Although Jum Designs is all about vibrant custom bags, every year we release a range of custom Christmas stockings and gift bags. From beautiful Christmas prints to bright shweshwe Christmas stockings, we do it all. Traditionally, this range is released in July. And 2019 will be no different.
Custom Christmas stockings for more than 30 years
It was my mom, Amanda, who started custom Christmas stockings. In fact, she started this tradition when I was born. (Yes, I was the first to receive one!) Since then, my brother, our cousins, my husband, and several other lucky recipients have received striking Christmas stockings featuring exquisite details. The Deluxe stockings in our 2019 range are akin to these original beauties.
Re-purposed and upcycled Christmas stockings
The latest addition to our family – Julian (aka Jum) – has likewise been treated to a beautiful custom stocking. The difference with his? It was made from his great great grandmother’s red velvet coat. The velvet was in beautiful condition, but the style was so outdated that it hadn’t been worn for decades. My husband came up with the idea of using the bright red fabric for Jum’s Christmas stocking. It is a stocking that is imbued with memories and family tradition.
And we have come up with another way to combine heritage and Christmas stockings…
Shweshwe Christmas stockings
We have become well known for our custom shweshwe handbags. So it is no surprise that we make shweshwe Christmas stockings too. The two most popular options are red and green shweshwe, but we can use any shweshwe to add a pop of vibrant South African colour to your Christmas. Orange, purple, pink, turquoise, we’ve made them all. These shweshwe stockings also make ideal gifts for friends and family living overseas. Imagine hanging up a beautiful South African Christmas stocking that is as unique as it is beautiful!
When do you hang up your Christmas stockings? For us, it’s always on Christmas Eve. It’s an important component of Jum’s Christmas Eve box.
And here are our Christmas Eve traditions…
When Jum entered our lives in 2016, I was keen to start a new tradition around the Christmas holidays. And so we adopted the idea of a Christmas Eve box. For those who don’t know, it’s essentially a box filled with all the Christmas-themed goodies you need to enjoy a special evening together as a family. One very clever customer ordered a custom Christmas Eve drawstring bag from us for this purpose – such a great idea!
Jum’s velvet stocking is in his Christmas Even box, to hang up next to our fireplace. He also receives a Christmas ornament each year. When my brother and I were growing up, we were both given an ornament each year to start our own collection to use as adults. I think it’s a great idea, which it why we continue it.
There are Christmas themed bath toys. Followed by a fun set of Christmas pyjamas, handmade by a local business. There are also snacks and treats to enjoy whilst watching a brief movie as a family. The Snowman is Jum’s favourite! One of my favourite books ever is Eloise at Christmas. Plus I used to be a high school English teacher. So there’s always a Christmas bedtime story to be read on Christmas Eve. And of course there are all the snacks for Father Christmas, the elves, and the reindeer too. (Another client had custom zipper pouches made for this – much more sustainable than plastic!) All these elements work together to build up the anticipation of my favourite family holiday.
The joy of Christmas morning
Ahhhh, there is nothing as satisfying as coffee accompanied by my mom’s homemade mince pies. (The preparation for these starts in September each year!) And then it’s time to gather round the tree to open prezzies. Gifts from Father Christmas are restricted to stockings only. I certainly grew up with that tradition, and it’s interesting to see how people are now beginning to be more conscious of how many gifts are attributed to Santa. But that’s a topic for another day…
Christmas in South Africa is typically a day of sweltering heat. And yet we often have a huge cooked meal for Christmas lunch. There’s always my mom’s homemade Christmas pudding (also prepared waaaaay in advance). Glasses of bubbly. Chocolates. More bubbly. And just one more chocolate. Okay, two.
And our Christmas stockings go back next to the fireplace.
Once they have been emptied of Santa’s prezzies, of course. And there they remain until we take down all our Christmas decorations on 6 January. I have to admit that, even though I have been using my Christmas stocking every year for more than 30 years, I still get a thrill from seeing it every year.
Perhaps my enthusiasm for Christmas is another reason why we still launch our Christmas range in July. To get access to an exclusive special offer on our Christmas range, make sure you’ve signed up for JumD Mail. The special will launch soon!