That Christmas stocking magic…
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.
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
SCHOOL SUPPLIES & THINGS LIKE…
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.
…or you could try something a little different!
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)
PERSONALIZED STUFF LIKE…
Personalized pencils – your name embossed in golden letters!
They cost a little more now, but of course you can still get pencils personalized with your name
Personalized patch from the 1970s – Nancy
Captain Kangaroo personalized record for Matthew
CHRISTMAS STOCKING STUFFER TOYS & GAMES LIKE…
Vintage Slinky toys
The original, but make it collector’s edition
Vintage m&ms candy stuffed toys from 1987
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
Cute baby dolls
Nintendo mini-games (1989)
Ty Beanie Babies (1990s)
Vintage Rubik’s Cube (1992)
A keychain cube is perfect version for a Christmas stocking stuffer
101 Dalmations Giga Pet toy keychain (1997)
CHEAP TOYS YOU ALMOST FORGOT EVER EXISTED
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.
CANDY & FOOD CHRISTMAS STOCKING STUFFERS
Who didn’t love candy in the Christmas stockings?
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.
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!)
Granola bar stocking stuffers (1985)
Presumably, if these didn’t show up in your lunchbox every week, this would be a fun gift.
Vintage 1970s McDonald’s gift certificates
CRAFTY & CREATIVE GIFTS, LIKE…
Makit & Bakit “stained glass” kit
Lisa Frank crafts, stickers, stencils & more (1993)
CHRISTMAS STOCKING STUFFERS FOR THE COLLECTORS
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.
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?
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.
Soaky bath characters
Not exactly toys, not quite coveted collectibles, these Soaky characters were basically bubble bath that came in fancy plastic bottles.
Wacky Packs/Wacky Packages
GIRLY STUFF LIKE
Vintage Tinkerbell BO-PO Brush-on, peel-off nail polish (1982)
Neon plastic bracelets
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)
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.
Gifts with purchase, too
Speaking of stuff your mom got for cheap, these vintage Dove Soap packages came with free flashlights back in 1960.
BORING BUT FUNCTIONAL CHRISTMAS STOCKING GIFTS LIKE
Socks — the long and the short of them.
Free yearly datebooks/calendars from your local Hallmark store
And the thing we always needed: Batteries
We still always need batteries — except they’re usually AA or AAA instead of C or D!