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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

S is for Stocking

Thursday, December 7, 2023

One of the reasons Christmas is a wonderful time of the year is the scope and depth of Christmas traditions. Many traditions touch our inner souls while other traditions speak to the child in us. The list of traditions from A to Z includes the full range of traditions. S is for Stocking is one of the our treasured traditions that reminds us of childhood, of the wonder of Christmas, and of the mirth of the season. 

is for Stocking.

Leaving gifts in Christmas stockings reportedly began with Saint Nicholas. According to legend, three poor girls left their washed stockings on the fireplace mantel to dry overnight. Saint Nicholas knew the girls were poor and threw three bags of gold coins down their chimney. The coins landed in the girls' stockings.  

"A Visit from St. Nicholas," also known as "The Night Before Christmas,"  includes the lines the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes St. Nicholas would soon be there. In the years following the poem's publication in 1823, hanging stockings on Christmas Eve became a tradition in America.  

Stockings are no longer just for children. Many families have stockings for other family members as well as the children. Stockings for Mother, Father, and other family members living or visiting in the same house on Christmas Eve often have a personalized stocking. 

And, sometimes stockings are sent to family members who do not live in the same house or are visiting on Christmas Eve. A Christmas tradition in our family is for my adult sister and me to gift stockings filled with presents to each other. 

A peach colored stocking with pom-poms was the perfect stocking for my sister a few years ago. Peach is her favorite color. The store where I bought the stocking had several items in the same color range with which to fill the stocking. 

Now, for children, color coordinating a stocking with its contents is not necessary or probably not even noticed should that happen. 

For an adult sister, color coordinating the stocking and its contents was a delight, enjoyed by my sister with each item in the stocking. Oohs and aahs for every small gift in the stocking.  

A rosy shimmering fabric deer with glittered rosy antlers did not fit inside the stocking, but was beautiful hanging on the outside. 

A darker rosy glittered bottle brush tree peeked out the top of the stocking. 

Socks may not be appreciated by children or some adults, but when the socks are a soft fuzzy pink with a white bordered cuff they were appreciated by my sister who loves wearing socks. 

A delicious chocolate bar wrapped in Christmas paper with a color-coordinated angel sticker elevated the candy to more than just a chocolate bar! 


Stockings are often the first presents opened on Christmas morning. Children take their stockings into their parents' bedroom, all pile up together on the bed, and with joy open their treasures left by Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus. 

Stockings are Christmas traditions associated with joyful childhood Christmases and remembered by children and their parents into adulthood. Some families continue the tradition of Christmas stockings for all their children and their spouses all their lives. Each new addition to the family means another stocking hung on the fireplace. 

Another stocking tradition is to hang a stocking filled with treats and toys for each pet in the family. 

Stockings are one of those traditions that add laughter, joy, and treasured memories to our Christmas celebrations. 

R is for Ribbons

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Christmas traditions add joy, love, sparkle, beauty, comfort, nostalgia, meaning, and laughter to the holiday season. Traditions from A to Z offer glimpses into how different traditions add to the season. R is for Ribbons is a light-hearted tradition that adds beauty, sparkle, and joy! 

is for Ribbons.

Ribbons on Christmas presents began in the 1930s by stationery stores to dress up gift-wrapped packages. Today ribbons play a bigger role in Christmas decorations than tied to gift  packages. 

Q is for Quiet Reflection

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Christmas is a time for many to contemplate the meaning of the season and of how we should live our lives. In this series of 26 Christmas traditions, Q is for Quiet Reflection. For many, Christmas is about deeper meanings instead of presents under a tree. 

is for Quiet Reflection.

Christmas traditions often include time to read, to ponder, and to reflect on how to make one's life better and how to make the world better by one's actions. 

Reading favorite seasonal books, watching holiday movies, and participating in religious activities are among the traditions that provide quiet reflection of our personal lives and of our society.  

P is for Pinecone

Friday, December 1, 2023

Christmas traditions add joy, sparkle, and beauty to our homes during the festive holiday season, and a primary tradition is Christmas decorations inside and outside. A list of 26 Christmas traditions from A to Z includes P is for Pinecones, a popular natural decoration for Christmas. 

is for Pinecones

Natural decorations are a Christmas tradition with origins in Roman times when pagans celebrated the winter solstice. Pinecones were one of the natural decorations for celebrating winter solstice. 

When Christians began celebrating Christmas, pinecone decorations continued, and are often used in Christmas decorations today. 

O is for Ornament

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Since the Victorian Age ornaments on a Christmas tree have been a Christmas tradition in celebrating the most wondrous time of the year. O is for Ornaments in the list of Christmas traditions from A to Z written to add joy, love, laughter, beauty, nostalgia, comfort, sparkle, and meaning to the Christmas season. 

is for ornaments

Traditionally ornaments were used to decorate Christmas trees in England beginning in the reign of Queen Victoria. Shortly thereafter, the tradition spread to the United States. 

Ornaments vary from homemade to heirlooms and have evolved from just decorating a tree to decorating the house in other ways.