Saturday, November 29, 2008

Advent Activity Calendar - December 9

Scripture Reading:

Isaiah 16: 5

"In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it-- one from the house of David-- one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness."

Country in Focus: Italy

Tradition: Christmas Stockings

Activity: Decorate a Christmas stocking.

Stocking (you can usually find inexpensive plain ones at Walmart or even Dollar Tree); sequins, jewel beads, glitter glue pens


Decorate your own stocking and put your name on it.


The reason we hang Christmas stockings is more legend attributed to Saint Nicholas. The story was told in northern Europe since the early days of Christianity. In fact, it was told for so long, people forgot why they hung their stockings. They just continued to do so.

The legend says that a nobleman was so devastated by his wife's death that he spent through all his money leaving his three daughters without any dowries. The daughters were left poor and without any prospects for marriage. Cue sad music. One night before bed, the girls washed their stockings as usual and hung them to dry by the fireplace. Saint Nicholas was so moved by their situation that he took pity on them. While they were sleeping, he crept into their house and left them each a bag of gold coin in their stockings. When they awoke in the morning, they found the money.

Inspired by this story, children began to leave their socks and shoes outside where Nicholas could see them, in hopes that they would receive money as well. Over time, the tradition developed into the one that we read about on December 5th for the eve of Saint Nicholas' birthday. In America, we prefer to hang stockings rather than to put out shoes. Have fun making your stocking!

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