Stocking Fillers And Why Every Thrifty Family Needs Them
Christmas Stockings – A Thrifty Essential
I still remember the outrage with which I greeted my mum’s suggestion that, since none of her “children” were even in their teens any more, we could, maybe, just not bother with stockings this year. I was horrified – didn’t she realise that the little bits and pieces in our stockings each year were part of the very fabric of Christmas? Hmmm?
the little bits and pieces in our stockings each year were part of the very fabric of Christmas
That year, more than ever, we needed the abundance of little fripperies that fill a stocking. We needed them because we were carefully, painstakingly sticking to our budget to avoid going into debt – we had enough of everything we needed but we did not enjoy an abundance of anything. Just for one day, we got to be greedy.
We needed those little stocking-fillers because, while our budget allowed us to save up for the big, important things we needed, it did not allow us to just buy little things that took our fancy as we walked round a shop. But our stockings were full of those – all the little things we had routinely denied ourselves every other day of that year.
And we needed those fripperies because, in a year of living sensibly, they were a little ray of silly, luxurious fun. Living on a budget is a serious business but sometimes we need to cut loose a little or we will lose the will to keep going.
Thrifty Christmas Stockings
No surprise then that I am still a huge fan of Christmas stockings. Stocking fillers are the over-the-top big sister of the Thrifty Habits Planner’s weekly treats. Small, frequent treats help you to stay thrifty the rest of the week and a whole stockingful of little treats can help to keep you on the thrifty wagon all year.
I am not a huge fan, though, of the way the cost of filling them can spiral out control faster than Prancer, Dancer and Dasher taking Santa on an emergency trip to Toys-R-Us. Some people spend more on Christmas stockings than I spend on the kids’ main presents. And when I say ‘some people’ I mean even otherwise thoroughly thrifty people. OK, I mean me. Readers I am Tartan Mum and I am an uncontrolled stocking-stuffer.
Or I was, until three years ago when I finally found a way to take control of our Christmas Stockings. I came up with a Stocking Planner that allows me to structure how much I spend on each stocking and how many items I put in each one. It helps me to avoid over-buying for some family members and underbuying for others. It also helps me to avoid spending three times as much as I meant to. If you feel you could do with a little structure for you festive spending, you can read about How To Fill A Bulging Stocking Without Blowing Your Budget This Christmas here. Good luck!