Christmas is informed by a fir, spruce, pine —or similar evergreen conifers— that can fit inside people’s homes; some glossy, hollow hanging balls; a jamboree of lights that began draping the entire house, and subsequently moved to our front yards and, now, to all city centers; mama’s egg nog galore or holiday caroling; and, yes… you got it… the oversized, color-laden stockings hanging from the fireplace (when we had ’em, really!)
Not a soul can accommodate this cheery tradition of yore in time exactly. The first reference we have is from 1823, in the famous poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’. Legend places it during the life and times of St. Nicholas, when he inserted gold coins inside the stockings of the eligible, yet grief-stricken daughters of a man who was too poor to pay their dowry. Other versions speak of filling stockings with golden balls, later replaced by oranges. Or Italy’s own candied coal for naughty boys.
In any event, in modern times, we’re looking for small and generally inexpensive goodies to stuff our stockings. Here’s a list of healthy stuffer ideas to add to the joy.
1. Oils. Whether they’re essential for their scent, soothing and stress relief properties, or especially made for hair, hands, or face care, remember to always buy them in small amber or cobalt blue bottles for preservation reasons.
2. Reusable drinking straws. Make them collapsible, and thus portable, to fit just about anywhere. Remember that there’s already a number of countries that have put a ban on single-use plastic products, including France, the UK, or Taiwan abroad, or cities like Malibu or Seattle at home.
3. Foodie edible miniatures. Mini-biscotti, trail mixes, tea drops, non-GMO seed selections, herb savers, Japanese kawaii kits, natural fruit preserve mini-jars, compostable espresso pods, small tea chests… there’s really no end to this list. Use your imagination for best selection.
4. Core and abdominal home trainer gear. For example, dual sided sliders, glider disks, rollers, exercise balls (deflated, of course), anything to complete your best workout in your digs, on both carpet and hardwood floors.
5. Pollinator garden sets. Best for stockings, of course, is when they come in lollipop format. These are meant to attract, shortly after the Xmas season is over, the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds that keep the wheel of life rolling, now that we are well aware that agricultural practices and pesticides are slowly killing off these very necessary bugs.
6. Compression-fit socks. Socks inside stockings? You thought of it, you know it makes sense. Make them antibacterial and cushioned for best use.
7. Activity trackers. We all know they are small enough to fit nicely inside a plush stocking. Now, they’re also universal, their price covering the entire retail gamut. Be sure to make them waterproof, so you can also take them swimming or to the shower.
8. Xmas cookie stamps. These are not healthy per se. They’re fun and playful —the messages can be personalized— for the cookies you know are-a-comin’. It’s up to you to cook healthy cookies making them flourless or resorting to whole-wheat flour and oatmeal in a yummy blend with… bananas, for example.
9. Collapsible water bottle. Cool, handy, silicone-made, will fit nicely in your holiday stockings. And of course, we resort to what was already stated in number 2 above regarding the worldwide effort against plastic.
10. Rub-Away Bar. This is a stainless-steel odor absorber made to look like a soap bar for use at the kitchen. Although the healthy tag might not be apparent at first, any excuse to get the American population at large back into their kitchen and to the-always-healthier art of home cooking is worth our while!