Christmas Stocking Stories

  • Christmas Stocking Stories: Newborns Get Festive Hospital Send Off

    Newborn babies are getting a special send off when it’s time to go home from St. Francis Medical Center, thanks to a tradition that spans more than five decades.

    Christmas Stocking Stories

    For more than two millennia, people around the globe have been celebrating Christmas—observing long-time religious and secular traditions, as well as adding their own unique practices. The Christmas stocking tradition, which took root in the early centuries A.D, is perhaps one of the most beloved traditions—and one that is certainly near and dear to our hearts here at Merry Stockings.

    In the spirit of honoring and making our own traditions, our “Christmas Stocking Stories” series aims to highlight Christmas stocking traditions that are touching, unique, and perhaps even a little bizarre. Enjoy.

    The Story of Newborn Stocking Stuffers

    December is a month of anticipation and preparation as we count the days until Christmas. But for the new mothers and fathers in the maternity ward at St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, LA—Christmas comes early with the arrival of their new bundle of joy. And the hospital takes special care in making those newborns part of the holiday festivities.

    Since 1963—yes, you read that right—the newborn boys and girls have been sent home from the hospital in homemade, oversized Christmas stockings. The tradition is kept alive by volunteers within the St. Francis Auxiliary, according to KNOE.com, a local news station.

    Christmas Stockings for Newborns

    Photo Credit: Screenshot from KNOE.com video story.

    “I’ve had mothers tell me that their little brother got stockings and they wanted their babies to get stockings,” an unnamed volunteer told the news station. “So, we all love doing this.”

    KNOE.com reported that the purpose behind the tradition is to spread hope and love—which are core to the beliefs of the hospital.

    So, just how many Christmas stocking have been handmade and delivered since the tradition began?

    Last year, News Star reported that by the end of the 2017 season, it was estimated that more than 9,300 stockings had gone home with families. Oh, and each stocking takes a volunteer about an hour to make.

    You Can Spread Hope & Love with Christmas Stockings, Too

    You don’t have to be a skilled crafter or sewer to create special Christmas stockings for yourself, or your family or friends. With MerryStockings, you can pick a design and personalize, or take on a Bucilla stocking craft project to add your own spin. Below we share some of our favorite Christmas stockings that you can personalize.

    From left to right, Wool Christmas Stocking Green Reindeer, Christmas Stocking on the Farm Felt Stocking Kit, Wreath Red Felt Personalized Christmas Stocking,

    Does your family or organization have a special Christmas tradition? Share it with us in the comments section below.

  • Christmas Stocking Stories: The 'Wall' Over 50 Years in the Making

    Christmas Stocking Stories

    For more than two millennia, people around the globe have been celebrating Christmas—observing long-time religious and secular traditions, as well as adding their own unique practices. The Christmas stocking tradition, which took root in the early centuries A.D, is perhaps one of the most beloved traditions—and one that is certainly near and dear to our hearts here at Merry Stockings.

    In the spirit of honoring and making our own traditions, our “Christmas Stocking Stories” series aims to highlight Christmas stocking traditions that are touching, unique, and perhaps even a little bizarre. Enjoy.

    The Story of Lorraine Kelly’s Christmas Stocking “Wall”

    More than 50 years ago, Arlington Heights, IL resident Lorraine Kelly was expecting her 11th child. But after developing a blood clot early in her pregnancy, she was reportedly prescribed complete bed rest—which would ultimately last more than two months.

    But according to the Daily Herald, the newspaper covering Chicago and its suburbs where Lorraine lives, those months of bed rest would be the start of an incredible Christmas tradition.

    At the suggestion of a friend, Lorraine began making Christmas stockings to pass the time as she waited for her new baby to arrive. She designed the pattern and eventually personalized them with the names of each of her 11 children. But according to the article, she didn’t stop at stocking No. 11.

    As her children married—and as grandchildren and great grandchildren came—she kept going. It was almost a rite of passage and a way to make a person’s entry into the family official. And as Lorraine told the newspaper: “You had to be married to get on the wall. You couldn’t be a boyfriend.”

    Soon the total swelled to 73 stockings. But once the grandchildren started marrying—Lorraine hung up her needle and thread—it had gotten to be too much, she told the paper.

    But perhaps the most endearing part is “The Wall”—a Christmas stocking shrine inside Lorraine’s home that displays each of her lovingly handcrafted masterpieces.

    (Photo Credit: Joe Lewnard, Staff Photographer at the Daily Herald)

    According to the Daily Herald, The Wall serves as a centerpiece to the family’s annual Dec. 23 Christmas celebration at Lorraine’s home.

    And guess what? All of her 11 children have reportedly created their own stocking wall inside their homes. And, as is tradition, each of the stockings has been made from the same pattern and same felt material to make them match Lorraine’s originals.

    Thank you to the Daily Herald for brining this incredible story to light last year. You can read the full article here.

    Create Your Own Personalized Christmas Stockings

    You don’t have to be a skilled crafter or sewer to create your own special stocking. Bucilla Felt Christmas Stocking Kits give you everything you need. Below are some of our favorites:

    Bucilla Christmas Stockings

    From left to right: Deer Family Bucilla Christmas Stocking Kit, Golfing Santa Bucilla Christmas Stocking KitCandy Snowman Bucilla Christmas Stocking Kit 

    Does your family have a special Christmas tradition? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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