Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, be plenteous in mercy is to have the real spirit of Christmas. Calvin Coolidge.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Christmas Stocking

A Christmas stocking is an empty sock or sock-shaped bag that is hung on Christmas Eve so that Santa Claus (or Father Christmas) can fill it with small toys, candy, fruit, coins or other small gifts when he arrives. These small items are often referred to as stocking stuffers or stocking fillers. In some Christmas stories, the contents of the Christmas stocking are the only toys the child receives at Christmas from Santa Claus; in other stories (and in tradition), some presents are also wrapped up in wrapping paper and placed under the Christmas tree. Tradition in Western culture dictates that a child who behaves badly during the year will receive only a piece of coal. However, coal is rarely if ever left in a stocking, as it is considered cruel. Some people even put their Christmas stocking by their bedposts so Santa Claus can fill it by the bed while they sleep.


While there are no written records of the origin of the Christmas Stocking, there are popular legends that attempt to tell the history of this Christmas tradition. One such legend has several variations, but the following is a good example: Very long ago, there lived a poor man and his three very beautiful daughters. He had no money to get his daughters married, and he was worried what would happen to them after his death.

Saint Nicholas was passing through when he heard the villagers talking about the girls. St. Nicholas wanted to help, but knew that the old man wouldn't accept charity. He decided to help in secret. He waited until it was night and crept through the chimney.

He had three bags of gold coins with him, one for each girl. As he was looking for a place to keep those three bags, he noticed stockings of the three girls that were hung over the mantelpiece for drying. He put one bag in each stocking and off he went. When the girls and their father woke up the next morning, they found the bags of gold coins and were of course, overjoyed. The girls were able to get married and live happily ever after.
This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sometimes the story is told with gold balls instead of bags of gold. That is why three gold balls, sometimes represented as oranges, are one of the symbols for St. Nicholas. And so, St. Nicholas is a gift-giver.

A tradition that began in a European country originally, children simply used one of their everyday socks, but eventually special Christmas stockings were created for this purpose. The Christmas stocking custom is derived from the Germanic/Scandinavian figure Odin. According to Phyllis Siefker, children would place their boots, filled with carrots, straw, or sugar, near the chimney for Odin's flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Odin would reward those children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir's food with gifts or candy. This practice, she claims, survived in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands after the adoption of Christianity and became associated with Saint Nicholas as a result of the process of Christianization. Today, stores carry a large variety of styles and sizes of Christmas stockings, and Christmas stockings are also a popular homemade craft. This claim is disputed though as there is no records of stocking filling practices related to Odin until there is a merging of St. Nicholas with Odin. St. Nicholas had an earlier merging with the Grandmother cult in Bari, Italy where the grandmother would put gifts in stockings. This merged St. Nicholas would later travel north and merge with the Odin cults.

Many families create their own Christmas stockings with each family member's name applied to the stocking so that Santa will know which stocking belongs to which family member.

A 'Square Stocking' is a box sent by the charity Uk4u-Thanks! to UK servicemen who are overseas or injured at Christmas.

The World's Biggest Christmas Stocking

     The World's Biggest Christmas Stocking was created by supporters of The Children's Society in December 2007. Guinness World Records awarded the stocking the title of the Largest Christmas Stocking on 14 December 2007 at ExCel in London.

It was made out of over 6,000 squares of red knitting and measured 32.56m long, and 14.97m wide (heel to toe). It weighed the equivalent of three Reindeer and was filled with 1000 presents, which were then given to children in The Children's Society's projects.

The stocking was created as part of The Children's Society's knitting fundraising appeal, 'The Big Stitch'.£33,000 was raised through sponsorship. The previous holder of the title had broken the record in Toronto, Canada in November 2007 with a stocking measuring 27.46 meters by 11.3 meters.

Why Do we Hang Christmas Stockings on the Fireplace?

     We all taught the same story to our kids: they have to hang their Christmas stocking on the fireplace mantel so that Santa Claus can fill them with sweets and toys on Christmas Eve.
     This is a tradition that started long ago and continues up to these days, except for the hanging of Christmas stockings on the fireplace mantel. Indeed and, more particularly because many house don't have a fireplace any more, people hang Christmas stockings anywhere in the house.A common belief is that the Christmas stockings of children who have been good and behaved well during an entire year, will be filled with gifts and candies. But have you ever seen a child who hasn't been good an entire year?


  1. The practice of hanging stockings over the fireplace on Christmas Eve comes from England. The legend of St. Nicholas has it that the latter was a kind saint who was believed to have left gifts of gold coins in the stockings of three poor maidens, who badly needed the money for their wedding dowries. They hung their stockings to dry over the fireplace, and to their great surprise, they found bags of gold in them the next morning. Following this, children kept hanging Christmas stockings over the fireplace on Christmas Eve in the hope that Santa would drop gifts and toys in them !

  2. Like many Christmas customs, the history from the stocking is shady with the best possible but all signs point to your story originating inside a metropolis called Myra, and that is now viewed as a part of Turkey, in which a poor village gentleman with a few ladies lacked the finances to place up the dowries that may allow his women for being wed. Saint Nicholas, who was serving as bishop in the town, overheard another villager discussing the male, and took pity to the proud fellow. Afterwards on that evening, Nicholas, laden down with 3 bags of gold, went on the very poor man’s dwelling when using the goal of secretly leaving the cash that may enable when using the daughters weddings. Whilst wanting out for your area to put the gold, he noticed 3 sets of stocking hanging to dry more than the fireplace, and contemplating that created the best hiding spot, he positioned the sacks of gold within, and therefore a whole new apply was born.
    Other engaging specifics about stockings all center on some model of that authentic story, and maybe the very best originate of Europe in which children have been rapidly to tackle the idea with the stocking, and in a very quantity of situations a shoe, to receive a lot more presents. In a natural way, it wasn’t every single mother or father that might have the funds for to put a bag of gold in their child’s stocking, so in several conditions a gold coloured ball was extra as a substitute which grew to become an orange which designated the color of gold.

    Fashionable stockings come in all different measurements and designs, and though a lot of might consider that a bigger stocking is just an justification to glimpse to get a greater present, there is definitely explanation to believe the quite a few sizes arrived from Europe again, the place young ones would fill their boots with meals for Odin’s flying pony, Sleipnir. For a thank you, Odin would then fill the boots with candy, and as being the boots had been all various measurements, it lends credence to the assumption that stocking are available in several dimensions for that function. Most small children will attempt to get their dad and mom to get them a sizable stocking, but none of people could ever match the worlds most significant stocking which came into staying in 2007 by combining over 6000 squares of red knitting which, when blended, built a stocking which was 32.56m prolonged, and 14.97m broad (heel to toe). The stocking was created to assistance The Children’s Culture and raised about 33,000 for the charity. These days you will discover stockings in different colors and sizes, some with all the names stitched on, and other individuals bearing the logos of favourite sports activities groups and bands. Like most all else connected using the contemporary model of Christmas, stockings became massive organization.

  3. How to Make Your Own Decorative Christmas Stocking

    Supplies Needed:

    Sewing machine or needle & thread if you prefer to sew by hand

    Basic sewing tools: needle, thread, scissors

    Christmas print fabric available from your local fabric or craft store

    Fusible fleece also available at your local fabric or craft store

    Various holiday trims

    Small piece of ribbon





    Access to a copy machine


    1. Take your sock and place it on a sheet of paper.

    2. Trace around the outside edges using the pencil.

    3. Enlarge your sock outline using a copy machine to your desired size. This photocopy enlargement will become your pattern.

    4. Purchase enough Christmas fabric to be able to cut out 4 of the sock pattern pieces.

    5. Purchase enough fusible fleece to be able to cut out 2 of the sock pattern pieces.

    6. Fuse one piece of your Christmas fabric right-side up to one piece of the fusible fleece. Note which direction your stocking is facing. Set aside.

    7.Fuse a second piece of your Christmas fabric right-side up to the remaining piece of fusible fleece. The stocking fabric should be facing the same direction as the fused fused piece. Set aside.

    8. Place one piece of Christmas fabric on top of one of the fused units with the wrong sides together. Sew around the stocking using a ¼ inch seam allowance, leaving the top open for turning.

    9. Clip the curved seams.

    10. Turn the unit inside out. Press.

    11. Hand stitch the top closed.

    12. Repeat with the remaining stocking pieces. Place the remaining Christmas fabric on top of the remaining fused unit with the wrong sides together. Sew around the stocking using a ¼ inch seam allowance, leaving the top open for turning.

    13. Clip the curved seams.

    14. Turn the second unit inside out. Press.

    15. Hand stitch the second top closed.

    16. Add decorative trim, if desired. Measure across the top of the stocking about 3 inches or so from the top. Cut a piece of decorative trim and sew or glue it to the outside of one stocking unit. To add the same decorative trim to the other stocking unit, be sure you add it to the reverse side so that it will show on the outside.

    17. Place the fused units together with the decorative trim facing inside.

    18. Sew around the stocking using a ¼ inch seam allowance. Be sure to leave the top portion open for turning.

    19. Clip the curved seams.

    20. Turn the stocking inside out and press.

    21. Make a small loop out of ribbon and sew it just inside the top of the stocking.

    22. Hang the stocking and Enjoy!

    1. Liza, sounds easy:) Why not to try to make our own Christmas Stocking? Last year, Oleg presented us them filled with candies, this year we could please him by a hand-made Christmas stocking!)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Hmmm...that's a good idea and why don't I think about it ^^)
      Mb we should make Christmas Stocking our own tradition:) It's so cute :)

    4. Last year it took me almost 2 weeks to finish with the sweets:D and honestly I was seek of them, so this time it's better to mix candies with tangerines)

  4. Stockings have changed over the years. Most people don't hang an actual stocking that they wear on Christmas Even, but instead they hang special decorative stockings to be filled by St. Nick. Items used to fill the stockings include candies, small gifts, fruits, nuts, etc. Current folklore indicates that oranges in the toes of the stockings may represent the lumps of gold left by St. Nicholas for the girls. While, an apple in the heal indicates the stocking owner has been good throughout the year. In Italy, however, it still means someone has been naughty to find a piece of coal in the stocking. Have you been naughty or nice? If you hung your stockings what would you find?