A stocking hung up on the fireplace or the end of the bed on Christmas Eve that Santa fills with gifts on his fleeting visit to your house. It’s a great tradition, but often we don’t know where the traditions we follow come from! Let’s take a look at this Christmas Classic!
There are no written records about the origins of Christmas stockings being used, but there are several folk stories from the time of St Nicholas about how the tradition may have begun. For example, St Nicholas threw bags of coins through the windows of poor villagers who wouldn’t accept his charity. When the family woke up they were thrilled to find the money. As one of the bags fell into a stocking, other families began to hang up stockings in the hope that they would discover gifts in there, as well!
Originally, kids would use one of their own socks, but we have since created larger, decorative stockings!
Naughty or Nice?
We’ve all heard the threat. If you’re naughty in the year, all you’ll receive for Christmas is a lump of coal in your stocking. Regardless of how you behaved, coal never turned up but the threat was enough to make you panic!
Traditional Christmas Stocking gifts, or stocking fillers, have been toys, sweets, fruit, coins and other little bits and bobs to make you smile. It is commonly believed that oranges are a symbol of the gold that was left in the stockings.