Stockings are part of a traditional Christmas holiday


Staff Writer

Every family that celebrates Christmas has their own set of traditions, but some tend to be universal. The lights, presents and Christmas tree are found in most homes, as well as “stockings hung by the chimney with care,” per the line from “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Christmas stockings are a part of the holiday all over the world, giving people that chance to show off their own sense of style with the decorations and continue a longstanding tradition.

Christmas stockings have been a family tradition all over the globe for centuries. According to information found at christmasstocking.com, one of the first stories involving stockings and the holiday involved St. Nicholas helping a poor old man and his daughters by secretly placing bags of gold in their stockings that were drying over the fireplace. Another story suggests that the custom evolved from Norse traditions, where children would leave food for Sleipnir, the flying horse of Odin All-Father, king of the Norse pantheon. The children would leave food for the horse in boots, which Odin would replace with treats such as candy or fresh fruit.

In modern times, most families use Christmas stockings to distribute small presents to their loved ones on Christmas morning, such as toys, jewelry, candy and more. A common threat for poorly behaved children is that Santa won’t bring them any presents for their stocking, instead leaving only a lump of coal.

Stockings themselves have evolved over the years from actual socks worn by the families to decorated stockings sold in stores; the “traditional” stocking is usually red with a white faux fur trim around the opening. The “socks” now come in a wide variety of different styles, with the logos of sports teams and more, giving buyers a wide array of options when choosing a stocking for the holidays.

“I think people will buy a stocking and use it year after year because it’s sentimental to them,” said Anthony Sako, a sales associate at Boscov’s Trim-a-Home department. Sako said Christmas decorations have been on sale for a while now, and he’s seen his share of stockings purchased by customers, as the store carries a variety of the decorations. “When they need a new one, we like to give them options for personalized ones.”

Stockings are also a rather simple craft in various forms for children excited for Christmas and Santa’s visit. The simplest form of these crafts is simply cutting out a piece of red construction paper and gluing cotton balls along the top edge; children can then draw on or decorate the stocking however they wish. A more complicated version of this craft involves cutting out two pieces of felt in the shape of the stocking. After gluing cotton balls or faux fur to the top of the stocking, children can punch holes along the side of the stocking, and with a parent helping, thread string or twine through the holes to create a makeshift stocking that can hold items. Both children and adults can also decorate pre-purchased stockings to fit their particular tastes. Glitter glue can be used to write names and sayings on the stockings, so that every member of the family has their own unique stocking. Many families have a stocking for everyone in the household, sometimes even including pets in on the Christmas fun.

Christmas stockings are an old tradition, but they still bring joy and fun to thousands of people around the world every year. They can be simple or complex, depending on your tastes, but they always help increase the anticipation for the holiday and spread a little Christmas cheer.


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