Friends, ready or not, Christmas Eve is here. This is the day that many people start to panic if their shopping isn't complete. Many leave buying the items to fill a stocking until the last minute. This "panic shopping" can cause one to spend more money than they had anticipated in their holiday budget.

We are all about the stockings on Christmas morning at my house. Each year we try to find items that are useful as well as fun. Usually some of the gifts end up being too big to fit into the stocking so Santa leaves many of them under and around the stocking. I have some inexpensive stocking stuffer ideas if you are headed out.

*Young boys love to receive Match Box or Hot Wheel cars in their stocking. At $.99 each, you can go to town with them.

*For the little artist on your list, paint brushes, water colors, finger paints, colored pencils and markers are fun.

*For the student, fill their stocking with pens, pencils, highlighters, crayons, Post-it-Notes, index cards etc.

*For the person who has a sweet tooth, pick up candy. For a nice assortment, go to the bulk section of the grocery store and pick out a variety of candy. Pick up holiday treat bags at the dollar store and fill each up. Gum and mints is a good stocking stuffer as well.

Friends, ready or not, Christmas Eve is here. This is the day that many people start to panic if their shopping isn’t complete. Many leave buying the items to fill a stocking until the last minute. This “panic shopping” can cause one to spend more money than they had anticipated in their holiday budget.

We are all about the stockings on Christmas morning at my house. Each year we try to find items that are useful as well as fun. Usually some of the gifts end up being too big to fit into the stocking so Santa leaves many of them under and around the stocking. I have some inexpensive stocking stuffer ideas if you are headed out.

*Young boys love to receive Match Box or Hot Wheel cars in their stocking. At $.99 each, you can go to town with them.

*For the little artist on your list, paint brushes, water colors, finger paints, colored pencils and markers are fun.

*For the student, fill their stocking with pens, pencils, highlighters, crayons, Post-it-Notes, index cards etc.

*For the person who has a sweet tooth, pick up candy. For a nice assortment, go to the bulk section of the grocery store and pick out a variety of candy. Pick up holiday treat bags at the dollar store and fill each up. Gum and mints is a good stocking stuffer as well.

*For the man on your list,you cannot go wrong with new dress socks, athletic socks or ties. I roll them up and wrap them to fit nicely in the stocking.

*Teenage girls love getting makeup and nail polish in their stockings. The grocery and discount stores always have a line of make up on sale for 40% or more. Have fun with it.

*For the ladies, costume jewelry to match their outfits is a great idea. The off-price stores such as Burlington Coat Factory, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Steinmart and Filene’s Basement are a great place to find deals.

*Winter gloves, hats and scarves fit nicely in a stocking. Hand and feet warmers are a great idea too.

* Chap Stick, dental floss, razors and a tooth brush are practical but useful gifts I usually include in my stockings.

*Holiday tree ornaments are a fun gift to give. They are always marked down at least 50% off so they are very economical.

*Hobby oriented stocking gifts are a great way to go. For the gardener on your list visit the home and garden department and pick up some inexpensive garden tools and seeds for planting. For the baker pick up spatulas or an assortment of cookie cutters.

*For the music lover pick up ear plugs for their iPod or a CD.

*When all else fails, give the gift of a gift card. Stop at places like Burger King, Subway, Chipotle, Tim Horton’s etc. The denomination of the card does not have to exceed $5.00 at the eating establishments. Store gift cards are also a nice surprise in the stocking.

*Small gadgets such as travel alarm clocks, mini flashlights and batteries are practical and, at this time of year, usually very inexpensive. Walgreen’s, CVS Pharmacy and Discount Drug Mart are a good place to find deals on these items.

*Don’t for get to visit the dollar stores. You will find many clever items to put in a stocking for Christmas morning.

*It is traditional to put pieces of fruit such as an apple or orange in the stocking. The custom dates back centuries in many countries.

Now, at our house, we wrap all of our stocking stuffers. There is something fun about all of the little wrapped packages that we save to open after all of the gifts are opened. I know some people who do not. Which category do you fall into? For now, happy shopping and Merry Christmas!

Laurie, TheBAG Lady