Stuff Your Stockings like Ol’ St. Nick

Could you imagine if your entire Christmas bounty fit into a wooden shoe? Americans tend to view stockings as a fun appetizer to the feast of Christmas presents that follow. But in some countries, the Christmas stocking or clog itself is the main event, staying true to the tradition’s origin.

This ritual is believed to trace back to the German legend of a rich man named Nicholas and a poor widower who couldn’t afford dowries for his three unwed daughters. Wanting to help, Nicholas tossed three bags of gold through an open window at night, which landed in the stockings drying on the fireplace. As the story spread, children began putting out their own stockings or clogs, filled with carrots and hay for Nicholas’ reindeer, waiting for him to replace their bribes with small gifts. Today in America, stockings have become bigger and the contents vary by family tradition — some stuffing them with whimsical toys, while others prefer practical gifts like tube socks.

This year my family will celebrate the season with our first-ever fireplace. And our new mantel is just begging for a row of cheerfully-knit stockings. So naturally, I’m on the prowl for excellent stocking stuffer gift ideas. If you’re on the hunt like me, you’ll appreciate this round up of pocket-sized gift ideas, perfectly suited for stockings for all ages. Best of all, you can find them all at Half Price Books and it won’t break the bank since there are countless gifts under $10. From always-in-style traditional gifts like journals, planners and stationery, to pop-culture hits like comic book figures, keychains, magnets and collectibles.

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What will you fill your stockings with this year?

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Everyone Under $10

Happy Holidays, booklovers! Hopefully by now your halls are decked and your spirits are bright. As always, we at HPB are here to help you during this busy holiday season, even if it’s just to provide a safe haven where you can be yourself, alone with your favorite books — and maybe somewhere along the way, you’ll see an awesome vintage Dr. Seuss for your new nephew, or a stack of classics for your English-major sister, or a cookbook for your chef-of-a-husband, or any of these fun items below, which you’ll be able to find at your local HPB in the coming weeks. Even better: They’re all under $10, leaving a little cushion for those clearance hardbacks you found for yourself. Everyone wins!

Products, prices and availability vary by store.

For Coworkers: (1) Cranky wind-up toy: $7.99; (2) Owl corkscrew, $7.99; (3) Light wood fish corkscrew, $7.99; (4) 8″ record wall clock, $7.99;  (5) Robot pencil sharpener, $9.99

For Little Artists: (6) Cra-Z-Art Spiral Art, $5.99; (7) Cra-Z-Art 64 Crayons, $3.99; (8) Amazing Spiderman giant sticker activity book, $7.99; (9) Hello Kitty giant sticker activity book, $7.99

Family Fun & Games: (10) Glass Chess & Checkers, $9.99; (11) Double 6 Dominoes, $4.99; (12) Gallery Series wood puzzles, $5.99; (13) Dr. Seuss The Lorax giant puzzle, $7.99

Stocking Stuffers: (14) Snow in a Can, $1.99; (15) Leuchtturm 1917 assortment, $5.99; (16) T-Rex Wish Pet, from $3.99; (17) LED space gun keychain, camera keychain, $3.99; (18) Lenticular camera 4S iPhone case, $6.99

For Your Favorite Geek: (19) Vibe Sound Eco-Friendly Foldable Speakers, $5.99; (20) ; (21) Obsessed with Star Wars game, $9.99; (22) Earth night light, $3.99; (23) Jagget sticky notes, $2.99

For Your Gracious Host: (25) Roll-a-coaster Set of 4, $7.99 and drink markers (Space Invader, Paper Staches), $3.99; (26) Whiskey connoisseur collection, $9.99; (27) Mudlark Lola journal with magnetic closure, $5.99; (29) Hype retro handset, $9.99

For Teachers: (30) Honest Boy pencil sharpener, $7.99; (31) Apple memo pad, $2.99; (32) Hard-bound journals, from $4.99 (33) HPB Gift Card, from $25 (with a $5 coupon if you purchase before December 24!) Please note that HPB gift cards are good in-store only.

Happy holidays!

Kristen is Public Relations Specialist at Half Price Books Corporate. 
You can follow her on Twitter at @kristendickson.