Occasions 365

Christmas Stockings

Needlepoint Christmas stockings and more

The Christmas stocking is a beloved holiday tradition. On Christmas, they are stuffed with goodies and small gifts and are traditionally opened on Christmas Eve, or on Christmas Day before the family moves on to the presents under the Christmas tree. Traditionally, they are hung over or beside the fireplace or hearth with Christmas stocking holders, but if you don't have a fireplace or hearth in your home, they can be placed under the tree as well.

Stocking stuffers add to the Christmas fun, and are a beloved part of the Christmas holiday in many households. However, you can also use Christmas stockings to build new family traditions of your own.

Make Your Own Christmas Stockings

If you need new Christmas stockings, either for yourself or for new additions to your family, why not make your own? Needlepoint Christmas stockings are relatively easy, and if you have even basic knitting skills, they're an excellent way to add a personal touch to your family's Christmas accessories. Patterns are widely available online, and can be downloaded and printed with ease. You'll only need a few basic supplies from your local sewing store to get started.

Christmas Traditions Related to Stockings

The history of the Christmas stocking has been debated by historians, and its origins are not known for certain. There are two competing theories: one is that Dutch settlers in the United States brought the tradition with them from Holland in the same way that their legendary "Sinter Claas" evolved to become St. Nicholas or Santa Claus, with the help of author Washington Irving. The other theory is that stockings actually originated in North America, through the illustrations of Thomas Nast, which accompanied the Christmas stories written by author George Webster.

Also, the familiar trope of good children being rewarded and bad children being punished also applies to the Christmas stocking. Traditionally, well-behaved children received gifts and money in their stockings, while poorly behaved children would receive only a lump of coal.

Modern Christmas stockings are available in a wide range of fabrics, colors and styles. Traditionally, though, they are made of red velvety material and topped with white trim, mimicking the famous outfit worn by Santa Claus.

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