Dec 20, 2009


Christmas stockings are hung near the chimney on Christmas Eve for Santa Claus to fill it with goodies. It is an empty sock or a bag that is given the shape of a sock. The children in United States and some other countries have been following this tradition of hanging a Christmas stocking, believing that Father Christmas will fill it with sweets and gifts for them. The items that are believed to be stuffed in the Christmas stocking by Santa Claus are known as stocking stuffers. They're at the front door of your local Target store, in the bins marked One Dollar.

The tradition of the Christmas stockings apparently began by a silly little story about a kind noble man who had three daughters. The wife of the nobleman had died off and the daughters and their father were left in a state of sorrow. The daughters had to do all the work in the house. When the daughters became young and eligible for marriage, the poor father could not afford to give the huge dowries to their husbands.

One evening the daughters, after washing their stockings hung them near the fire place to be dried. Santa Claus being moved by the plight of the daughters came in and put in three bags of gold one in each of the stocking hanging by the chimney. The next morning the family noticed the gold bags and the nobleman had enough for his daughter’s marriage. The daughters got married and they lived happily ever after. Since the story, children have been hanging Christmas stockings. Not surprisingly. This also explains about 72% of all the gold coins sold around the Solstice - the other 18% going toward Dradle wagers.

Some say the Dutch introduced the Christmas stocking to America. It was told that during the 16th Century, children in Holland would leave their clogs by the hearth filled with straw for the reindeer (or "donkey"). Oops another significant translation error.

A treat for Santa was left in the house near the fire. In return "Sinterclass" would leave the children treats. Later the clogs would become stockings, and the Saint known to all would become "Santa Claus."

But here's the take away - Christmas stockings are supposed to have the gifts given by Santa Claus. The other gifts are wrapped in present papers and placed near the Christmas tree were from, you know, real people. It is believed that a child who misbehaves during the year will not get a gift in their Christmas stocking. Or will get coal... but considering until the mid 1950's, coal was still a pretty good gift. The Christmas stockings are traditionally hung on the fireplace. But as most of the modern homes do not have a fireplace, any location is suitable for hanging the Christmas stockings. In many traditions the Christmas stocking is to be stuffed by a gift that will stimulate the five senses. Oranges, candy and Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifles. The gift given by Santa Claus would be something to eat, a thing that makes a sound and gives a pleasant view to the eyes or gift which has a lovely fragrance. Gunpowder is more of a surfer kind of stink, but it's pleasant.

In the present modern culture there are special Christmas stockings available in the market. Like Dora the Explorer, Cars, and whatever licensed property you might enjoy. I'd prefer an A-Team stocking. Some families design unique stockings for each family member. In Puerto Rico, children put flowers and greens in small boxes and place them under their beds for the camels of the Three Kings; Italian children leave their shoes out the night before Epiphany, January 5, for La Befana the good witch; and in France, the children place their shoes by the fireplace.

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