Christmas and Major Holidays
The tradition of hanging stockings for Christmas holiday probably originated with stories and worship of “Odin,” the mythological Germanic/Scandinavian deity. Children would fill their boots with carrots, straw, and sugary treats and place them near the fire place hearth to feed for Odin’s flying horse called “Sleipnir.” Odin would reward the children for their kindness and generosity by replacing the horse’s food with gifts and candy. Over the centuries the practice became associated with Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus.
- In France children place their shoes by the fireplace in anticipation of their bounty of goodies Christmas morn
- Italian children set their shoes out on January 5 th, the night before Epiphany
- Children of Holland place wooden shoes at the hearth
- Puerto Rico children leave gifts in small boxes filled with flowers and foliage for the camels of the Three Kings
Many non-traditional and secular families create their own unique styles of celebration to include hand-crafted Christmas stockings to pass along to future generation as treasured hand-me downs and heirloom keepsakes.
Materials for making Christmas stockings could include
- Ready made quilt cloth which can be purchased at any fabrics store
- Sequins, lace and ribbon trim
- Colorful felt cloth, sweatshirt fabric or fluffy fake fur
- Baubles, beads and tassels
Let the imagination fly.
Hang paper stockings on the refrigerator or display on the windows for all to see.
Go big and make/ buy a cardboard fireplace hearth to display your paper stocking masterpieces.
Colors of Christmas
What colors to choose for the best Christmas cheer. There are several colors traditionally associated with Christmas. Each color comes with a special meaning or significance based upon cultural tradition for the holy day.
What do these colors represent?
In the western/northern European hemisphere Christmastime is the darkest, coldest days of winter. The only things living out there in the ice and snow are the evergreens:
- Balsam Fir
- White Pine
- Colorado Blue Spruce
- Arizona Cypress
- Eastern Red cedar
- Canaan Fir
- Scotch Pine
- Norway Spruce
- Leland Cypress
- Douglas Fir
- Virginia Pine
- White Spruce
Also included in the green department, Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe
Red represents the apple in the Adam & Eve story.
Holly berries represent the blood of Jesus.
Red is the color of Catholic Bishops robes.
Mix in a dash of old St. Nicholas and voila’ – you have Santa’s uniform!
Gold represents the color of Sun and light, a gold five point star, a gift of gold a wise man.
The color of shimmering white snowflakes, often associated with purity and peace, Christian Communion or Mass wafer, cloth covered altars.
Ancient blue and purple dyes were only worn by royalty. Blue is associated with importance, Mary, the mother of Jesus, the color of the sky and heaven.
Primarily the color purple and sometimes blue is used in most churches for the Advent altar cloth.