Santa's known for making lists and checking them twice, and that's a great idea if you're an investor. It's important to create a watch list and survey those stocks for potential buying opportunities.

Of course, we don't know if Santa is an investor. But if he were, he probably would put a certain kind of stock on his "nice" list. Santa would favor stocks that keep on giving over time -- such as those with dividend growth.

Understanding as he is, Santa would scoop up shares that have declined this year -- if the companies demonstrated earnings strength that could power future growth. Let's check out three Santa-style stocks to buy before 2023.

1. Home Depot

Home Depot (HD -1.12%) falls into the category of companies with shares that have dropped -- even as earnings advanced. The world's biggest home-improvement retailer is heading for a 24% loss this year.

This has left Home Depot trading for about 18 times forward earnings estimates. That's down from more than 24 earlier in the year.

At the earlier level, Home Depot was a buy. At today's level, it's a steal.

The company has continued to grow revenue and profit, even in today's tough environment. In the most recent quarter, all of the company's 19 U.S. regions posted positive comparable-sales growth. And 11 of the 14 merchandising categories reported positive comparable-sales growth, too.

Return on invested capital (ROIC) has dipped somewhat this year but has remained high over time. This indicates the company is benefiting from its investments.

HD Return on Invested Capital Chart

HD Return on Invested Capital data by YCharts.

Importantly, Home Depot's two customer types -- the do-it-yourselfer and the professional -- remain healthy. The pro customer is a particularly good guide for what may happen in the future. Their backlogs offer us clues about project volume. And pros are telling Home Depot backlogs are strong.

All of this makes Home Depot a great buy now -- and one that could deliver big over the long term.

2. Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories (ABT -0.56%) is a stock that will keep on giving. The healthcare company is a Dividend King and has raised its dividend for at least 50 consecutive years.

Why is this good for you if you're only investing in Abbott as of now? It shows dividend growth is important to the company, so it's likely it will continue to boost its dividend over time. And the company's earnings growth indicates it can afford to do that.

Abbott has grown revenue, profit, and free cash flow over time.

ABT Free Cash Flow Chart

ABT Free Cash Flow data by YCharts.

In the most recent quarter, Abbott reported sales of more than $10 billion and raised its earnings-per-share guidance for the year. The company has four business units: diagnostics, medical devices, established pharmaceuticals, and nutrition. Three of them have increased sales over the first nine months of the year.

The advantage of having four distinct businesses is that when one of them sees a decline in sales, the other units may compensate. For instance, a baby formula recall weighed on the nutrition business this year. But regulatory approvals in the medical-devices unit helped that business to compensate.

Abbott shares have declined 24% this year. That leaves them trading at about 20 times forward earnings estimates, a reasonable valuation for a company offering passive income and earnings growth over time.

3. Tesla

Tesla (TSLA -3.54%) is heading for a 60% decrease this year. Why have investors turned their backs on the electric-vehicle (EV) giant? They've worried about the impact of today's tough economy on the company. After all, higher interest rates are increasing costs, and currency-exchange rates are weighing on the value of sales.

These problems won't disappear overnight, but it's important to take a long-term view when investing in stocks. That means looking at a time frame of at least five years. And from this angle, the Tesla story still looks bright.

Even in today's difficult environment, Tesla has managed to report record revenue, operating profit, and free cash flow. The company is ramping up operations at two huge new factories and has grown vehicle deliveries in the double digits.

Tesla also remains the leader in both the regular U.S. EV market and the luxury market.

All of these factors are reasons to be confident about Tesla's prospects over time, especially considering the stock's current valuation. It's trading at 33 times forward earnings estimates, down from more than 80 earlier this year. Considering Tesla's leadership and future potential, the stock is a steal right now.