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Relaxing by the fireplace decorated with holly, ivy and of course Christmas stockings brings back sweet memories of wonderful family Christmas traditions.
The hanging of stockings by the fireplace remains a popular Christmas custom. However, the fireplace is not the exclusive option, you can have your Christmas stocking hung on your doorknob, placed on a windowsill, or tied to a bedpost. Where you choose, when Christmas Eve arrives, St Nicholas, Santa Claus or Father Christmas (which ever you choose to call him) will find it anyway
Legend has it that the origin of Christmas stockings came from a small village where a once wealthy merchant and his daughters fell into poverty.
The villagers were overheard talking about the girls by the now-famous St.Nicholas as he passed through the village but was informed that their father would not accept any gifts or charity. He decided to help in secret. So one night he threw three bags of gold down the chimney which landed in the girls’ stockings which were hung by the fireplace to dry.
When the girls and their father woke up the next morning they found the bags of gold and were overjoyed. The girls were able to get married and live happily ever after. Historically girls would have needed money as a dowry in order to get married.
The details of their story spread among other villagers, whose children also began hanging their stockings by the fireplace, hoping to receive presents from St. Nicholas at Christmas.
This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, hoping they too would receive Christmas gifts from Saint Nicholas.