Christmas stockings are one of the most popular Christmas traditions. It is observed in many parts of the world and has become a social norm. It is believed that Santa comes through the chimney at night and stuffs the stockings with lots of gifts.
However, what is the origin of this tradition? The tradition of hanging stockings by the fireplace doesn’t have a single account that tells the origin. It is surrounded by a few legends telling of the culture of hanging Christmas stockings.
This custom of hanging Christmas stockings started through the good deeds of the nobleman, Nicholas, born in 280 A. D. the life of Nicholas was dedicated to keeping the laws and principles of Jesus Christ. He used his wealth to provide aids for the poor. He was later appointed the Bishop of Myra in his younger years and became famous for his generous and kind heart. He lives a life of celibacy and never had children though he loved children, which was evident in his immense kindness towards the children in his whole town. This practice provided him with the epithet “the gift-giver of Myra.” Interestingly, his nobility never prevailed in his modesty, so he always gave his presents late at night to protect his identity. He didn’t like the children to know who their patron was, so they were often told to go and sleep, or otherwise, he wouldn’t visit them.
One of the legends surrounding Nicholas is the one of him providing help to a father who was worried about the future of his daughter because he wasn’t able to give dowries for their marriages. When traveling through the village St. Nicholas one night threw three bags containing gold. The bags of gold fell through the chimney into stockings hung by the girls on the mantle of the fireplace.
Numerous kids today follow this tradition by hanging their stockings by the fireplace waiting for Santa to visit their home and stuff them with gifts.
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