I have been embroidering for about 10 years, though not at all consistently. I've been cross stitching for about 3 months, very consistently. However, I have watched my mom do it my whole life. Before I picked it up I had some subliminal direction already lingering in my brain. This is the stuff I intend to pass on.
History (Via Wikipedia)
Cross-stitch is the oldest forms of embroidery and can be found all over the world. Many folk museums show examples of clothing decorated with cross-stitch, especially from continental Europe and Asia.
Two-dimensional (unshaded) cross-stitch in floral and geometric patterns, usually worked in black and red cotton floss on linen, is characteristic of folk embroidery in Eastern and Central Europe
The cross stitch sampler is called that because it was generally stitched by a young girl to learn how to stitch and to record alphabet and other patterns to be used in her household sewing. These samples of her stitching could be referred back to over the years. Often, motifs and initials were stitched on household items to identify their owner, or simply to decorate the otherwise-plain cloth. In the United States, the earliest known cross-stitch sampler is currently housed at Pilgrim Hall in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The sampler was created by Loara Standish, daughter of Captain Myles Standish and pioneer of the Leviathan stitch, circa 1653.
Traditionally, cross-stitch was used to embellish items like household linens, tablecloths, dishcloths, and doilies (only a small portion of which would actually be embroidered, such as a border). Although there are many cross-stitchers who still employ it in this fashion, it is now increasingly popular to work the pattern on pieces of fabric and hang them on the wall for decoration. Cross stitch is also often used to make greeting cards, pillowtops, or as inserts for box tops, coasters and trivets. - Wikipedia
Obviously, Cross Stitch has a very long history. It's something that I got into because of the ease. As a crocheter it is not always feasible to cart around a blanket. Or to make something with words or pictures in it. In cross stitch you are only limited by your imagination.