How do you enthuse a toddler about Christmas? What stories do you tell him? How do you share your own growing up with him? For a first timer, it is always a challenge (a fun one) to introduce your child to something new. For us, it is Christmas and I am having a great time telling my little one stories about Christmas and how it is such a special festival. I imagine V to grow up to believe in the magic of Santa. I would want him to believe that there is a friendly old man who watches over little kids and brings them surprise goodies on Christmas eve.
Much before school begins, and long before I seek a generous help from malls and public places to generate an interest about Christmas, there are small things that I am doing at home. One of them is to get my little tornado settle down for some seasonal magic.
The legend of the Christmas Stocking is an old,old one. And to be honest, one that I had quite forgotten. So a little bit of research to understand what I am getting into, here is a little tale about the origins of Christmas Stockings sourced from this adorable home business website called Cotton Creations.
The custom was founded by the most influential figure in the shaping of today’s Santa Claus, St. Nicholas of Myra, a fourth-century bishop who was known for his charity and wisdom. According to legend, a poor Italian father was faced with selling one of his three daughters into slavery in order to afford the dowries needed for others to marry. One night the daughters had washed out their stockings and hung them over the fireplace to dry. Having heard of the family’s misfortune, the good saint decided to pay them a visit. Late that night, in the darkness riding his faithful white steed he stopped by their house and saw the stockings through the window. He secretly tossed three bags filled with gold coins down the chimney. The bags fell into the stockings that were hanging by the fire. His kindhearted gift made it possible for all three maidens to marry. A variation of the story is that he tossed the bags threw the window into the stockings.
If you have a little computer savy reader, then head over to Hello Kids for some more popular legends.
But here is my version. The version of the legend that I told my 2 year old before we went ahead with our Christmas Craft 2!
The One About The Christmas Stocking
Once upon a time there was a naughty, little boy just like you. He had a mommy, just like me. Like your mommy, she went to work everyday. And every morning like Vihaan does, he would cry and throw a little fit.This made mommy very, very sad.
It was Christmas and she told her son, “You know Mumma tells you that you must be a good boy? You must not get angry. That you shouldn’t cry when Mumma goes to work. Doesn’t Mumma say that you must be a smiling, happy baby? Then why do you cry baby?”
“You know Santa Dadu is watching over you. He knows where you live. If you are a good boy and do what Mumma says then he will come over bringing you many toys. Which toy do you want my boy?”
“Mumma Gai” he piped.
“But you have that don’t you? Why don’t you close your eyes and tell Santa Dadu what you want? I know what we will do. Let’s make a Christmas sock and keep it for Santa. He will see you have kept a stocking and bring you your gifts” said mommy.
“Baba Gai,” the little boy’s eyes lit up.
The Christmas Stocking Craft
We decided to keep this simple. Simple enough so that there was nothing really much to learn. Except a little use of motor skills and imagination. I did much of the work in this one and then left around a few pieces for V to put together.
Here is what you will need:
1) Red velvet paper or red foam
2) Card stock – I used an old cereal box
3) Stickers – I picked two themes, jungle world foam stickers and Winnie the Pooh glitter-foam stickers. You could pick any sticker really…the trick is to get the child to pull out the stickers from the sheets and place them in his own way.
What We Did
The little kiddo will need a little help here. An older child can however do this by himself. Draw up a stocking shape on the felt paper and cut it out. Trace it on the cereal box and cover it up with the felt paper. Leave a little opening on the top to pop in small candies. Remember its a paper / foam stocking and it can pop. It is meant for small items so handle it with care.
Next up, leave the stocking for the child. Let him peel up the stickers and allow him to place them as he fancies. V decided he wanted the jungle animals in one straight row. I tried telling him that he could put them any other way, but he knew how he wanted to arrange them. It was also his idea to add a few heart shapes stickers. Cute, I thought! 🙂
For the other side, he picked the 100 Acre Wood theme and placed the stickers all right. Once again I left it for him to decide where he wanted to place what. I was amazed to see that his little brain didn’t want to mix the two themes. He saw them as two distinct sides of the stocking.
So there you go…a small and simple craft to help little fingers practice their motor skills. Let’s hope V takes back the bigger lesson in my version of the story. Whatever be his projected behaviour, Santa has the tough task of bringing him a miniature of his father’s car!
It’s Christmas Eve, have you put up your Christmas Stocking yet?