Why We Hang Up Christmas Stockings

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Every year during the Christmas season, we put up specific Christmas decorations for all to see. Since we’re so used to the decorations, Christmas doesn’t feel complete without the family taking time to decorate the house. As far as decorations and meanings go, there’s an origin and traditional for all the Christmas decorations in see in your home. But what’s the meaning behind hanging Christmas stockings near the fireplace?

The Legend Behind the Christmas Stocking

Christmas stockings are basically just big empty ornamental socks or bags shaped as socks that we hang during the Christmas Season. Santa Claus will then leave candy, coins, toys and other small gifts whenever he passes a house. According to a handful of Christmas stories, every gift found inside the sock is from Santa Clause. Meanwhile, other presents are even beautifully wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree. In Western culture, as they portrayed in films, children who behave badly during the year will be scolded and told that they will only receive coal in their Christmas stocking; of course this is rarely done by the parents since it can be too cruel to do to a child.

There are no official written records of this tradition’s origin, but of course there are famous stories. One of the most famous surrounds a poor man and his three lovely daughters during a time long forgotten. Because they were so poor, he feared that he wouldn’t be able to pay for their dowry and no one will help them after his death. Just so happens that Saint Nicholas was passing by when he heard the neighbours talking about the girls. Since he wanted to help, he threw three bags of gold in the window and one landed on a stocking; he knew that the old man won’t charity. In the end, the daughters were able to get married and live happily ever after.