Southern California hospitals wrap newborns in Christmas stockings

This Thursday Dec. 19, 2013 photo shows newborn baby Dallas Soffel in her Christmas stocking at Redlands Community Hospital in Redlands, Calif. (AP Photo/The Press-Enterprise, Kurt Miller)

REDLANDS, Calif. (AP) Southern California hospitals are spreading holiday cheer for new parents by delivering newborns in giant Christmas stockings.

The bright red stockings were provided this week for babies born at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. The Long Beach Press-Telegram reports ( ) it's a half-century-old tradition.

The Redlands Community Hospital has been handing out stockings to parents of infants born this month.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports ( the tradition began in 1930, but lapsed before it was revived in 2005.

This year, 16 volunteers made 250 fleece stockings during a daylong sewing bee.