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Win Christmas stocking fillers worth £500 in our Langleys competition!

PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 November 2017

Win a selection of Christmas stocking fillers from Langleys in Norwich: photo Denise Bradley

Win a selection of Christmas stocking fillers from Langleys in Norwich: photo Denise Bradley

Archant

Win one of two £250 fabulous prizes in our Langleys of Norwich Christmas Stocking Fillers competition

Are you getting ready to stuff your stockings?

Nothing beats waking up on Christmas morning to find a carefully-curated stocking hanging at the bottom of your bed or by the fireplace downstairs – but why do we hang stockings and what should we fill them with?

We have teamed up with Langleys Toys and Games in the Royal Arcade in Norwich, which has been delighting children and adults alike for more than 130 years, to give away two sets of stocking fillers to stuff a (monster!) stocking to Family readers.

Langleys has been leaving youngsters wide-eyed and spellbound at the sheer volume of amazing toys on its groaning shelves since the 1880s. A magical shop in a magical setting, Langleys is the kind of traditional toy shop you’d summon up in your imagination, a wonderful emporium of all that is glorious about being a child: nets of glittering marbles, wind-up toys, shelves of building bricks and tin cars, row after row of brightly-coloured playthings and the kind of music that makes it feel like Christmas every single day.

But as we race towards the day that actually is Christmas Day, thoughts turn to stuffing stockings for children. There are many different stories about how the Christmas stocking came to be one of the festive season’s most magical traditions: some believe a nobleman squandered his wealth and property after his wife died and became so poor that he had to move to a peasant’s cottage and live in poverty.

He didn’t have enough money to offer his daughters a dowry, so kindly Saint Nicholas, on hearing the womens’ plight, anonymously donated three pouches of gold coins down the chimney which fell in the stockings the girls had hung over the fire to dry.

Another legend sees Dutch children leaving clogs by the fireplace filled with hay for the reindeer pulling the sleigh for Father Christmas and being rewarded with treats in place of the hay while another comes from a German tradition – children would hang their stockings by the fire to dry them and on Christmas Eve, St Nicholas would fill them with five gifts designed to stimulate each of the five senses.

Children could expect to find something to eat, a toy that made a noise, something lovely to look at, something that smelled good and something soft, like modelling clay or a toy to cuddle.

And a Dutch story sees Sinterklaas arriving on a ship from Spain with his assistant Zwarte Piet before travelling through the country – Sinterklaas on his white steed and Piet on his mule. Dutch children would leave treats of carrots and hay in their clogs for the horse and mule and in return Sinterklaas would reward them by stuffing the clogs with small gifts.

When creating the perfect stocking, keep the recipient in mind – remember, you’re never too old to receive a stocking!

Choose small and generally inexpensive gifts and fill the toe of the stocking with the most expensive items, slimmer items down the length of the stocking and filler items to pack the gaps - you don’t have to wrap stocking presents, but it will prolong the fun. If you’re running low on inspiration, try small toys, food (add an orange for a traditional addition), candy canes, toiletries, gadgets, hobby items, a magazine, vouchers – the list is endless.

If you win the stocking fillers in our Langleys competition, you can expect to find a treasure trove of delights: there are soft toys and crafting materials, Lego and Playmobil, Play-Doh and magical putty, Sylvanian Families and Peppa Pig, puppets and play food, wind-up toys and games, stickers and colouring pens, penny purses and marbles, yo-yos and play figures, activity books and playing cards, pop-up toys and painting kits. All that’s missing is the stocking itself!

How to enter:

For a chance of winning these fantastic toys (some toys not suitable for children under the age of three), simply send your name, address and a daytime telephone number to Stacia Briggs, Langleys Toy Competition, EDP features, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or enter by email, goingoutcomps@archant.co.uk. Entries must arrive before December 1, normal Archant competition rules apply, no cash alternatives available. You must be able to collect your prize from our Prospect House office in Norwich or Portman House office in Ipswich during office hours.

* Langleys Toys is at 12-14 Royal Arcade in Norwich, 01603 621959, www.langleystoys.com.

* Look out for our Top 10 Toys competition on December 8 where you can win this year’s must-have toys.

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