That special “something” doesn’t have to be extravagant. Fill your stocking with inexpensive knick-knacks that have personal meaning, and you’ll be giving the gift of love.

Here are a few ideas to help you decide what to fill your stockings with this Christmas. We’ve kept the ideas very general, so that you can add the final personal touch and make it your own.

1. Something Classic
A deck of cards

Example: A deck of playing cards, a bag of marbles, some jacks, a puzzle book.

Think of something you used to do when the power went out, or when you were very bored. There’s a reason people used to play with marbles. Giving this gift and promising to play with the recipient could be a fun way to discover something old that both you and the recipient enjoy.

2. Something Artistic
A notebook and pens

Example: A tiny notebook with some colorful pens. Write a brief heartwarming note in the front to tell the person something you really love about them.

You don’t have to be a creative genius to create something unique and sweet for your loved one. This is a gift where the thought you put into it is the center of it’s meaning. Create something simple, write a note, or pour your heart into something handmade. Don’t be afraid to go crazy, and have some fun while you do it.

3. Something Enduring
Christmas Ornament

Example: Christmas tree ornaments. Each year you can give a new one, so your family members can have something to remember you by when they decorate their tree.

Build memories by giving something that will last a lifetime, in object or in concept. This could be something memorable that will remind your loved one of you whenever they look at it. It could also be something that will be used all the time. You might even pick a gift theme that every gift you give your loved one on Christmas fits under, such as teddy bears.

4. Something Illuminating
A stuffed fox with from Santa card

Example: A plushie of an animal that makes you think of the person receiving it. Tie a note from Santa/you around its neck with colourful ribbon explaining what makes that animal remind you of the receiver.

Share what you love about your loved ones in a not-so-subtle way. This is an opportunity to open up about what you love about your loved one, and what aspect of them stands out most to you. This can became something of a game if you choose a more subtle object that makes you think of the person, and ask them to guess why the item reflects them to you.

5. Something Familiar... And Yet Something Unfamiliar
Candy closeup

Example: Mountains of candy, but include one or two candies you and the person receiving the gift have never tried before.

It may be fun to surprise people by showing them something they expect to see, but then adding a twist. Take something you give every year, or something people expect to be given, and then add a little something else to it to make it special.The new experience will add a little surprise and excitement to the gift.

6. Something Utterly Bizarre
A dog toy

Example: The silliest looking squeaky dog toy you can find.

Imagine the look on their face when your loved one reaches into their stocking and pulls out, well, whatever is craziest to you. Help them smile and get a laugh yourself with this stuffer, but please, give them a real gift alongside this too (or else you may find them to be quite angry until the next Christmas comes around).

7. Something Spiritual
A Rosary

Example: A small rosary or chaplet, and a prayer card representing a saint special to the receiver of the gift. Put these in a small plastic bag so they aren’t damaged in the stocking.

At its core, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. If your loved one is more of a religious celebrator, consider getting them a religious object to show them you care.

8. Something Foreshadowing
Earrings closeup

Example: Earrings for someone without pierced ears, or a game controller when they don’t have the system.

This promises something more to come in the next hour or the next week. Use the stocking as a device to tease the thought of a future gift, so that your loved one is filled with anticipation and excitement. This is about building up to the moment they find the gift they were hoping for the most, and keeping the joy through every part of the gift-giving experience. You do need to follow through though. The day would probably end in tears if you teased a desired gift and that never came.