Christmas Stocking Traditions
Christmas stocking traditions around the world have created happy memories for children and their families and play a big part in the celebration of Christmas.
The tradition of Christmas itself has steadily evolved from periods that originally represented predominantly Christianity to the traditions and customs performed today.
Christmas traditions normally include the 12 days of Christmas, cozy fires, cheerful Yule logs, gift giving and singing Christmas carols around the fire or through the neighborhood. They also include sharing festive foods with family and friends, church events, all that have been part of the Christmas celebration dating back to our earliest days. Not only has Christmas has been a revered holiday from a religion stand point , it is a happy celebration including festivals, cookies and, lets not forget, Santa Claus.
Over the years, the celebration of Christmas has seen a lot of change as each year brings new traditions and ways to celebrate. But one thing always seems to remain a constant – Christmas Stockings. A Christmas stocking is just a socking until it is magically filled to the brim with tasty treats, tiny toys and even a penny or two. For those that don’t know, these treats and trinkets are known as stocking stuffers. Tradition states that any child who has been bad during the year will receive a piece of coal instead of all the goodies, but we all know there aren’t any bad children!
Christmas stocking traditions around the world may differ, but most, children are still carrying on the tradition of hanging up their Christmas stockings.
In France, children put their shoes next to the fireplace. This French tradition dates back to the time when the little ones wore peasant shoes that were made of wood.
In Holland the children fill their tiny shoes with a carrot and hay for the magical horse of Sintirklass. In Hungary, they shine up their shoes before placing them by the door or on a window sill.
In Italy the children, on the night prior to Epiphany, January 5th, leave their shoes out for La Befana, their good witch.
In Puerto Rico the little ones put flowers and a variety of greens in tiny boxes and put them underneath their beds for the infamous Three King’s camels.
In the beginning, children just used an everyday sock as a Christmas stocking, but over time, distinctive Christmas stockings were designed, making them more festive and unique to each child in many cases. Today, you’ll find a huge selection of designs and sizes of Christmas stockings, from small and conventional, to fun and colorful.
Most families make their own, unique Christmas stockings adding the names of each family member to make certain that Santa, with his busy schedule, doesn’t get confused about which belongs to which child (or lucky adult).
Traditionally, Christmas stockings are displayed on the fireplace, however, today, some homes don’t have fireplaces. Not to worry though, Christmas stockings can be displayed anywhere in the home because Santa will always be able to find them.
As you can see, Christmas stocking traditions around the world may differ, but it is a happy occasion for all who celebrate it.
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