Old-fashioned Christmas stocking stuffers: 30+ thrilling little things Santa might have left in your childhood stocking

Christmas stocking stuffers

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That Christmas stocking magic…

One thing I always extra-loved about Christmas was the stocking tradition. Even when we stopped believing in Santa Claus, we still had the magic of a Christmas stocking to wake up to!

And some of us still get stockings as adults — even if we’re the ones stuffing them for ourselves (it’s a self-care thing, am I right?). You wouldn’t usually find THE showstopper present in there, yet somehow some of the best of the holiday bounty could be found among those little “something or other” stocking stuffers.

Old Christmas stocking fun from the 50s

We’ve rounded up over 30 vintage Christmas stocking stuffers our moms and grandmothers would have shopped during the latter half of the 20th century. Mind you, this is just a small sampling of the possibilities!

While many of these products aren’t exactly available now (pretty sure there’s not much market for Captain Kangaroo merch nowadays), we think you’ll find this list to be pretty good inspo for your 21st century stocking stuffer gift list — we’ve even included links to modern versions of these products kids-these-days might like, where possible.

Come reminisce with us — and tell us in the comments what your favorite old-fashioned Christmas stocking stuffers were when you were a kid! -BB


A Crayola Crayon rainbow of colors (1965)

Make all the colors of Christmas your gift: Few toys offer a child so much, cost so little as the new CRAYOLA Crayons Color Drawing Set.

Here are 72 brilliant CRAYOLA crayons. A drawing booklet with tiny rhymes to spark imaginations. A second booklet packed with things to do with crayons. A sharpener to keep them pointed, like new.

Your gift of the CRAYOLA Crayons Color Drawing Set will make Christmas more colorful and the days after more fun.

A Crayola Crayon rainbow of colors (1965)

…or you could try something a little different!

Colorful vintage Bic ballpoint pens

OH YEAH: Remember the pens you could erase? Look back at Eraser Mate & Scripto Erasable Pen from the ’80s

Colorful vintage Bic ballpoint pens

Your student might actually like taking notes at school with these pens:

Garfield the cat pens and school supplies (1984)

Garfield pens and school supplies (1984)

Garfield Fat Cat 3-Pack #16
$18.00 $14.59
Shop now
03/13/2024 01:55 am GMT


Personalized pencils – your name embossed in golden letters!

ALSO SEE: Vintage Me Books: 1970s computer-personalized storybooks, including My Friendly Giraffe

Personalized pencils

They cost a little more now, but of course you can still get pencils personalized with your name

Personalized patch from the 1970s – Nancy

DON’T MISS:🎄1970s Christmas memories: Relive the magic through these vintage images & videos

Personalized patch from the 1970s - Nancy

Captain Kangaroo personalized record for Matthew

MORE OF THESE: 70s kids: Remember vintage Captain Kangaroo records personalized with your name?

Captain Kangaroo personalized record - Matthew - Matt


Vintage Slinky toys

Vintage Slinky toys

FIND OUT MORE: How the classic Slinky toy was invented, plus see vintage variations

The original, but make it collector’s edition

Vintage m&ms candy stuffed toys from 1987

ALSO SEE: Colorful m&m cookie recipes from the ’60s

Vintage mms candy stuffed toys from 1987

Editor’s note: Now, in the 21st century, you can make your own custom m&ms in dozens of colors, and even get them printed with a photo or message. Find out more here!

Hot Wheels cars toys (1970)

MORE FUN FOR KIDS: What were the most popular toys in the early ’80s? See toys, games & fun for kids in the 1981 Sears Catalog Wishbook

Hot Wheels cars toys (1970)

Hot Wheels never go out of Christmas stocking style!

Travel Yahtzee game (1990s)

SEE MORE GAMES: Popular vintage board games from the ’60s

Travel Yahtzee game (1990s)

Cute baby dolls

SEE MORE: 15 vintage Fisher-Price dolls from the 1970s & 1980s

Fisher-Price would like you to meet our dolls (1974)

Nintendo mini-games (1989)

Nintendo mini-games (1989)

Ty Beanie Babies (1990s)

ALSO SEE: 40 cute vintage plush toys & stuffed animals from the ’80s

Ty Beanie Babies collector's value guide (1998)

Vintage Rubik’s Cube (1992)

SEE MORE: How the Rubik’s Cube puzzle toy became a worldwide sensation

Vintage Rubik's Cube ad from 1992

A keychain cube is perfect version for a Christmas stocking stuffer

101 Dalmations Giga Pet toy keychain (1997)

101 Dalmations Giga Pet toy keychain (1997)

DON’T MISS: Bad vintage Christmas ads: 20 retro holiday sales pitches that you’d never see today


Vintage Flip-It toys

Vintage Flip-It toys

Toys from the 70s – Groovy Grabber top

There were tons of little toys like this — inexpensive doodads that were fun for awhile, but before long, were relegated to the bottom corner of the toybox.

ALSO SEE: How many of these vintage Saturday morning cartoons & TV shows can you remember?

Little toys from the 70s - Groovy Grabber top


Who didn’t love candy in the Christmas stockings?

MORE: 80s candy: 30 most excellent retro favorites

Kids with Christmas stockings in 1978

Vintage Life Savers Sweet Story Books (1973)

If you want to give something nice, but not expensive, give Life Savers Sweet Story Book, It’s a 10-roll assortment of Super Flavor Life Savers fitted into a bright gift book. All for less than $1.00.

The colorful Life Savers candy history (plus see a list of 30+ classic flavors)

Kids love it, grown-ups love it, everybody loves Sweet Story Book. And it’s worth a lot more than you’ll pay. (Especially when you take this coupon to your store!)

Vintage Life Savers Christmas stocking stuffer candy (1973)

Granola bar stocking stuffers (1985)

Presumably, if these didn’t show up in your lunchbox every week, this would be a fun gift.

REMEMBER? Kudos granola bars: What happened to these popular kids’ snacks from the ’80s & ’90s?

Granola bar stocking stuffers (1985)

Vintage 1970s McDonald’s gift certificates

MORE: Vintage McDonald’s: See 5 decades of the famous fast food chain’s retro restaurants, menus & history

Vintage 1970s McDonald's gift certificates

Makit & Bakit “stained glass” kit

We always think of these easy-to-use kits for kids (which are still available today!) as the cousins of Shrinky Dinks — both of which relied on putting plastic in the oven to create something pretty.

Makit and bakit - Christmas wreath

Colorbok Makit and Bakit Suncatcher Kit, Turtle
$8.99 $6.99 ($6.99 / Count)
Shop now
03/11/2024 03:55 pm GMT

Lisa Frank crafts, stickers,  stencils & more (1993)
Vintage Lisa Frank: Transforming technicolor whimsy into a fun neon reality (1980s & 1990s)

Lisa Frank pens and school supplies (1993)


Vintage stamp collecting for Christmas (1981)

Most presents don’t last too long. They break. They need new batteries. They get boring. But when you give a Stamp Collecting Kit, you’re giving a gift that will last a lifetime.

Each kit will fascinate your children and teach them something at the same time. Each can show them people and places they may never get to see on their own.

After they’ve enjoyed these inexpensive kits, give them the Commemorative Mint Set. Or the Definitive Mint Set. Or the stamp collecting encyclopedia, Stamps & Stories. So come to the Post Office. And discover stamp collecting. Because kids open their minds when they open these presents. U.S. Postal Service.

Vintage stamp collecting for Christmas 1981

Collector’s Choice baseball cards from 1994

Collector's choice baseball cards from 1994

Holly Hobbie collectible dolls and branded everything

From Smurfs to Strawberry Shortcake, there were huge (and hugely profitable) merchandise lines for most of the popular cartoons and characters. Who remembers vintage Holly Hobbie dolls, toys, clothes, decor & more from the ’70s & ’80s?

Vintage Holly Hobbie dolls and toys at Click Americana

Christmas stocking stickers!

There were so, so many great stickers back in the 1980s and 1990s — ranging from the classic packaged sticker sheets to the decals on a roll that you could buy one by one to old-school scratch & sniff versions.

vintage stickers retro collection

Soaky bath characters

Not exactly toys, not quite coveted collectibles, these Soaky characters were basically bubble bath that came in fancy plastic bottles.

Vintage Soaky bubble bath toys

Wacky Packs/Wacky Packages

SEE LOTS MORE: Vintage Wacky Packages: 50 Wacky Packs cards for candy, cereal and more (1970s)

Vintage Wacky Packs - Wacky Packages


Vintage Tinkerbell BO-PO Brush-on, peel-off nail polish (1982)

MORE: Vintage Tinkerbell manicure sets, BO-PO nail polish, & other retro beauty goodies for little girls

Vintage Tinkerbell BO-PO Brush-on, peel-off nail polish (1982)

Neon plastic bracelets

Plastic bracelets in neon colors (1980s)

Love’s Baby Soft 1980s perfume

But there was a dark side… Love’s Baby Soft: Because innocence is sexier than you think? Eww. (’70s & ’80s)

Love's Baby Soft 1980s perfume for girls

Lip Smackers

MEMORY LANE: Remember Lip Smackers from Bonne Bell? The super trendy vintage lip balm from the 70s & 80s

Remember Lip Smackers from Bonne Bell

Random products your mom got for cheap

She got a great deal on an assortment of household goods… and that’s how you ended up with a single pudding cup, some hot cocoa mix, a couple Slim Jims, Blistex, and a box of popcorn.

Random household products from 1979

Gifts with purchase, too

Speaking of stuff your mom got for cheap, these vintage Dove Soap packages came with free flashlights back in 1960.

SEE MORE LIKE THIS: See 30+ vintage freebies & mail-in offers for branded stuff you used to be able to get

Vintage Dove Soap supermarket display with free flashlights (1960)


Socks — the long and the short of them.

SEE MORE: These retro 1980s socks, knee-highs & other sassy sock styles went beyond black & white

Pastel long and short socks, and socks with bright cuffs

Free yearly datebooks/calendars from your local Hallmark store

MORE: Remember these vintage Hallmark notecards & stationery sets from the ’60s & ’70s?

Free datebooks from your local Hallmark store

And the thing we always needed: Batteries

Batteries for toys (1978)

We still always need batteries — except they’re usually AA or AAA instead of C or D!

Antique Santa Claus Christmas card - St Nick with toys

NOW SEE THIS: 100 vintage Christmas scenes so sweet and old-fashioned, you’ll wish you had a time machine

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