This year's Christmas Stocking missed its deadline... Josephine, my stepmother, never got to hang it up on Christmas Eve and will have to wait for next year. Instead of having a slick organised Christmas I spent it in a blizzard of little bits of wool partly because in order to work in the quotation - the only reference Shakespeare ever made to Christmas - I had to make the stocking bigger than usual. Appropriate though, for a lady resident of Stratford on Avon.
Here is the whole passage - Marcellus to Horatio at the end of Hamlet, Act one - Scene one.
Some say that ever 'gainst that season comesWherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is that time.