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The Christmas Stocking

The Christmas Stocking

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Every year, my husband and I fill eachother's Christmas stockings with gifts.  This has become our family tradition and it gets more creative each year.  This year, I opened a box of Christmas tree cakes and wrapped each one individually, since we get a little territorial over them.  In the bottom of his stocking, he had clues waiting, and his gifts were hidden throughout the house.  We also like very unique stockings, which I am sure you are not surprised about. Here's mine...

My husbands...

And the dogs, of course...

This led to my latest inspiration, the story behind The Christmas Stocking.

Traditionally, 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 with small gifts.

In some Christmas traditions, gifts inside the stockings are the only toys the child receives from Santa Claus.  In other traditions, presents are wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree. Some people even put their Christmas stockings by their bedposts so Santa Claus can fill it while they sleep.

There are no written records of the Christmas Stocking's origin.  However, there are popular legends that tell the history of this Christmas tradition known as Saint Nicholas.

This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting Saint Nicholas.

A tradition that began in a European country, that involved children using one of their own socks, and eventually Christmas stockings were created.

The Christmas stocking custom is derived from the Germanic-Scandinavian figure Odin.  Children would place their boots, filled with carrots, straw, or sugar, near the chimney for Odin's flying horse.  Odin would reward those children for their kindness by replacing food with gifts or candy.

This was practiced in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands after the adoption of Christianity.  The stocking tradition would later become associated with Saint Nicholas as a result of the process of Christianization.

Today, stores carry a large variety of  Christmas stockings in various sizes and styles.  Christmas stockings are also a popular homemade item created out of fabrics associated with favorite memories.  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.

Whether you wrap tree cakes, write your name, or hang your own socks as part of your Christmas stocking tradition it's ours to keep. Merry Christmas and hope your Stocking's are filled with fun and lots of love!

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