. It’s both eco-friendly and great for keeping what’s inside a surprise until it’s time to open presents.
5. Kunyida Christmas Stockings
BEST KNIT DESIGN
If you want to appear as if you knit your Christmas stockings during quarantine but would rather buy them instead, we got you. These knit stockings are super affordable and come in warming festive burgundy, white and ivory colors. They’re a bit shorter than other stocking options but don’t require a liner to hold in all the gifts. They’re handmade and come ready to hang on the mantel.
6. Aitey Beige Christmas Stockings
These stockings are a hoot and a holler and certainly on-brand for Christmas. They’re similar to a previous option on this list, with a beige and plaid theme that makes them coordinate well with one another. They’ve got a significant opening up top for stuffing in gifts and will match green holiday decor well, like a tree. Each is crafted from burlap material and fleece fabric with fluff for the plush additions. This triple pack sets you up for the season, and you can always double or triple up on orders depending on how many people you’ve got in your family.
7. Wondershop Knit Christmas Stocking
This cozy-looking Wondershop Knit Christmas Stocking has a warm winter feel. The ribbed top of the stocking is a knitted continuation of the boot itself, highlighted with a decorative letter of your choice. You can select which letter you want on your stocking at the point of purchase, so why not order one for each family member to correspond with your names? Alternatively, you could spell out a Christmas-related word, such as ‘Noel.’
8. Sictlay The Grin-ch Christmas Stocking
You usually wouldn’t want the Grinch to be anywhere near your Christmas presents, but with the Sictlay The Frin-ch Christmas Stocking, you might find he helps you get more gifts, rather than less. It’s adorned with a classic Grinch cartoon pattern that’s perfect for your mantle. The stocking has a red loop for easy hanging, and if you like to take a more comical approach to Christmas decor, then you should check out the full range of stockings available in Sictlay’s novelty collection.
9. Classic Reindeer Cuff Christmas Stockings
If you’re tightening your purse strings this Christmas, as so many will be, you don’t have to go without festive stockings. These are burlap fabric with plush faux fur up top and fleece deer sewn onto the front and come in a pack of four for less than $16. The uniform design is perfect for decorating your home as it’s not too overwhelming but cheery. They’re also 18 inches long with wide openings up top for inserting presents.
10. The Holiday Aisle Sequin Christmas Stocking
Add a hint of sparkle to your mantlepiece this Christmas with The Holiday Aisle Sequin Christmas Stocking. The intricate detailing of the attached sequins means you can’t put this Christmas stocking in the washing machine. However, you can dry clean it if need be. It features a faux-fur white cuff which adds to the luxury feel and has dazzling sequins covering the entire boot area. Plus, it’s available in navy or red, so you can select more of your Christmas style color or have a mix of both.
11. Pottery Barn Quilted Christmas Stocking Collection
BEST QUILTED DESIGN
This Quilted Christmas Stocking Collection from Pottery Barn Kids is an excellent option for families that want matching stockings for each person. There is a vast range of different designs to choose from, including Disney characters, traditional snowflakes, cute dinosaurs and more. Once you’ve added your designs of choice to your basket, you can then personalize them with your names before paying.
12. Kurt Adler Star Wars Baby Yoga Christmas Stocking
BEST FOR STAR WARS FANS
The Kurt Adler Star Wars Baby Yoga Christmas Stocking is a must-have for any “Star Wars” fans. Whether it’s for treating yourself or starting your young Jedis out from a young age, this cute cartoon stocking combines a love for Christmas and “Star Wars” into a practical piece of decoration. Plus, this piece of decor is slightly larger than a standard Christmas stocking, giving you plenty of space to stuff it full of other “Star Wars” goodies.
13. The Holiday Aisle Hangright Christmas Stocking
If you’ve ever experienced how annoying it is to hang something one way, only to have it spin the other way, you need The Holiday Aisle Hagright Christmas Stocking. Not only is this stocking a traditional stocking made of luxury quality, but it also features a hanging loop with the ability to spin 360 degrees so that the boot always sits precisely as you want it. Additionally, the plain design of pure red and white areas offers a customization opportunity using your favorite badges or pins.
14. Northlight Seasonal White Stocking
BEST MONOCHROME DESIGN
These snowflake Christmas stockings are soft and cozy, making them a great option if you’re going for an all-white theme in your Christmas decor this year. The gorgeous ivory fabric uses printed foil snowflakes to highlight for a subtle hint of winter style. Plus, these Christmas stockings are machine washable, so you can chuck it in for a spin to keep its brilliant cream color for years to come.
15. Monogrammed Dog Christmas Stocking
BEST DOG STOCKING
We can’t forget about our furry friends! These dog Christmas stockings are adorably paw-shaped and come in festive plaid colors of red and green. They measure 10 inches wide and 17 inches long at their widest point, and you can choose between nine different fonts for the embroidered name. They’re perfect for stuffing with treats, toys and your pup’s favorite thing on Christmas Eve, and each stocking comes with a bone-shaped charm for an added decorative element.
16. Natural Fair Isle Christmas Stockings
BEST CLASSIC DESIGN
These Christmas stockings harken back to the origin story where the vessels for the trinkets, candy and small goodies were actual socks, with an elevated twist. These stockings sport a sophisticated, warm holiday look with an option to personalize the top with each family member’s name. The stockings are made from a polyester wool blend of red, white, blue and charcoal grey tones that sets the mood perfectly over the fireplace. Plus, the socks are pretty long despite being a bit more narrow, with plenty of room for gifts.
17. PGYFIS Sparkly Unicorn LED Christmas Stocking
BEST FOR KIDS
This Christmas stocking for kids takes the regular stocking design and turns it on its head, adding sparkles, rainbow colors and a unicorn horn for extra flair. It’s made of decorative, fluffy nylon fabrics and has a ribbon loop for easy hanging. It’s also got LED lights built in for actual sparkle that’ll light up the room and your surprises inside the stocking come Christmas morning. This is a perfect stocking for kids or festive adults who happen to love mythical creatures.
18. GEX Velvet Christmas Stockings
These six velvet Christmas stockings are enormous — 22 inches long to be exact, so there shouldn’t be any concern about being able to gift all the stocking stuffers you wish. They’re hand-sewn using velvet fabric and include decorative message elements on the front. Each pack comes with six stockings of various colors and designs so each member can choose their favorite.
19. Wintry Cheer Santa Personalized Christmas Stocking
Many Christmas stockings you can buy online come with an option for personal embroidery, but I like this one the best. The design is cozy, and the name in white at the top stands out against the plaid. The Santa has a buffalo check cuff as an accent detail, and it has an attached loop for easy hanging. The material is thick and high-quality and the long stocking is big enough to hold the number of gifts everyone wants.
20. Northlight Seasonal Faux Fur Stocking
FAUX FUR DESIGN
Another unique take on a Christmas stocking design is this faux fur piece of decor that’s got a gold geometric pattern over a solid white backdrop. The snowflakes etched in silver along the body are perfectly decorative and the gold trim along the rim at the top adds another festive element. This stocking is perfect for neutral homes that want to avoid a lot of color, and comes ready to hang on your mantel, staircase or other area of your home.
21. Glitzhome Ho Ho 3D Santa Stocking
BEST 3D DESIGN
The 3D design of the Glitzhome Ho Ho 3D Santa Stocking makes it a stand-out piece in any home. The bobbled material is both comfy to touch and top quality, too. While traditional stockings are nice, having a cheerful character like this guy on display is much better. Plus, Santa will surely appreciate your appreciation for him when he drops off your presents.
22. Lillian Vernoon Personalized Needlepoint Christmas Stocking
BEST NEEDLEPOINT DESIGN
This Lillian Vernoon Needlepoint Christmas Stocking is adorable, and it comes with the option of personalization in the form of an embroidered name. The needlepoint face is made of wool, and it has a velvet cuff up top, which is where you can easily add a name. The toe and backing of the stocking are velvet for solid construction. Although this Christmas stocking is more detailed than some alternatives, it’s still of a good size to ensure there’s plenty of room for presents.
23. Manor Luxe Snowman Lantern Christmas Stocking
If only the best is good enough for you at Christmas, then the Manor Luxe Snowman Lantern Christmas Stocking should be your stocking of choice this year. It combines all the best features of other Christmas stockings into one to deliver the ultimate festive look. It has two luxurious, red tartan print areas and a wintery snowman scene that fills the main space. The snowman himself is holding a lantern, which can light up once you’ve inserted the two required batteries (not included). This Christmas stocking is genuinely unique and sure to be the envy of any festive visitor.
24. Skylety Store Plaid Christmas Stockings
BEST PLAID DESIGN
Plaid is another great holiday print that’s perfect for a Christmas stocking, and these stockings come with bright, vivid plaid printed on the front. This 6-pack comes with one for each member of the family, all made of burlap and faux fur for a comfortable, festive look. They’re ready to hang on the mantle and stuff with candies, cards, small toys and gifts, and they’ve got thick loops for a reliable setup that’ll last through the days leading up to Christmas and into the holiday season.
25. LUBOT Buffalo Plaid Silhouette Christmas Stockings
If you’re a design-oriented household and want all stockings to follow a uniform pattern, this set is a great option. They’ve got a rustic, buffalo plaid design with various Christmas-related items on the fronts of the six included stockings. They’re made of cotton quilted fabric and are 20 inches long, so there’s plenty of room for gifts. Each one has a sturdy loop for hanging, and they’ve got 8 inch openings so filling them with stocking stuffers is easy.