Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Tradition of Christmas Stockings and Old Saint Nick.

The tradition of hanging stockings at Christmas began with a story that is said to have happened 17 centuries ago in Turkey....

The Tradition of Christmas Stockings and Old Saint Nick via http://keepingthechristmasspiritalive365.blogspot.com/


The Bishop of Myra, Nicholas was known all over for his benevolence and love for children. 


He used to distribute gifts secretly to children on Christmas Eve as a surprise for them. While he was passing a house he heard a father and his daughters lamenting their poverty and how they were unable to be married because they could not provide dowry that was prevalent in those days. Overcome with pity and sympathy, Nicholas observed the woolen stockings of the girls that they had put on the windowsill to dry and secretly placed enough gold pieces in each to provide dowry for the girls.

This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sometimes the story is told with gold balls instead of bags of gold. That is why three gold balls, sometimes represented as oranges, are one of the symbols for St. Nicholas.



Bishop of Dover, Trevor Willmott, and his message about St. Nicholas and Christmas.



The tradition of Christmas stockings was introduced in America by the Dutch. It is said that in the 16th Century, the children staying in Holland kept their clogs, filled with straw, by the hearth for the reindeer.


At the same time, they placed a treat for 'Sinterklaas' (Santa Claus) near the fireplace in the house. As a return gift, the Sinterklaas used to leave gifts for the children.



With time, the clogs became stockings and Sinterklaas became Santa Claus.



You can read more about St. Nicholas traditions around the world here.

St. Nicholas day surprise

If you celebrate Christmas, do you hang stockings? What type of stockings do you use? 

Children Hanging Christmas Stockings





Here is our staircase decorated with stockings! 



Christmas Stockings and Old Saint Nick.


We have collected our Christmas stockings over the years on our travels.

This is Big Al's stocking and he bought it just after he met the sponge himself at Universal studios!


Christmas Stockings and Old Saint Nick.


Mr Attorney's stocking was a gift from our dear American friends from Cleveland.


Christmas Stockings and Old Saint Nick.


Maddy bought her stocking at Harrods!


Christmas Stockings and Old Saint Nick.

My stocking is from New York. Isn't Minnie looking lovely as Lady Liberty?


Christmas Stockings and Old Saint Nick.

Here is one last view of the staircase...

Christmas Stockings and Old Saint Nick.


Do you have special Christmas traditions from around your part of the world? I would love to know what you do each year-please share them with us in the comments!


1901

Best Christmas wishes,

Natasha

Monday, November 17, 2014

Decorating ideas for a classic blue and white Christmas.

Hello Christmas friends! Welcome to my Christmas blog.

Did you know that Christmas is only 37 days away!? I am getting so excited! What about you? Are getting excited about Christmas 2014?

To get you in the Holiday spirit I have found some beautiful decorating ideas for a classic blue and white Christmas.

Decorating ideas for a classic blue and white Christmas.





galletas de Navidad




Blue Paper Wreath

Hand painted Blue and white Delft Star porcelain ornament
Delft Star ornament - Hand painted  Blue and white porcelain ornament




More ball jar ideas...


cocktail-party-entryway.jpg




You will find more Holiday decorating ideas on my Always Dreaming about Christmas board on Pinterest.



Best Christmas wishes,

Natasha

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Best Christmas Ads on TV for 2014

You know that Christmas is not too far away when new Christmas adverts start popping up on our screens!  I love Christmas ads on TV for the big British department stores like Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and John Lewis among others.

Here are a few of my favourite Christmas 
TV advertisements for 2014!

Best Christmas TV ads for 2014


This ad for Waitrose is called The Gingerbread Stall and brings this idea to life through the story of a girl who is put in charge of making delicious gingerbread biscuits for her class’s stall at the school
Christmas fair. The song for the Christmas advert this year, Dolly Parton’s ‘Try’, has been created using voices of members of the public, who took part in the Donate Your Voice campaign in October.




Tesco just unveiled its 2014 Christmas TV advert, which focuses on festive lights.



This John Lewis ad is SO cute! Called "Monty's Christmas" it has already had over 4 million YouTube views in just 24 hours. It sees adorable little boy Sam present his penguin pal Monty with a new penguin friend after he becomes sad and lonely.




Set to Julie London's version of "Fly Me To The Moon", the Marks & Spencer Christmas ad follows the two magical Fairies clocking in to work before flying across the country to spread some Christmas spirit with a click of their fingertips! The ad is accompanied by a social media campaign, with M&S running a Twitter account for the fairies, Sparkle and Magic, that will give people a chance to nominate friends and family who deserve a good deed.




The Boots Christmas TV advert 2014 is all about the joy that comes from being surrounded by the ones you love.




Discover the animated story of magical mice Peter Pumpernickel and pals, who arrive at Harrods to help Father Christmas transform the store, ready for the festive season!




Harrods have also produced a lovely video to how to decorate your Christmas tree.




From the company that brought Santa Claus to the masses, here is a Coca Cola ad for 2014.

It's the season to bring joy to others, and there are loads of little gestures that will make someone smile. Send a wish and give a little happiness this Christmas! 




Aldi's Australian ad this year is all about how to have the Perfect Aussie Christmas! After visiting Down Under, Johan returns to his small village of Julbacken to teach his family and friends about Aussie Christmases. Being stuck in their traditional ways, Johan manages to upset most of the villagers. That is until he introduces ALDI’s Specially Selected range – proving once and for all, a perfect Christmas is the Perfect Aussie (Aldi!) Christmas.




Finally, the new ‪#Sainsbury‬’s ‪‎Christmas‬ advert was made in partnership with The Royal British Legion & was inspired by real events from 100 years ago. It is truly beautiful. You might need a tissue to watch this one!




I hope you enjoyed watching these fun and happy Holiday ads as much as I did. Please feel free to share this post with others and help me Keep the Christmas Spirit Alive 365!

Best Christmas wishes,

Natasha
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