Advent & Christmas Traditions: Stocking for Jesus
"A Stocking for Jesus" is a wonderful Christmas tradition that not only reminds the whole family that Christmas is about more than giving material gifts, but also teaches everyone--especially children--about doing small acts of kindness and developing virtue.
Jesus' stocking is hung next to the other Christmas stockings on the mantel, but instead of filling it with material gifts for Jesus, the stocking is filled with spiritual gifts just for Him. Each spiritual gift is a small act of kindness done to another person by acting on the Catholic Bible passage where Jesus tells us,"Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." (Matthew 25:39). These acts of kindness to others become gifts to Jesus!
Throughout Advent, everyone is encouraged to look for ways to help each other in big and small ways, both in obvious and in secret ways. Each of these gifts of love are written down on little slips of paper and then stuffed into Jesus’ stocking, along with little notes of thanksgiving to God for the rich blessings He has given throughout the year. On Christmas day, each family member can take turns reading the acts of kindness and finish by wishing Jesus a happy birthday.
According to one reviewer of this product, "My 7 grandchildren loved to do small acts of kindness, write them on slips of paper and put them in the Jesus stocking. Before we opened any Christmas gifts, we pulled out every act of kindness, read each one individually, and applauded the grandchild for his gift to Jesus. There were many smiling faces. I think Jesus was smiling too!"
Filling this special Stocking for Jesus with your pledge of good deeds to thank God for the gift of His Son gives a beloved holiday tradition deep, personal meaning. There is also a children's Advent book called "A Stocking For Jesus - An Advent Story" that would be a great accompaniment to your Jesus stocking family tradition.