- Holidays and Celebrations
Christmas Stockings and Holders with Traditions of History
Christmas Stockings for Santa to Fill
The History of Christmas Stockings or the legends of the Tradition of hanging Christmas Stockings
Some legends state that once upon a time, Christmas was celebrated on Jan. 6, not Dec. 25. Afterward, it is believed that the Church moved Christmas to Dec. 25.This caused the original date to become called "Old Christmas. The Catholic Church constituted Dec. 25 as the confirmed date for observing Christmas around the fourth century A.D, and about the same time, instituted Jan. 6 as the Feast of Epiphany. This was believed to be when the new baby Jesus was visited by the Magi or the Three Wise Men, to show the gentiles as well as the Jews of the birth of Jesus.
Although the rationality is not really known, some cultures still celebrate Christmas customs on "Old Christmas", or Jan. 6. In particular, some hang Christmas stockings on the evening of Jan. 5.Even today,some Orthodox now observe Christmas on Jan. 6, Christmas is regarded as a 12-day festival commencing on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, and resolving on the Feast of Epiphany on Jan. 6.
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The History of the Christmas Stocking.
There are many versions of the story of Christmas Stockings, this may be the most common Christmas Stocking Story
It is of a nobleman and his family. He had been widowed of his deeply beloved wife. This left the nobleman in desperation and entirely alone to raise their three beautiful daughters. It is not known exactly when but possibly by the time of the wife's death, or shortly after, the father became very poor. He had lost all his money.
As was custom, in those days, a dowry was necessary for a girl to marry. It is told that on Christmas Eve, St. Nicholas was passing by their home and knowing of their plight, secretly looked in the windows, and noticing that the daughters had hung their laundered socks near the fireplace to dry. In his generosity, St. Nicholas,somehow through the chimney, landed a bag of gold coins into each girl's stocking. This provided the needed dowries, enabling the sisters to marry.
Once word spread of how the girls had found gold in their stockings, everyone started hanging their stockings by the fireplace in hopes that they would be as fortunate.
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Christmas Stockings excite every child's Christmas. Usually Parents have fun getting them ready to make them look like Santa did it. For littler children its so much fun to wake up to a loaded Christmas stocking that Santa Claus has delivered.
The tradition of giving Christmas stockings varies from country to country. In Britain kids wake up on Christmas morning to the lovely crinkly sound of a stocking lying heavy across their legs.
American children would walk sleepy-eyed into the living room to find their stocking on the floor in front of the fireplace, filled with Christmas gifts.
Of Course, we always need to make sure we leave a drink for Santa Claus Perhaps milk and cookies, and a few carrots for his reindeer.
Now, we do not hang our laundered stockings by the chimney to dry, instead we observe the Christmas custom of hanging a stocking on the fireplace. Instead of putting gold in the stockings, we put extra gifts in them. As tradition says If we are really bad during the year, we might get a lump of coal instead.
Christmas just is not the same without Christmas stockings.
Christmas Stocking Holders
Stockings have changed since the girls in the legend hung their laundered stockings near the chimney to dry. Most people hang special decorative stockings for Santa Claus.We fill the Stockings with small toys or gifts, or toothbrushes and mascara, or other little items. Long ago, it was tradition that oranges in the toes of the stockings would represent the gold left by St. Nicholas for the girls. And an apple in the heel would suggest the person had been good that year.
In Italy, it still means a person has been naughty to find a piece of coal in the stocking.
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Oranges Monogrammed Christmas Stockings
Long ago, there was not sugar as there is today. It was the Arabs who brought in sugar from India to Europe in the 8th century. It was still for only the very rich people. Sugar was not a common household item. Up until then, folks utilized honey and fruits to add sweetness to their lives. Mostly fruits were dried to survive over winter, and added with honey they were baked into sweets. If apples were picked before the first frost they could last over winter.People would enjoy an apple in the middle of the winter.
Oranges came to Europe in the 11th century from Iran. That version, the Persian orange, was beautiful, but bitter. Later in the 15th century they imported the Indian oranges, that were sweet. Orange trees grew fruit in the middle of the winter. They believed it was God's gift to the people, to celebrate the birth of His Son, and so oranges became a Christmas treat.
In the13th century, they used to stick cloves into oranges, roll them in cinnamon and other spices, and make pomanders - or "amber apples", Pommes d'ambre, as they were originally called in French.
Also they boiled a dough of endearing smelling things and rolled this into a ball, and covered it with spices. Ladies would carry these in the 16th and 17th century when the hygiene wasn't as good, and smell the nice spice oranges when everything around them was very bad smelling..
In Europe mandarin oranges, that are quite sweet, and ripen in December were enjoyed. In the early 20th century, the Clementine was introduced to the world, these were put into Christmas stockings. Now they are called called "Christmas Oranges".
Christmas Stocking Tradition
According to the Dutch tradition, children left out nourishment for both "Sinterclass" (Santa Claus) and his steeds. In those days, Sinterclass' animals were sometimes regarded as donkeys and sometimes as reindeer. Originally, children left the animals straw in their wooden shoes (clogs), but eventually left straw in stockings. They left these treats by or on the fireplace hearth. After Sinterclass and his animals consumed the edibles, Sinterclass filled the shoes or stockings with gifts. While the Dutch version is most clearly reported, other cultures have similar Christmas stocking origin stories.
American Christmas stocking customs have European origins. During the 19th century, however, we find an influx of modern American influences on Christmas stocking tradition. The two primary influences on the continued popularity of the Christmas stocking in 19th century America were illustrator Thomas Nast, who established the modern iconography of Santa Claus, and author Clement Moore, who wrote the Christmas story "A Visit from Saint Nicholas," more commonly called "Twas the Night Before Christmas."
Some 19th century writers believe that the popularity of Christmas stockings withered somewhat when Christmas trees first began, Then came back into use about the time of Nast and Moore. Most cultures that observe Christmas observe some Christmas stocking tradition, but the gift bearer is not always Santa Claus. In some cultures, it is LeBefana, a good witch, or else the Magi. In cultures where the Magi bring gifts, they will put their Christmas stocking out on the eve of Epiphany, as that remembers their bringing gifts to the baby Jesus.
Pet Christmas Stockings
Since these days pets have become even more popular than ever before, many even buy stockings for their pets. Pets are usually truly part of the family, and why would you leave them out. In a pets stocking, you could put toys or a new leash for a walk, or treats that your pet would love.