This post was written as a feature by an anonymous reader from South Africa, so if you find any of the reasoning strange, now you know why.
What are Christmas stockings and who uses them anyway? Here in South Africa, we don’t have nearly as many Xmas traditions are Americans do. Sure, children believe in Father Christmas, but most grow up taught the story of baby Jesus. Another big difference is the fact that we almost never get snow. Not over the holiday season or any other time of the year. This brings me to Christmas stockings which is something we never experienced in our family and still don’t.
It’s part of yet another long list of American and European traditions that we don’t take part in, and most people don’t know how they came about. According to the Wikipedia page on stockings, it’s said that there was no real evidence or a written date when people started implementing this tradition. The article goes on pointing out that people apparently started this tradition in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, but its origins didn’t even come from Christianity. Only later, as many Europeans diverted to Christianity did the traditions evolve.
Fast forward hundreds of years and a pair of red and white stocking hanging from a tree or fireplace is the ultimate picture of a western Christmas celebration. Not knowing where you’re reading this from around the world, let’s just for a minute imagine you want to surprise your kids or family members this year and give gifts a little differently. I can see how kids would love seeing their stockings hanging full of gifts imaging what could be inside.
Getting socks to hang gifts in is the easy part. You could also stitch each person’s name on the stocking just to make sure there is no confusion, but what do you put in them? From my understanding, these socks aren’t that big, so it needs to be reasonably small presents. Thankfully, many gifts come in small sizes well and able to pack the punch of a big present. Size does not always matter. In fact, if you’re anything like me, a person who likes simple, compact things, then smaller would most probably be better.
The Telegraph has one of the best lists I of Xmas stocking ideas I could find online. Strangely enough, it does not only include gifts for boys and girls but full grown men and women as well. It looks like Christmas stockings aren’t just for the kids, dads and moms can take part too. The more I’m thinking about it, the more I’m starting to like the idea of stockings. Ceramic Christmas trees also is another Xmas tradition we South Africans don’t have, but I think they are awesome!
Grandma’s and moms this one is for you. If you like to make stocking a tradition in your home why not nit or quilt (whatever it’s called) a special family stocking for this holiday season. This video shows you how: