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christmas 2010

  • Our Bucilla Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kits

    Christmas is a good time to spend with family. At MerryStockings.com, we believe that quality time is spent with your kids when you teach your kids to do crafts. This is one of the most compelling reason why we came up with the Bucilla Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kits.

    Whether you have a little boy or a little girl, there are designs for you to those from. We recommend:

    Stocking Kits for the Girls

    Bucilla Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Cupcake Angel

    The Bucilla Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Cupcake Angel features grandma with a selection of cupcakes, candy canes, cookies and gingerbread men.

    This kit is one of MerryStocking.com's new offerings for the year 2010.

    Bucilla Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Ballet Bears

    The Bucilla Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Ballet Bears features three lovely and cute bears dancing ballet in tutus that little girls would adore. **This kit has been discontinued and the link now goes to the current inventory that MerryStockings is offering - updated 3/24/10**

    Stocking Kits for the Boys

    Bucilla Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Cowboy Santa

    Santa Claus has been traditionally depicted on sleighs pulled by reindeers. Not this Santa. The Bucilla Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Cowboy Santa features a Western Santa in a cowboy suit on horseback. It is a fun twist to the traditional Santa Claus little boys would love!

    Bucilla Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Fireman Santa

    Santa Claus is very recognizable in his red suit. So are firemen. That is why MerryStockings.com combined these two well-loved figures and featured it on the Bucilla Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Fireman Santa. This stocking kit includes a cute dog and a fire truck!

    Stocking Kits for Both Girls and Boys

    Bucilla Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Christmas Feast

    Every little boy or little girl loves Santa Claus. Bucilla Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Christmas Feast kit features a very traditional Christmas scene including the beloved Santa Claus furry forest friends!

    Bonus: Stocking Kits for Everybody in the Family

    Ho Ho Ho Santa Kit - a fun, detailed Christmas scene. Very cute kit.

    To see our full list of Bucilla Stocking kits, click the highlighted text!

  • Choosing a Christmas Stocking for Your Baby

    Christmas stockings form a very important tradition for your family. Your baby's first Christmas should signal the start of a new tradition: get him or her their own Christmas stocking.

    But how do you make sure that you get the perfect Christmas stocking for your baby? It's actually very simple.

    1. Take note of the decoration. It may be his or her first Christmas, but the stocking will be used for many years to come. As such, it will be best to have a design that may still work when he or she is a little bit older. It might be a good idea to have something universal and eternal when it comes to design. Dora the Explorer might be a big hit now, but you'd never know how popular she would be in the next two to three years. Better opt for designs such as Santa Claus or a teddy bear.

    2. Personalize it! Nothing says it best than a personalized stocking. Especially when you have more than one kid, names on the stocking will help you get through the confusion when stuffing time comes. Also, it will make a nice keepsake when it's time to retire an old stocking for a new one. You could include the old stocking in your baby's scrapbook.

    3. Make it or buy it? There are a lot of stores that sell Christmas stockings. You also have the option to make it yourself. But whatever you go with, make sure that the final product is both beautiful and durable.

    4. What to fill it with? Make sure that your stocking fillers are age appropriate. A good idea for stocking stuffers include baby essentials such pacifiers, teething rings. Or you could surprise your baby with a rattle or a stuffed toy.

    Having a new addition to the family is always an exciting thing, but it is more so during Christmas time. It not only allows you to start or continue a family tradition, but it will help build memories for your family.

  • Christmas Traditions Explained, Part II

    Yesterday, we looked at the practice of kissing under the mistletoe and hanging up Christmas stockings and examined their origins.

    MerryStockings.com takes a look at more Christmas traditions and how they came to be.

    Deck the halls with boughs of holly...

    Everybody knows this Christmas song, and almost everybody has sung it at at least one point in their lives. But do you know why people use holly during the Christmas season? It is not only because of the green leaves and red berries they have, which is coincidentally the most popular Christmas colors, but also because of a legend.

    In olden times, people believed that ghosts and evil spirits roamed during winter and Christmas time. Europeans believed that holly held magical powers because like the mistletoe, it remains green even during the bleak winter months. So people hanged boughs of holly over their doors to keep the evil spirits away.

    It served a more practical purpose too. In the time before canned air fresheners became available, these boughs of holly also purified the air inside the home.

    Holly is also used as a religious symbol around Christian homes. It is believed that holly came up from the ground on which Jesus Christ walked. The spiky leaves represent his crown of thorns while the red berries represent the blood that he shed.

    Christmas Cards

    The practice of sending out Christmas cards had humbler roots. It began in the United Kingdom where young boys sent Christmas greetings to their parents in order to practice their writing.

    Officially, however, the first real Christmas cards were the brainchild of Sir Henry Cole who was too busy to send his friends individualized Christmas greetings. What he did was to ask John Calcott Harvey to draw an illustration, which he then mass printed on a card. The illustration with a simple greeting for the holidays became the first Christmas cards.

    Get into the Christmas spirit by sending your loved ones beautiful and personalized Christmas cards. MerryStockings.com allows you to have the flexibility of choosing any format from the various designs we have and then letting you add a personal touch by incorporating your own photographs on these.

  • Stars Share Their Favorite Christmas Memories

    Stars are ordinary people too. They may be rich, they may be famous, they may be accustomed to being in the limelight, but when Christmas time comes, they also reminisce about Christmases in their lives.

    Over the years, stars have revealed their favorite Christmas memories. MerryStockings.com shares you some of them:

    Nicolas Cage shared his greatest Christmas memory with his father. In his childhood, Cage had toy car with Pinocchio as a driver. A day before Christmas, he was playing with it when Pinocchio's head broke off. His father picked the head up and showed the young Nicolas to the garden where he planted it. On Christmas morning the young Nicolas was surprised to find that there was a gift waiting for him where his father planted the head. It was a big wooden Pinocchio.

    Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher says that she makes it a point to create homemade gifts every Christmas for her friends and family. So she's always baking gingerbread houses for them, while she keeps a "Christmas town" at home.

    Oprah Winfrey said on her show that it was a Christmas memory that fuels her generosity. At a young age, her mother told Oprah and her siblings that they do not have enough money for Christmas gifts prompting her to feel sad. But then three nuns came to their house and brought gifts for them. Oprah received a doll.

    Samuel Jackson always received guns for Christmas. For him, the guns was the whole point of Christmas and he was happy with the toys.

    Criminal Minds' Thomas Gibson takes the Christmas season to remember how he should be patient with his own kids. Recalling a time when he was young and he knocked down their Christmas tree and got an earful from his father.

    You too can immortalize your Christmas memories with MerryStocking.com’s personalized Christmas tree ornaments. These lovely ornaments can help you create a Christmas tradition that your kids would love. Just imagine gathering around the Christmas tree looking at pictures when your 21 year old son was just baby, or when your daughter was baptized.

    Loving memories are created, shared and kept alive, and there is no better way to do these than with our personalized tree ornaments!

  • Your Baby's First Christmas Stockings

    Children have always been the best reason to celebrate Christmas. In every household, it is the children who are the most excited for the coming holiday season. Some even say that Christmas is the time for kids, with TV stations putting out kid-friendly programs for their holiday programming, stores selling their best wares for kids, Schools close for the Christmas vacation, seriously lengthy play time and basically the whole world feeling like a child again.

    Children around the world have treasured the Christmas season, which is the time that they get rewarded for being nice. They get gifts from their parents, friends and other family members. At no other time of the year, except for their birthdays, do they get so many toys, money, and other gifts.

    Spending your Christmas with your children is one of the best gifts you can ever give and receive. You want to make it extra special for them, because it is in their eyes that you see the magic of Christmas.

    This is especially true if it is their first Christmas. How exactly do you celebrate Christmas with the latest addition to your family: your baby? Well, by setting up a tradition, of course!

    Christmas traditions are great ways to keep Christmas in your family unique and exciting. You could host a Christmas lunch or dinner and invite close friends and family over. You could introduce your baby to them during this.

    You could put up Christmas decorations that depicts the whole family. Personalized Christmas ornaments for your tree featuring the whole family, or each member in different ornaments.

    Or you could give everybody in the family their own personalized Christmas stocking. It would be great to have everybody's stockings line up on the chimney. Do not forget the littlest one though.

    MerryStockings.com has a new line of personalized Christmas stockings that is perfect for your baby's first Christmas. Make his or her first Christmas memorable with these beautiful white velvet with gingham trims stocking that may be embroidered with your baby's name. This would be a great keepsake for the momentous moment in his or her life!

  • Christmas Around the World: Austria

    Christmas in Vienna starts on December 6, the Feast of St. Nicholas. On this day, St. Nicholas goes out and rewards children with toys, candies, fruits and nuts. At the same time, Krampus, a devil goes around with Santa Claus and punish the bad children.

    While Krampus is a creature that is found in many other European countries such as Croatia and Hungary, it is only in Austria where people dress up as Krampus and roam the streets on December 5. To read more about other weird and unusual Christmas traditions observed around the world, click here.

    Christmas trees play a significant role in Austrian Christmases. Typically set up on Christmas eve, these trees are not lit until the coming of the Christ Child who gives gifts to the children. Here we see a fundamental difference in Austrian Christmases. Whereas other countries perpetuate the belief that it is Santa Claus that brings gifts, Austrian youngsters believe that it is Christkind or the Christ Child who brings the gifts to them. The Christkind is also credited with decorating the Christmas tree.

    Most people stay at home to spend Christmas eve with their families, and the ligthing of the Christmas tree is one important highlight. They also sing "Silent Night, Holy Night" among other Christmas carols.

    How about a Christmas in Austria trivia? Did you know that the Christmas song "Silent Night" was first heard in an Austrian village named Oberndorf. It is said that in 1818, the parish priest of Oberndorf realized that the organ was not working, so he consulted an organist named Franz Bauer the newly written Silent Night. Bauer was able to come up with a melody for it using the guitar as an accompaniment.

    Baked carp is the traditional staple for Christmas feasts.

    Christmas in Austria is also marked by the opening of the Christmas markets. It is said that the Christmas market in Vienna traces its roots back to the year 1298. These Christmas markets are found in every town, often very near to the churches. It is considered to be one of the longest standing Christmas traditions in Austria.

    Make the Christmas trees of your Austrian friends much better with MerryStockings.com's best selections of personalized Christmas ornaments.

  • Christmas Is for Kids

    Christmas is the time when kids rule. This is the season where we pamper them with gifts and spend time with them. In fact, a lot of people say that Christmas is the time when they remember how fun it was to be children, as many try to remember how their Christmases went as they were growing up. Indeed, for some families, Christmas is made even more special because of the kids in their house.

    So how do you make this Christmas a little more special for your children? MerryStockings.com suggests these fun ways!

    1. Teach them Christmas carols. Christmas carols are a good way to get into the spirit. Teaching your kids your beloved Christmas songs ensures that they would happily sing along as you turn on the radio or pop in your favorite Christmas CDs.

    2. Develop their creativity with some activities. There are a lot of Christmas themed activities that you could do with your children. For one, there are coloring pages that you could download from the Internet. These Web sites offer free printables that you could print out and color with your kids.

    You can then use the colored prints to decorate your house by displaying them on your refrigerator, walls or even table tops.

    3. Let them help in the preparations. One great way to get children in the festive Christmas mood is to involve them in your preparations. Wrapping up some presents for friends? You can teach them to create gift tags, or cut scotch tape for you. Baking Christmas brownies? You can ask them to help you stir the batter or help you clean up. They could also help you decorate your home for Christmas.

    4. Teach them some crafts. MerryStockings.com has some really nice Christmas stocking kits that you could do with your kids. Each of these kits include all the materials you are going to need and very simple instructions.

  • Christmas Around the World: Norway

    Gledelig Jul!

    That's Merry Christmas in Norway. If you find that hard to pronounce, you can use the shortened version, God Jul. The Christmas season in Norway starts on December 13 during the feast of St. Lucia. This ceremony is marked by each family's youngest daughter donning a white robe, carrying a candle and wearing an evergreen crown. These little girls wake their parents up and serve them coffee and lussekatter (Lucia buns).

    Norwegian children prepare bowls of porridge for the Nisse, an elf or a gnome that is said to have goat like features. It is said that the Nisse will play tricks on children who neglect the porridge. Norway also has their own version of Santa Claus, whom they call the Julenisse or Christmas Nisse. The Julenisse gives kids their gifts himself.

    Norwegians often gather in the living room for a telling of Carpenter Andersen, which was written by Alf Proysen. Carpenter Andersen is the most popular Christmas story in the country and have been adapted many times into TV movies.

    Christmas Decorations

    Norwegian homes at Christmas time often put up a pine or spruce tree in their living rooms to serve as a Christmas tree. Children adorn these tress with paper baskets fashioned out of shiny paper in different colors. These baskets are then filled with nuts or candies. Another popular Christmas decoration is the paper chain and Christmas lights.

    Food and Festivities

    What is Christmas without the abundance of food? Families in Norway often gather on Christmas eve or Christmas day to share a feast. This almost always includes a rib of lamb that has been salted and dried. This rib is sometimes served with sausages, turnip, potatoes and mustard. Of course, rice porridge is also prepared for the children's offering to the Nisse.

    And then there is the sand kager, which is a favorite Norwegian holiday cookie.

    MerryStockings.com allows you to send special and personalized holiday cards and holiday ornaments to your friends in Norway. Send them something special and close to their hearts this Christmas like a holiday greeting card with your picture on it!

  • Christmas Around the World: Philippines

    The Philippines has a notably long Christmas season. Unofficially, Christmas in the Philippines start with the "-ber" months, September through December. Indeed, radio stations throughout the country start playing Christmas songs as early as September. Officially, however, the mostly Catholic Filipinos start their holiday season on December 16, with the start of the Misa de Gallo or Morning Masses and ends it on the Epiphany.

    Filipino Christmas Traditions

    The Misa de Gallo or literally, the "rooster's mass" is a nine-day novena wherein Filipinos wake up at dawn to hear mass at church for nine consecutive days, culminating on Christmas eve. This is considered to be the most important Christmas tradition for Filipinos.

    Families also gather together to have a midnight feast on Christmas eve called the noche buena. After this feast, comes the gift giving and opening of presents for some families, while others wait until Christmas morning to do these.

    Christmas parties are also a big part of the Filipino Christmas, with most schools, offices and stores holding their Christmas parties on different nights once December rolls in. These parties are peppered with parlor games, contests, food and sometimes, production numbers prepared by employees or students.

    Christmas carols are usually sung during the Christmas season, with young and old carolers regaling households with their repertoire of Christmas songs. Filipino children go from house to house to regale their occupants with songs. In return, the listeners give them coins, candies and other inexpensive gifts for their efforts.

    Christmas Symbols

    A country of roughly about 75% Catholics and Christians, the Filipinos put special emphasis on the symbolism and importance of Baby Jesus even in its Christmas symbols. A common Christmas decoration is the Belen (nativity scene), which depicts the manger scene with Joseph, Mary, the Baby Jesus and the whole cast of characters like the Three Wise Men, stable animals and angels.

    Another common decoration is the parol, a star-shaped lantern that symbolizes the star of Bethlehem.

    But the Philippines also have Western-inspired decorations. No house in the country celebrates Christmas without a Christmas tree. Friends also exchange holiday cards on top of gifts. Further, every child in the country knows who Santa Claus is. Some carols even have imagery of snow, while some decorations depict snow even if the Philippines does not have snow.

    But Christmas in the Philippines is mostly about family. MerryStockings.com recognizes this. If you want to wow your friends and family in the Philippines, send them truly personalized gifts of you and your family, like these holiday greeting cards or photo ornaments!

  • Top 5 Christmas Shopping Tips

    Christmas shopping does not have to be stressful. Well, not if you follow MerryStocking.com’s tips!

    1. Make a gift list and stick with it.

    Before even entering the mall, make sure that you have a list of people that you'd give gifts to. This would make sure that you do not end up buying something out of impulse.

    2. Buy quality products.

    Think about the person you are giving the gift to. What do you think he or she would like or want? Then seek out inexpensive but durable gifts. Same thing with Christmas cards, you should make it apparent that you wanted to impress the recipient and make them feel special and remembered.

    3. Shop early.

    There is no rule that says that you can not buy gifts early on. Buy gifts months or weeks before can certainly save you from the hassle of elbowing your way through the aisle, the horrendous traffic and the mad rush for a parking space. What is more, you can get more discounts when you shop early. It also helps when you are ordering personalized Christmas gifts. Advanced shopping ensures that your gift will arrive on time to the recipient.

    4. Avoid the rush. Shop online.

    If you find yourself still needing to buy gifts and you hate the thought of the Christmas crowd, then you should shop on a weekday morning, where the crowd is the thinnest. Or you can shop online. Just be sure that the site you are buying from is a reputable and secure site.

    5. Keep the receipts.

    Do not throw away your receipts before your recipient has opened the gift and you see that it is perfect. You might find that a toy you gave your son has a missing part, or a sweater is too big for your sister. It is always good to be able to have these replaced.

    MerryStockings.com has a wide array of Christmas cards, Christmas ornaments, Christmas stockings that could be the perfect gift for friends and family. Make them feel special with a personalized gift this Christmas!

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