Each year as Christmas grows closer and closer, I dread a trip to search for one thing: stocking stuffers. While sometimes they can be inexpensive, stocking stuffers are generally plastic, unnecessary junk full of toxins that we are trying to remove from our home.
This year I am attempting to make or purchase stocking stuffers that carry fewer chemicals, practical use, and maybe a little bit of fun. The goal is for each to carry no more than 4-5 ingredients that I am completely aware of and use in my house.
For the Kids
- Play Dough- Kids love to cook and build with this stuff! The store bought brand is great, but it does contain wheat and Miss Roo loves to stick things in her mouth. Making playdough at home is simple. I found a recipe that works really well. All you need is 1 cup of rice flour, 1 cup of cornstarch, 1 cup of salt, 2 cups of warm water, and 2 teaspoons of oil. Place it in a pot on low and cook it until the dough forms. Feel free to add food coloring to make whatever color you like!
- Bubble Bath – Bubble baths are great fun in our house and sometimes a great reward. We’ve been given PLENTY of mainstream bubbles and I’m hoping to hide and then donate or just get rid of the rest. Too many of them are filled with chemicals that I can’t even pronounce. For their bubble bath this year, I’m taking 4 cups of water, 4 oz of Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild liquid soap, a little bit of our DoTerra Serenity oil (4-5 drops), and 3 oz. of glycerin. Add all of your ingredients to a bottle or jar and gently stir.
- Bath Paints – The great thing about this plan is you already have the bubble bath!! All you need to do now is add a few drops of primary color food coloring to some bubble bath, give them some brushes, and watch the creativity bloom!
- Fruit! – My girls LOVE bananas, apples, and oranges. There’s nothing wrong with throwing those treats in a stocking rather than sugary candy and other junk that they don’t really need. They are always excited to have fruit as a “treat”. You can start a tradition in your own home by using the same fruit in stockings every year.
- Bath Salts – A simple but lovely gift for women to indulge at bath time A basic recipe is 1/4 cup Epsom salt, 1/4 cup sea salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and any essential oils or flower petals of your choice. At Christmas, I love to give “seasonal” scents – frankincense, citrus, etc. For a special lady though you could use rose oil, lavender, rose geranium- the sky is the limit!
- Oil cleanser – I recently starting doing oil cleansing on my face and I love it! For my skin it involves a simple combination of 1 part olive oil to 1/2 parts Castor and grape seed oil. I add a few drops of whatever essential smells good to me at the time and keep it by my sink. Simply warm the oil between your hands, rub it over your face, then steam up a washcloth and put it over your face. Repeat this process at least twice, then wipe your face clean with the cloth. You will GLOW!
- Whipped coconut lotion – This particular idea is something I will be making this year for the first time. I love using coconut oil as a lotion in and of itself, but my jars keep getting moved by little hands because they know what coconut oil it and feel strongly that it belongs in the kitchen. I have seen a whipped lotion idea on Pinterest. You simply place a cup of coconut oil into your mixer with a teaspoon of vitamin E oil (if you’d like) and some essential oils for fragrance. Whip it with the wire whisk attachment for 5-7 minutes until it is, well, whipped! Then place it in a jar and enjoy. I can’t WAIT to make this for the stocking of a mama I know who needs it 😉
- Homemade Hand spritzer – A little while back I wrote a post on the dangers of hand sanitizers. There’s a simple recipe there for a hand spray – a mixture of 1 cup pure aloe vera gel, 2 tsp witch hazel, 4 drops tea tree oil, 4 drops peppermint oil. Place it in a little glass spray bottle for Dad to use on the go!
- Beard Oil – Drew has been sporting a very woodsy beard on and off since Miss Roo was born. I’m a huge fan, but I can tell that in the winter it gets very itchy and difficult to maintain. I’ve been reading up on beard oils and conditioning, and I’m going to attempt to make him some beard oil. My plan is to initially use 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil, a teaspoon of vitamin E, and a few drops of the essential oil blend Balance from doTerra to work towards a manlier smell. This concept is totally an experiment, so I’m going to work with it adapt it as needed.
- Chocolate Covered Bacon – Who doesn’t like chocolate and bacon? While this may not be “healthy”, making your own sweet treats for your love rather than those prepared for a shelf life greatly reduces chemicals and toxins in your home and your bodies. For this bacon, I bake the slices in a 300 degree oven on a parchment lined sheet pan for about 25-30 minutes. Once they appear done, pat them and let them cool slightly. I melt good quality chocolate in a double boiler and then dip the bacon in a few times to get it covered well. You may want to repeat the process of melting and dipping or drizzling if you like you bacon super chocolatey!
For the Four legged Crew
- Jerky – We always seem to have a London broil (or two) that end up getting lost in our freezer. They are perfectly fit for eating, they just lose their flavor as they age in there. So, dehydrate it and give it to your pup or cat! Drew does all the dehydrating here with our dehydrator, but you can also just use a sheet pan and your oven! You can marinate them for your critters if you’d like to, but there’s no need to do so. Preheat your oven to around 250-300 degrees. Lay sliced meats on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for around 4 hours – until the pieces feel dry. Cool them and store in something air tight.
- A wool chew toy – I’ve been playing around with my crochet hooks and some yarn from out local farmers. Just by making some loops and connecting them, I’ve created something for the pup to chew on and the cats to chase – with no dyes or chemicals.
What do you place in your family’s stockings? How do you cut down on toxins during the holidays?
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