It’s the Kids Turn To Shop for Christmas Gifts!

Editors Note:  This information has been updated for 2021 from the original publication in 2019.

Most parents are well into their Christmas gift shopping at this point having weathered Black Friday & Cyber Monday.  Now it’s time for the kids to shop for their gifts for parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and teachers.  Crittenton Centers is happy to announce the return of the Stocking Stuffer Store for it’s 38th year.

The non-profit organization is implementing new COVID precautions including masks for all regardless of vaccination status, limited capacity to six shoppers at a time, hand sanitizer stations, and the use a special “pointer” tool by the shoppers which will be sanitized between children.  They’ll use this tool to point to the gift they want to purchase so gifts won’t be touched by multiple guests.

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Starting Thursday, December 9, kids ages 12 and under can shop with the assistance of a personal shopper at the Stocking Stuffer Store at Northwoods Mall while parents relax in a designated seating area located outside the store.  While inside, they can choose from a selection gifts ranging in price from $1 – $8 for parents, grandparents, siblings or whomever they wish.  The kids are helped to wrap their gifts so they remain a secret until opened on Christmas Day.  Serving over a thousand young shoppers from Peoria and the surrounding communities at this “kids only” store annually, the Crittenton Centers Stocking Stuffer Store is the only store of its kind open to the public in the Peoria area.

“There is nothing quite as exciting as watching the kids come through the door to pick out that gift that their family members will really enjoy. It is that look of hope and anticipation in their eyes that makes me feel so lucky to keep this tradition alive. It just gives a sense of pure joy in the holiday season,” said Jeff Gress, CEO of Crittenton Centers.

Hours are Thursday – Sunday, December 9 – 12 and December 16 – 19 at Northwoods Mall from 4 – 8 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, 10 am – 8 pm on Saturdays and from 10 am – 6 pm on Sundays.

Volunteers are always welcome to be personal shoppers.  Sign up online for a time slot HERE

Crittenton Centers has been serving the Peoria community for 129 years and their services include: The Crisis Nursery, Child Development Center, and Family Services. For more information go to