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