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santa claus

  • What Do You Give to Santa?

    Here in the United States and Canada, a plate of cookies with a glass of milk is the usual snack left out for Santa on Christmas Eve. Just in case you don't have all your cookies baked (or bought!), how about one of these cute reindeer options? A friend of mine made the peanut butter cookie version, and they are just as cute as the picture shows. The second option would be quicker if you're pressed for time, or if you want a kid-friendly project.

    Blogger MamaLisa describes a few other global traditions for Santa's treats. In England it's a piece of minced pie with a glass of sherry. And no big surprise, but in Ireland, the big guy might get a pint of Guinness!

    You could modify that Irish tradition with these "reinbeers". They would make a cute gift for anyone but please use the root beer version for Santa. He'll be driving the sleigh all night, after all!

    When I was growing up, we usually left out a few carrots for the reindeer. Kelle Hampton shares a tradition of making a special mix of oats, bread crumbs and other ingredients to sprinkle on the driveway for the reindeer to enjoy while Santa is inside (definitely check out the entire post for her magical kids' Christmas party!).

    It's always fun to leave a little note for Santa - try a chalkboard version this year. I remember loving the return note that we would receive, thanking us for the cookies. It was even better when I was old enough to recognize my dad's handwriting, but could keep the secret for my youngest siblings.

    And no matter what you're giving to the big guy, make sure you've got the stockings ready for him to fill! Wednesday, December 19 is the 2012 ordering deadline to receive your personalized stockings from Merry Stockings in time for Christmas Eve.

  • Decorating with Christmas Stockings and Santa Claus

    Everybody knows who Santa Claus is.  Every kid has left their Christmas stockings near the fireplace to find treats left in it by Santa on Christmas morning.  A lot of them have written letters to the North Pole detailing their wish lists and arguing that they have been nice.  Some even stayed up late to spy on Santa Claus as he goes through the house eating cookies and leaving gifts.

    Santa Claus is arguably the most well-known and prominent Christmas symbol.  So this Christmas, MerryStockings.com urges you to decorate your house with a Santa Claus motif.  At MerryStockings.com, we give you personalized Christmas decorations that have a variety of Santa Claus designs that is perfect for your home!  Check out some of our designs inspired by the Jolly Ol' Man!

    • The Bucilla Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Patchwork Santa brings together Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, toys, gifts and snowflakes in one whimsical and fun design.  This would be perfect to create with your kids and would mean a lot of bonding time with them.  The finished product is a beautiful sight to look at and would certainly be a welcome addition to your Christmas decorations!

    This stocking kit is an elegant and crafty way to decorate your homes this Christmas.

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  • The Origins of Santa Claus

    All too often, the image of Santa Claus has been closely associated with the commercialization of Christmas.  Many people lament that the Christmas season has been much too focused with gifts and gift-giving that people, especially children, think of nothing else but the gifts they are to receive during the season.

    But Santa Claus have been a very prominent feature of American Christmases since the 17th century, and because he symbolizes generosity and sharing that Christmas is also known for, it made sense that Santa Claus should be so.

    America's Santa Claus was based on a real person: Saint Nicholas who was the Bishop of Myra in the 4th century.  Myra is a place within present-day Turkey.  The Bishop of Myra was well-respected and renowned for his generosity and his love for children.  And it is this kindness that led to claims that he could perform miracles centuries after his death.

    His remains were reportedly stolen from its burial grounds in the 11th century and were brought to Europe.  Soon after, devotions to the Saint grew across Europe.  In Russia, he became the country's patron saint.  In Greece, he became the patron of seafarers and sailors.  In France, he was the patron saint of lawyers.  In Belgium, he was the patron of travelers and children. In addition to these, thousands of European churches were dedicated to St. Nicholas and December 6 became his feast day.  On his feast day, people would give gifts to each other, alms to beggars, food to the poor and even donate to charity.

    St. Nicholas' popularity dwindled after the Reformation, but his generosity remained alive.  Especially in Holland where people told and retold his story.  Saint Nicholas soon became Sinterklaas and Dutch children would leave their shoes by the fireplace to be rewarded with treats from the Saint.

    Sinterklaas was brought to American soil in the 17th century by the Dutch, and soon the name was Anglicized to Santa Claus.  Today,  American children hang Christmas stockings near the fireplace in the hopes that Santa Claus would find them good the whole year round and leave them gifts and treats!

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