Skip to content

Why Do We Hang Stockings For Christmas?

  • by

It’s just a little something to do with a male referred to as St. Nicholas.

Hanging stockings by the chimney with care is just about the most popular Christmas traditions, though several households display theirs without asking yourself exactly why. Nobody may make sure why and when the process began, though several legends provide us a clue. We additionally figured out the reason Christmas colors are green and red.

Probably the most well-liked origin stories begins with none apart from St. Nicholas – yes, he was a true person. In the fourth and third centuries, St. Nicholas was a bishop in modern day Turkey who made helping others the life mission of his, and he caught wind of a family unit in need.

As the story goes, just one dad was raising 3 daughters but found that he did not have cash that is enough paying the dowries of theirs – and also with no dowries, they could not get married. As a bad man, the father would not be equipped to support the daughters of his for long. The frantic family feared the only option of theirs will be for all the daughters to sell the bodies of theirs to make money.

St. Nicholas heard of the family’s dilemma but knew they had been very proud to accept handouts. To make certain they did not refuse the generosity of his, he anonymously snuck them gold at night. Several legends claim he dropped gold down the chimney, as well as the gifts landed in the stockings which were laid by the fire to dry out, while others state Nicholas himself hopped down the chimney. Someone – possibly the daughters or the father, based on the edition of the tale – found the bishop in the action and also thanked him for the assistance of his. The presents had been sufficient for all the daughters to marry and live happily ever after.

St. Nicholas’ feast day was on December six, and ultimately, the tradition of making gifts in stockings was paired up with Christmas celebrations.

Which makes a tidy and neat origin story, but several scholars claim the stocking tradition may have began even before Christianity in Scandinavian countries. The Norse god Odin was believed coming during Yule (the winter solstice), operating on an eight legged horse. Kids will leave hay, carrots, and sugar in the shoes of theirs to nourish the mythical horse, along with Odin will leave them gifts in exchange.

We will certainly not know for certain what (or even if) St. Nicholas actually did for that family and if the legend was influenced by pagan gods, but personalised stockings enjoy a powerful foothold in Christmas tradition. The gift giving origins reflect kindness and generosity … so long as you are on St. Nick’s great list, obviously.