Why Do We Hang Stockings at Christmas

By: Barbara Thorp

Hanging up stockings is a Christmas tradition.
But why do people really do it?

The legend says, it all started with Santa Claus!
Our dear Santa Claus went down the chimneys and accidentally, letting small gifts fall out of his sack and into the socks and stockings which hung around the fireplace to dry over night. 

History of Christmas Stockings
This wonderful tradition dates back to the fourth century. It was attributed to the real Saint Nicholas who was especially famous for his kindness to children. St. Nicholas heard about three poor sisters whose father was very poor. So poor was this man and desperate as he could not afford to provide any of his daughters with dowries so they could marry.

The legend tells us that on Christmas Eve, the sisters, as was their usual custom, washed their stockings, and hung them near the chimney to dry. Secretly, that same night, St. Nicholas visited their home, climbed upon the roof of their home, tossing a handful of gold coins down their chimney. When the gold coins tinkled down the chimney, amazingly they fell into the maidens the stockings. All the sisters were wed happily, thereby giving birth to the tradition of the Christmas stocking.

Why Do We Hang Stockings at Christmas Today?
These days, Christmas stockings has become an essential highlight of Christmas, Although when we hang them out now there maybe no fireplace, we still do expect them to be filled with little treats in the morning. It is part of the Christmas tradition. 

Ideas on what you can put inside the stockings;

Lollies
Chocolates, Chocolate Santa's
Nougat 
Dried fruit
Small change
Gift vouchers
Faux jewellery
Hair clips
Football key rings
Mini notebooks or address-books
Pretty little earrings
Lace handkerchiefs
Crazy cufflinks
Tennis balls
Golf balls
'Matchbox' cars
And any other little 'bits and bobs'. 

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