Guinness World Record-breaking Christmas stocking

Guinness World Record-breaking Christmas stocking

Record-breaking

A Christmas stocking that breaks the Guinness World record!

This 1,600-pound, 7,663-square-foot, 139-foot tall stocking was created by knitters in all 50 states, four Canadian provinces and Ireland. It took forklifts to lift it.

The effort helped raise more than $100,000 for the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, which provides college scholarships to the children of fallen U.S. troops.

Displayed at the Crowne Expo Center in Arnett Park, the giant stocking was created using Spinrite LP’s Caron United brand yarn. Caron United, based in Washington, North Carolina, donated 15 cents for every skein of yarn purchased to the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. That, coupled with donations, added up to the $100,000 gift.

Knitters were invited to begin the project a year ago, sending 3×3 foot swaths of knitted yarn to the North Carolina headquarters where it was assembled into the giant sock. Kimberly Partrick, an adjudicator for Guinness World Records confirmed the size.

After the stocking has been displayed, it will be disassembled to create more than 1,100 blankets which will be donated to military hospitals.

Remember when …

For many of us, this time of year typically brings to mind memories of Christmases past, especially those of our childhood. I’d like to tell you one of mine …

My beloved grandfather was employed as a chauffeur for the late Dr. Sara Murray Jordan, one of the few women physicians of her time (1884-1959) who rose to considerable prominence in her field as a renowned gastroenterologist and co-founder of the world famous Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Boston.

Every morning during the summer months, attired in his black chauffeur’s uniform and cap, he conveyed her in a shiny black Cadillac from her summer home at Marblehead Neck on the North Shore to her practice at the Lahey Clinic, a half hour’s drive away.

Dr. Jordan’s grey-shingled Victorian-style manse was situated on a high bluff, commanding a fabulous view of Old Town Marblehead, its harbor and the sapphire blue Atlantic Ocean beyond. In a sight line viewed directly across the harbor rose the tall steeple of Abbot Hall, home to the original “Spirit of ’76” painting by Archibald MacNeal Willard.

Abbot Hall, Marblehead, Massachusetts

Abbot Hall, Marblehead, Massachusetts

When autumn’s chill announced the change of season, Dr. Jordan moved back into the city, and my grandfather helped close up her summer residence for the winter.

One bright blue-skied autumn day when I was six or seven years of age, my grandfather brought along my Dad and me. It was a brisk day with a chill breeze off the ocean rustling the brightly-colored autumn trees as the men shuttered up the house. As I stood watching them hammer the boards into place, Dr. Jordan’s maid Katherine beckoned me indoors where she kindly offered me a cup of hot chocolate.

Weeks passed, Thanksgiving came and went, and holiday lights were brightening up neighborhoods and city streets all over Boston’s North Shore. It was time for an eagerly-awaited Christmas event!

On a cold December evening right after supper, Grandmother, Mom and my baby sister, my aunt and cousins and me tucked into the expansive and comfortable limousine for a grand tour to “see the lights,” a tradition we enjoyed as long as Grandfather was in Dr. Jordan’s employ. Snug inside a warm car that purred like a contented kitten, the sound of tires crunching on the snow could barely be heard above the cries and exclamations of delight, the “ooohs” and “aaahs” at the colorful kaleidoscope that passed by. Was there ever anything better? Ever?

Though my Grandfather and Dr. Jordan have long since passed, and her beautiful Victorian home long gone to make way for a more modern year-round residence, my memories linger on, alive and vibrant with the sights and sounds of a wonderful and wonder-filled family Christmas tradition.

“In medicine, as in statecraft and propaganda, words are sometimes the most powerful drugs we can use.” – Sara Murray Jordan

Light up the world for Christmas!

Festive Christmas lights adorn a detached house in a suburban street December 5, 2009, in Melksham, England (Getty Images, file)

Festive Christmas lights adorn a detached house in a suburban street December 5, 2009, in Melksham, England (Getty Images, file)

A figure of Santa Claus stands in front of the illuminated house of the Vogt family on November 30, 2013 in Buecken, near Nienburg, Germany (Getty Image, file)

A figure of Santa Claus stands in front of the illuminated house of the Vogt family on November 30, 2013 in Buecken, near Nienburg, Germany (Getty Image, file)

See more breathtaking displays here.

Celestial singing

I’ll end this Christmas edition of Surfin’ Safari with this, one of the most beautiful songs of Christmas. Sending you my very best Christmas wishes to you and your loved ones. We are ever mindful that Our Lord and Saviour is the reason for the season. God bless you all!

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