Today, just as anciently, garland is made of many types of things, like the Decorated Country Holiday Garland and is used in a variety of celebrations. But wreaths seem to be primarily used in the fall and winter festivals, especially at Christmas time such as the Decorative Christmas Wreaths. While anciently people were limited to the items found around their village to make decorations, today we can have anything from all over the world as well as synthetic materials to make our decorations. In the old days using living things meant that they would die and could not be reused, but today with synthetic materials we can use an item for many years before it needs to be replaced. Items made from wood typically last a long time like the Wooden Gingerbread Man Garland, but we can make Artificial Garland and Lighted Christmas Garland, which last for several years. I remember as a child stringing real popcorn and cranberries to make a garland for the Christmas tree. Today we can use artificial materials to make a replica of that Popcorn and Cranberry Tree Garland or even a 14 x 9 Norway Pine Artificial Garlands. A popular item today is using tinsel for garland, like the Gold Tinsel Garland. Tinsel is made of thin plastic with a metallic look, although at one time it was actually made of thin metal shavings.
As with any legend there are several variations. But the most likely way that hanging stockings became an American tradition was from all the different immigrants’ coming to America and bringing their own traditions with them and then being in close proximity to each other the traditions began to merge and alter into what we have today. Another person that helped the tradition of hanging stockings by the fireplace was Clement Moore and his most famous of poems A Visit from St. Nicholas, which today is called The Night before Christmas. And as anyone who has read the poem would know, it says, the stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. So a combination of different traditions and legends and famous poets gave birth to an American tradition. And today the Christmas stocking is an essential part in the celebration of Christmas in America. Although the practice of using everyday wearable socks has given way to specialty Christmas stockings. Today there is a wide selection of Christmas stockings for everyone and even a selection for pets.
A little further north in Holland, children used to set out their wooden clogs with straw in them, Father Christmas would feed the straw to his reindeer and leave a treat or small gift in the clog for the child. Italian children had a similar tradition of leaving their shoes out by the door so that Papa Noel would leave a little treat or something in them. In France the children left their shoes indoors by the fireplace and would then find treats or small gifts in them. In Puerto Rico the children would use small boxes, where they would put flowers and other greenery to be left for the three Wise Men or the three Kings.
Everyone knows how busy Santa is at the Christmas season, so he often times calls on others to help him at this busy time. Some fill in for Santa at Malls, Christmas parties and such, and many of these Santas’ need helpers themselves. Some of these helpers dress up like pixies, wearing a Little Pixies Fairies Costume while others dress as an elf helper, wearing the Santa Helper Two Piece Velvet Elf Suit. All these helpers provide an invaluable service to Santa and to the children which go to see them.
Unlike Mrs. Claus, elves have gone through many different incarnations. Back in the eleventh century among the Germanic tribes elves at the time were said to be of human size, were long lived, and very fair. In some other countries, elves or the hidden folk were very small, measured in inches and not in feet, some even had wings and could fly. But the elves that work with Santa Claus making all the toys for children the world over are typically pictured as the size of a child. They have pointed ears and are very industrious and creative, hence why and how they are able to make so many toys. They are shown wearing a Green Velvet Elf Costume, while some wear a red elf suit, they usually have small pointed hats as well. Here the elves live with Santa and Mrs. Claus using their creative and magical abilities to make enough toys for all the children in the world.