After Julia asked about handmade stocking stuffers, I got to thinking about cost-effective stocking stuffers and where one would get them. My first thought? Dollar Tree! I've been a dollar store fan since I was a kid (imagine that, me?), and Dollar Tree, where everything really is $1, is my favorite chain. So, I went and looked around a couple of local Dollar Tree locations to see what I could see, and I found plenty of fun stocking stuffers for kids and adults. Candy, obviously, is always a hit, and there was the usual selection of little games and toys, but I think you can find really fun stuff by thinking a bit outside the box. A few of my favorite ideas?
The more I think about stocking stuffers, the more I think spending a lot is really not necessary. The trick, as I see it, is to use a mix of the practical (toothbrushes and socks) and the fun (small games and toys). Stocking stuffers can be as silly or as mundane as you'd like, and if they're wrapped up in a stocking with a bunch of other things, they'll still be fun. It's fine for them to be single use, or not to be of the highest quality, as they're just as much about the experience of the stocking as about the gifts themselves. While that balance is fairly easy to strike with kids, who tend to like crappy disposable toys anyway (McDonald's Happy Meal toys, anyone?), it's harder with adults. It is, however, still doable. My Dollar Tree adult stocking stuffer finds tended toward the practical, but I imagine those items supplemented heavily with candy and small, possibly retro toys (a slinky, maybe, or jacks). The best part? A stocking, be it for a kid or grown-up, can easily be filled for $10. I can get behind that. And while you're at the dollar store, don't forget to grab wrapping supplies and lots of cheap tape!