Children used to leave their bags with some gifts for Santa Claus and Santa left gifts in return. Till date every Christmas the children hang colorful stockings near the fireplace mantle and wait for Santa to fill the bag with gifts. This tradition of hanging Christmas stockings has been in prevalence since long. Numerous myths exist about Christmas stockings and it is worthwhile to consider some of the best known myths that have a legendary background.
Legends of Christmas Stocking
Numerous legends also exist which signify the relevance of Christmas stocking. According to one such legend a poor man had three beautiful daughters. As the man was very poor, he worried about the marriage prospects of his girls. The man was worried if his daughters could get married ever and worried about their future.
It was Saint Nicholas who came to the help of the poor villager. Once he was passing through the village and herd people talking about the fate of the girls. The Saint decided to help secretly and crept through the poor man’s chimney during the night.
As the Saint was looking for a place to leave the three bags of gold coins that he had brought for the girls, he found stockings that were left for drying. He placed the gold coins in the stockings and left. On seeing the gold coins the next morning, the family was overjoyed.
The girls were happily married thereafter and this gave rise to the tradition of children waiting every Christmas for gifts from Saint Nicholas. The generosity of the Saint spread throughout the village and thus they began the practice of hanging Christmas Stockings.
Another interesting fact about the tradition is that initially children used their socks for the tradition but later Christmas stockings were created for the occasion.
Christmas Stocking – Distinct Perspectives
The practice of hanging Christmas stockings vary in every country across the world. Though children all over the world continue with the tradition of hanging Christmas stockings, the event has distinct variations of its own. While children in France place their shoes by the fireplace, the children in Holland fill the shoes with carrot and hay.
Dutch Theory of Christmas Stockings
The credit of introducing Christmas stockings in America goes to Dutch people. It is believed that in the earlier 16th century, children in Holland kept clogs filled with straw near the reindeer. Simultaneously, the children placed a treat for Santa Claus near the fireplace.
Santa Claus in return left some gifts for children. These clogs over a period were replaced by stockings and gave rise to the tradition of Christmas stockings.
Every year children wait for Christmas and prepare Christmas stockings in advance to have their share of Christmas gifts.