Yes, that’s a chemise on my cover. And yes, I had to raid my historical Barbie dolls to get a miniature stocking and drawers.
The funny thing about it is–hanging stockings wasn’t a custom during the Regency. Not in England. Our image of English Christmases is based on Victorian England, not Regency England. The customs we’re most familiar with–stockings, Christmas trees, Santa Claus–came from the Dutch and the Germans. Some of them came from there to England, but some of them went straight to America, and only THEN back to England. Hanging stockings only became popular in England after “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and other works about the “foreign” customs became well-known. In fact, my book centers around Clement Moore’s poem, which was published four years before my book is set. In other words, I cheated. I had an entire English village reading the poem (sent to them by an American) and trying out the custom. They even sell Christmas stockings at a fair to raise money for charity. Hey, it could have happened! Besides, there are mentions of the foreign “customs” in the British Gentleman’s Magazine in 1827, too, which is good enough for me!
In my family, we have special stockings that we hang, all of which were made for each individual by my sister, who needlepointed every one of them and included our names at the top. I love those stockings. They’re always an important part of my Christmas.
So do y’all use special stockings? Or do you do different ones every year? Is there any special stocking stuffer you always include?
Sabrina Jeffries is the NYT bestselling author of a whole bunch of historical romance novels for Pocket Books and Avon Books, as well as a caffeine addict, Third Culture Kid, chocoholic, and jigsaw puzzle aficionado. Before writing as SJ, she wrote 8 historicals as Deborah Martin (now being revised and re-released) and 3 contemporary paranormal romantic suspense novels as Deborah Nicholas. Her 24th SJ book, WHAT THE DUKE DESIRES, will be out in June, and her first revised Deborah Martin re-release, BY LOVE UNVEILED, is out now!
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