For years, growing up, I thought there was something wrong with Santa. Don't get me wrong – he took good care of my sister and I. Frankly, we made out like bandits. But when it came to my parents….Santa was just a bit off.
My Dad is an ex-hockey player, and like any good hockey player he's a little…how shall I put this??…jerky. Funny? Yes. Loving? Totally. But at the core of this totally amazing man is an ever-so-slightly-arrogant, jerky, prank-loving, hockey player. One who just barely walks the naughty/nice line. My mother, on the other hand, is a saint. Of course.
So how unexpected, for a child, when Santa would year after year after year pony up ah-mazing stuff for my smirking father's stocking, but would somehow go so. totally. wrong. for my mother's.
Candles. She'd get candles (which she hated). And for some strange reason, Santa would always stick a jar of this nasty, uber-strong orange marmalade (that only my Dad liked) in my mother's stocking. I mean weird, right? Scotti and I would be all, "Oh my gosh! Santa got it wrong AGAIN! Only Dad likes that!!" And Dad would be smirking and my mother would look pissed.
The final straw, I think, was the year my mom's stocking was filled with stuff from around the house. And by "stuff" I mean everyday objects. SERIOUSLY. On Christmas Eve, Dad Santa literally must've run through the house in a mad panic throwing crap into Mom's stocking. Poor mom – the stocking was so full, we were all excited. "Maybe Santa got it right this year!!" But out came….half-used scotch tape. A bag of chocolate chips. A freaking hammer from Dad's work bench. As mom pulled out each offending item (a pair of her own socks, a candle from the previous year) her eyes narrowed further, and my Dad's shoulders were shaking with silent laughter, a huge grin on his face.
After that, I pretty much figured out what the problem was with Santa. And Santa paid dearly for all those years of mirth. With his credit card. Every year at the Estee Lauder and Clinique counters, where I'd drag him every December 23rd. It actually became a Christmas ritual.
So color me NOT SURPRISED when my stocking, come the night of Dec 24th, looks a little light. And my husband looks guilty. "Uh, Babe? You know I love you right? I just….uh…totally forgot about stockings. I mean, I have a gift. I do! I have a gift! You'll love it! But uh…the whole stocking thing…"
Last year, since I was worried that R might be old enough to notice (he wasn't), I actually had a small stash of treats saved away for my own stocking. Just two or three little things. Which Mike happily added to his random-food-gifts-bought-at-Whole-Foods-on-Dec-24th-for-wife's-stocking stash. This year, I'm just buyin' the whole shebang. I mean, I like a good balsamic vinegar as much as the next girl….but…
Whatever. So. If I were to stuff my own stocking, here's what I'd include:
1. The Limited's Feather Clutch, $60 – Ok, so this is over $50. But the Limited has so many sales that you can get this for much less. I actually picked this up already at 50% during Black Friday sales. How I love this little feathery thing. So perfect for perking up an outfit for date night.
2. J. Crew's Printed iPhone Case, $25 – This comes in other patterns, but I'm loving the leopard. It cracks me up – probably because leopard is so anti-tech-geek.
3. Smartwool Medium Weight Hiker Socks, $14. These are pretty much the only socks I wear under all of my boots -they make everything so much more comfortable. I think great socks are the most perfect stocking stuffer. On that note….
4. Karen Neuberger Dot Socks, $12. I have these socks. They are easily the dorkiest thing I own. But if you have some seriously cold feet – I'm talking cold feet that can wake the dead your dead-asleep husband on contact….then you need these socks. These babies are the only socks that can keep my tootsies warm at night.
5. Forever 21 Fair Aisle Knit Socks, $9. So cute! Nuff said.
6. Hanky Panky Thong Panties, $18. I love these things. And if you are pregnant, or plan on getting pregnant, these are the only panties that will fit you comfortably through pregnancy, post-partum, and beyond. I've had mine for years and they still look great – no pilling. I don't dry them, but I do throw them in the washing machine. Amazing.
7. Giovanni Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub, $24. You can pick this up at Whole Foods and at some Target stores. I love how this smells – like hot chocolate, obviously, but not too sickly sweet. Just cocoa yumminess. And I like that it's a sugar scrub – the salt scrubs sting. This will leave you sooo soft…
8. Eddie Bauer Down Ice Scraper Mitt, $20. Oh how I hate scraping off my car. I must have this mitt – notice the faux-fur trim? So sophisticated, this mitt.
9. Sephora Give Me Some Lash, $30. I'm obsessive about mascara. It's one of the easiest ways to look prettier, in my opinion. And I like my mascara big and obnoxious. If there was a surgery to forever implant fake eyelashes onto your lashes I'd do it. In the meantime, I will continue to search for the perfect mascara. With this kit. (BTW – have you tried L'Oreal's fake lash mascara? Not too bad, my friends. Not too bad.)
10. Tweezerman Tweezers, $20. Once upon a time I would get my brows waxed to perfection monthly. Snort. I haven't lived that fairy tale in four years. Now, after four years, I'm DONE with crappy tweezers. It's time for a change, people. I've been hearing about Tweezermans but haven't wanted to spend the $20. But the reviews on Amazon are glowing. I'm in.
Not too bad, right? For those of you stuck filling your own stocking, here's a few other items that we've covered in the past that would make ah-mazing, under $50, stocking stuffers:
The world's most perfect umbrella. A super-soft, fuzzy, faux-fur cowl that looks gorgeous and is great for babywearing (P likes to snuggle his face in it). Many of our favorite stud earrings are under $50. Fun products to get gorgeous red lips for day (that won't tranfer onto the babe) or night. Personally, I use Envirosax bags for everything from holding wet clothes, to grocery shopping to carting home R's treasures (rocks). A truly incredible face peel that's safe enough for pregnant moms. Or maybe a pair of the softest, warmest, fleece-lined tights.
So that's what I'm going to be buying hoping for! What's your strategy mamas? Does your man come through, or will you be filling your own stockings this year? Spill!