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.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Legend of Christmas Stockings

In yet another version of the story of Saint Nicholas lies the origin of the tradition of washing the stockings on the night before Christmas and hanging them up on the window sill or near the hearth, in readiness to receive gifts from Santa. It is said to happen 17 centuries ago in Turkey. Here the Bishop of Myra, Nicholas was known all over for his benevolence and love for children. He used to distribute gifts secretly to children on Christmas Eve as a surprise for them. While he was passing a house he heard a father and his daughters lamenting their poverty and how they were unable to be married because they could not provide dowry that was prevalent in those days.

Overcome with pity and sympathy, Nicholas observed the woolen stockings of the girls that they had put on the windowsill to dry and secretly placed enough gold pieces in each to provide dowry for the girls. Another variations of the custom of hanging out stockings for Santa Claus (popular name for Saint Nicholas) are putting hay and carrots in their shoes by Dutch children for the horse of their dear Sinterklass who is their patron saint and brings them presents. Swedish children wait for a kindly gnome called the Tomte instead of Santa on Christmas. This gnome is believed to live under the floorboards. In some parts of France, Mexico and Spain, children wait for the Three Kings to fill their shoes with presents.

However, children of north French pray that Pere Fouettard or Father Spanker would not visit them as he is reputed to punish and spank children, if they are naughty and bad. La Befana is another version of Santa that visits the Italian children and gives them gifts albeit on Epiphany or 6th of January. Agios Vasilis, the Saint of Letters visit the Greek children living in plains but those living in the mountains are taken care of by the tiny elves who bring the desired gifts to the good little children. The tradition of giving gifts reminds us that Jesus himself was a gift to the world and the gifts that he received when he was born.


  1. The Tradition Of Christmas Stocking
    Aforementioned is the most widely accepted story behind the tradition of the Christmas stockings. Be it the East or the West, children hang their stockings on Christmas Eve hoping Santa Claus will fill them with gifts, toys or candies.

  2. The Second Story
    The first official indication of Christmas stockings being hung over a chimney was made in the later part of the 19th century by a writer named Clement Moore in his story "Visit from St. Nick" , illustrated by Thomas Nash.

  3. Have you known that?
    In modern culture, Christmas stockings are also a popular homemade craft. Some families design unique stockings for each family member. Many families create their own Christmas stockings stitching the name of each family member to the stocking so that Santa knows which stocking belongs to which family member.

    In some countries, the contents of the Christmas stocking are the only gifts that a child receives at Christmas from Santa Claus. Western Christmas tradition dictates that a child who behaves badly during the year will not get a gift in their Christmas stocking and will receive a piece of coal instead.

    Traditional celebrations of Christmas demand that the stocking be hung on the fireplace mantel. However, since many contemporary homes do not have fireplaces, stockings are hung in almost any location.

    Today, children all over the world continue the tradition of hanging Christmas stockings. Kids of all nations look forward to Christmas and when the stockings are hung, they know the most anticipated time of the year is not far behind.

  4. Making Personalized Christmas Stockings

    Nowadays personalized stockings are easily available in the market. However, making them at home can be an interesting and fun activity carried out between siblings or friends. Making a Christmas stocking at home is simple and easy. Let us know how.

    Once you have decided the theme to be used for everyone's personalized Christmas stockings, you have to begin a little stitching work. Of course, it helps if you know stitching already. But if you are like most of us, who don't know about stitching, then you can learn a little sewing and affix cutouts of the desired patterns onto plain stockings picked up from your neighborhood mall. Just make sure that the plain stockings you buy are large enough for the gifts.

    You can use fabric glue to attach the cutouts of your selected theme, or you can sew them on if your cutouts are of cloth. One more idea to make your personalized stockings is to imprint the names of those whom the stockings belong to, with colorful thread. This does require some skill, but it is worth practicing if you want to suprise everyone who gets the Christmas stocking which you make for them!

    So, when the Christmas Eve turns in, make sure you gift-wrap your personalized Christmas stockings lovingly and give them personally to those whom you have made them for, could be family or friends. Do not forget to make one for yourself too. Many people will not think about Christmas stockings seriously, but when you take the effort to make such a lovely gift, you can be sure they will occupy a place of pride by the fireplace.

  5. Worldwide Stocking Traditions

    Children all over the world continue the tradition of hanging Christmas stockings. In some countries children have similar customs. In France, children place their shoes by the fireplace for Le Pere Noel, a tradition dating back to when children wore wooden peasant shoes.

    In Hungary, children shine their shoes before putting them near the door or a windowsill. Muslin stockings are hung in China to be filled with gifts from Dun Che Lao Ren. In Canada, Santa Claus actually welcomes the first shipment of Japenese oranges, a traditional stocking stuffer. And, in Puerto Rico children put greens and flowers in small boxes and place them under their beds for the camels of the Three Kings.

    Usually, stockings are put out Christmas Eve for Santa. But, in some countries, The tradition is slightly different. In Italy, for example, children leave their shoes out the night before Epiphany, January 5, for La Befana, the good witch.

  6. American Christmas Stocking History

    The earliest known reference to the Christmas stocking in America appears in Clement Moore Clarke’s infamous Christmas tale, Twas the Night Before Christmas. The Christmas stocking is mentioned twice. Once at the beginning: “The stockings were hung by the chimney with care” and, again, near the end: “He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings”.

    Other early references to Christmas Stockings were seen in the work of famous illustrator Thomas Nast. Christmas 1863 depicts the holiday celebrations of the time in three large panels. The one entitled “Morning” shows children opening presents and retrieving stockings hung by the fireplace.

  7. Ideas for Christmas stockings include:

    • Applying the family member's name to the stocking
    • Felt stocking kits that are usually sequins and beads holding felt pieces in place to add beauty and embellishments to the stocking
    • Pre-stamped are designs stamped onto felt that can be cut out
    • Pattern: You attach the pattern to the felt and then cut around it
    • Stitchery Stocking Kits consists of counted cross stitch, stamped cross stitch
    • Crewel is ancient kit done upon a stamped pattern with floss and yarn
    • Needlepoint
    • Knitted stockings
    • Crochet stockings
    • Sewing using wool, cotton or other fabrics

  8. Make a special Christmas stocking:

    • Make your pattern from a stocking 18 inches to 20 inches long

    • Draw the pattern onto paper or craft paper having a length 18 to 20 inches and width about 12 to 14 inches

    • Decorate the stocking in any way you desire, you can use cotton velveteen stocking fabric and quilted satin fabric for the cuff, some edging or trim can be sewed to the edges before sewing them onto the sock.

    • Embroider family member's name

    • Create your own family Christmas stocking legend

  9. We congratulate our family and friends, but our beloved pets also need our attention. So, here are some tips for Cat Christmas Stocking .

    Get ready for Christmas with a cat Christmas stocking. You can make or buy a Christmas stocking for your cat, your cat loving friends, and/or their cats. If your friends don’t have a cat but have other pets you can give them pet Christmas stockings.

    Before you buy or start designing your pet Christmas stocking, consider the following:

    --Decide what size you want your cat Christmas stocking to be – small, medium or large (you can also make tiny stockings or extra large ones).

    --Is the stocking for a human or for a feline? Decorate accordingly. Check the decorating tips below for ideas.

    --If you are beginner, use felt to design your creation. I find that felt is one of the easiest fabrics to work with when making cat Christmas stockings.

    --If you want to create an original piece, choose out-of-the ordinary fabrics and materials including flannel, vinyl, burlap, cotton, wool, faux fur, fleece, and denim.

    --Do you know how to knit or crochet? A knitted or crochet stocking is very special and unique. And best of all, you can find several patterns online (many of them for free).

    --Go green: Reuse, reclaim, repurpose…If you have old sweaters, tote bags or scraps of fabric, use them to make one of a kind stockings. You can also revamp old stockings from Christmas past: give them a new face lift by adding new trim, buttons or jingle bells.

    --Don’t have a sewing machine? No problem, you can hand sew your stocking. You can find step-by-step instructions online.

    --Don’t have the time to make a cat Christmas stocking from scratch but still want to have a unique stocking? You can buy plain stockings at any craft store and decorate them to your heart’s content.

    --Choose non-traditional colors: yes, red is the hands-down favorite (other traditional colors include white, gold and silver), but if you want to add some punch to your creations try something new. What about coral, blue, yellow, and purple?

    --You can make mini stockings to decorate your tree.

  10. How To Make Christmas Stocking
    Take an old stocking and mark its outline on a paper. Then mark it on the fabric that you want to use to make your Christmas stocking.
    Cut out the pieces of the cloth and sew them together make sure that you keep the top open. Purchase similar colored threads for the stockings, so that the stitching doesn't stand out in an ugly contrast.
    To give the finishing touch, attach cuffs of fur or velvet after the stocking has been stitched.
    Cut out the required breadth of the cuff in fur or velvet and sew the edges, in order to make it look even. Sew it on top of the stocking and then fold it into half, to cover the seams.
    You can also attach a ribbon by punching two holes on the seams of the folded cuffs and tie a ribbon through those holes.
    Decorate the stocking with glitter and sequins, so that its overall appeal is improved. Make Christmas stockings in different colored fabrics, to present them as gifts, to your near and dear.