The Origin of Christmas Stockings

The Origin of Christmas Stockings

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Most, if not all of us, have heard of the Christmas stocking and may have used it before. It is an empty sock or sock-shaped bag that is hung by the fireplace or along the decoration area, so Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, or Father Christmas can drop gifts when they arrive. Origin of Christmas Stockings has so much more to it though!

Origin of Christmas Stockings

People attach the stockings for the gift-givers’ arrival on Christmas Eve or what many persons refer to as Saint Nicholas Day.  All types of gifts and assortment for each member of the family goes in each sock. The rewards are often called stocking stuffers or stocking fillers. Hanging Christmas stockings is a tradition that has gone through many years and is still a big thing of today.

Origin Of Christmas Stockings

In most homes, the socks have each person’s name, so the gifts will be according to the requests they made from Santa or Saint Nicholas. So how are stockings filled without anyone noticing? The filling goes on while everyone is sleeping. Also, some persons try to get lucky in meeting Santa, so they hang the stocking on their bedpost only to be left surprised by morning. The tradition started in the European region, where children would use their regular socks as the collecting bag. However, as years passed, there were specially-designed stockings made solely for this purpose. They were first used only on Saint Nicholas day but during the 1800s, were incorporated into Christmas Eve.

Who Invented The Christmas Stocking?

We have to talk abouut this when looking into the Origion of Christmas Stockings! Christmas Stockings date back far in history to the days of and life of Saint Nicholas. Though there is no set record of exactly when the stocking hanging started, there have been tremendous efforts in trying to position it at the right place in history. There is the history of an older man and his daughters, who were really in need of help. However, Saint Nicholas knew the older man would not accept the charity, so he decided to do it while they were sleeping.

He passed by close to where they were (probably on a housetop or so) and threw out three bags of gold. Some landed in socks that were hanging around, and when they woke up in the morning and saw the gifts, they were overjoyed. With the gifts of gold, they were able to survive and get the stuff they needed. Some of the girls were able to get married while others managed to get their lives in a place they wanted to be. Other stories in history have Saint Nicholas putting the golds in stocking by the fireplace to dry. Whichever way we know items placed inside a sock is a tradition we know today.

Since then, children and adults alike started hanging their stockings in places where they knew it would get filled with goodies. As they placed their socks, they were hopeful that their heart’s desires would be in the stocking. History has Saint Nicholas as a gift-giver, and his day celebrated with three golden balls (most times represented by oranges). Saint Nicholas never married or have children but was commissioned based on his life in Christ to help needy children and adults. Many people adored him in his hometown, where he became a Bishop in his young years. He found pleasure and pleased with doing what God would want him to do.

Why do we hang stockings at Christmas?

Stockings hung at Christmas time is a symbol that Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas will give gifts. It is that hope of the littles that persists. Most of us do hang them as decorations without the hope of receiving anything, but in truth and fact, the surprise always comes when morning pops up with a gift. The stockings are hung along the decorative line at the fireplace, on staircase railings, or the bedpost. In reality, most kids who hung their stockings are hoping for a gift, so even if they have been naughty, parents have to step up as the gift-giver so their kids will not have a disappointed Christmas.

However, if you ask us, we believe the Christmas stockings are a great way to get children to be excellent all year round, so their Christmas, which can be granted by the unique “overnight” gift giver. Looking into the Origin of Christmas Stockings, even Laura Ingalls Wilder looked forward to her holiday treats!

What do you put inside a Christmas stocking?

Whatever gift is deserving of the season, the givers tend to fill up the sock with such. Of course, our kids tend to have weird yet unusual gift requests at Christmas, and though some cannot hold in the stockings, we have to find creative ways to make it happen.

You can put fruits, toys, sweets & chocolate, books, cards, and so many other items in the stockings. In some countries, people put juice or light snacks in the stockings so the fairy gift-giver can have something to eat when they visit. In return, they fill the socks with fun toys and other cool gifts as a form of thank you and gratitude. For gifts that cannot hold in the stockings, a little treasure hunt note will be there to lead the enthusiastic gift receiver to its location.

Which direction should stockings hang?

Many people do not have a set way they hang their stocking, but just that it faces upright to hang the gifts from falling out. Other persons believe the stockings should face the entrance door or chimney through which Santa or Saint Nicholas will enter to deliver the presents. However, traditions have it that the socks should face the right (toes pointing to the right).

What country did Christmas stockings originate?

When looking at the origin of Christmas stockings, you have to look at where the story came from. The traditional story of the Christmas stocking began in Asia Minor in the city of Myra, where Saint Nicholas threw out gold on the night before Christmas. After that night, children started leaving their shoes or socks out filled with snacks, fruits, and carrot so the gift-giver would have something to eat while they visit. In return, they would fill the socks or boots with appropriate gifts. Since then, the tradition as extended from this country and is practiced all around the world today. 

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