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The 12 Days of Christmas Countdown: Day 8

We're halfway there, so stay tuned as we continue to double check our list of pre-Christmas chores to keep the holiday on track. Today, stocking stuffers.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, stockings for stuffing, , ... ... , , and 

If your family is anything like mine, most of the gifts go under the tree and the stockings are simply an afterthought. Hand-knitted by relatives I don't really remember, our stockings are more for show, hanging off our mantle on the strength of thumbtacks.

But not this year. This year I will see those stockings stuffed if it's the last thing I do.

While tradition dictates St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus, fill the stockings. I don't think he'll be too upset if we help him distribute the small toys, candy and fruit to the "nice" children, and coal to the "naughty" ones. 

Since these are only filler gifts, you don't need to go out and buy six iPod nanos just because they fit the stockings. During the Depression, children were ecstatic to receive a fresh orange in their stocking. Use this as inspiration.

Stuff for $1

Don't write off the dollar stores. You may not want to do all your shopping here, but to find small picture frames, games, soaps and candy, you can't go wrong at the , Dollar Tree or even the $1 aisle at .

Under $5

A Macomb mom turned me on to the store, , and I have to say, if you have kids or teens to buy for, this is the place. From headphones to cell phone cases, games to fleece throws and stationary, this is stocking stuffer heaven. It's off Hall Road in the shopping plaza with JoAnn Fabrics.

For the young at heart

The kids may love those mini Russell Stover chocolate boxes (, , ), but the big kids might prefer mini bottles of their favorite adult beverage. Most liquor stores will carry these little 3-5 ounce bottles and you may find these at the grocery store as well.

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