Stocking Stuffers
by Karen Parr-Moody

In the early part of the 20th century, Christmas stockings were filled with simple gifts of fruit, nuts and candy. Children got one, two or three gifts from Santa, and Mom might have baked a coconut cake to go with Christmas dinner. With that, Christmas was a wrap.

How traditions have changed. Today Christmas brings dozens of gifts under the tree, along with stocking stuffers that are chicer than shabby.

Stocking stuffers are fun because of the structural limitations: The items, naturally, must be of small size. But was we all know, even something small can be very expensive (like those Christmas engagement rings).

At GasLamp right now, there are many stocking stuffers that are both small and inexpensive. Here are some wonderful examples, ranging in price from $3.95 to $39.95.

The darling Swarovski crystal hedgehog figurine is from the Secret Garden series and was designed by Max Schreck, Swarovksi's first recognized designer (photo, above right; $39.95, Booth B-219). It has pointed quills, a black nose and eyes, and metal whiskers. Schreck started Swarovski's animal figurine series with a mouse figurine that came out in 1976. With this tiny mouse, Swarovski kicked off production of small collectible items such as paperweights and key rings (which would also make great stocking stuffers). Whether a person is a Swarovski lover or simply a crystal fanatic, this tiny hedgehog, measuring about 2-and-a-half inches wide, would make a great stocking stuffer.

GasLamp dealer Elizabeth Burton has a sharp eye for all things whimsical and currently carries a smattering of adorable handmade Christmas ornaments in her booth S-104. I recently held a round table about the "good old days" of Christmas with some locals of an older generation. During this I learned that people who lived on Tennessee farms used to go out in the woods around Christmastime and gather sycamore seed pods. They then covered them in silver paper to make homemade ornaments for trimming their Christmas trees.

When I saw these obviously handmade animal ornaments at Burton's booth, was reminded of a time when people made their own ornaments (photo, above left; bird and hippo, $ each; lion, $6; all at Booth S-104). What great stocking stuffers they would make.

 

As a child, businesswoman Camille Beckman was inspired by a little book called “100 Things For Boys to Do” to learn to about perfume extraction. It sparked an interest within her that eventually blossomed when she was an adult in Athens, Greece, when she was researching for a shampoo and glycerine soap project. She came to found her beauty company, creating formulas that are produced with old-fashioned methods. Booth B-219 at GasLamp has a wide array of these products, including the one-time use lotion packets that are only .59 cents each (photo, right). Toss a few of these into a stocking to make someone’s Christmas merry.

Folk artist and interior designer Jason Parker Counce has no shortage of creative energy when it comes to making small and affordable gift items such as these tiny screen-printed sachets (photo, left; B-309). They are a mere $2.50 and $3.50 and are filled with fresh lavender for a sweet, but not cloying, scent.

Stocking stuffers are low-pressure gifts to buy. Who doesn't love reaching into that red stocking and pulling out a tiny, creative gift? And at GasLamp, there are many such gifts available, just waiting to be dropped into the toe of some loved one's stocking.
 

 

 

 

 

 

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