Come Christmas time and all the kids start hanging colorful stockings above the fireplace mantle. The tradition of hanging stockings is being practiced since decades. However, most of the people do not know the exact history of Christmas stockings. They are still in the dark as to how the custom came into practice. For all such people, we are providing the legends surrounding the history and origin of Christmas stocking.
The Dutch Theory
As per the Dutch theory, the tradition of Christmas stocking was
introduced in America by the Dutch. It is said that in the 16th Century,
the children staying in Holland kept their clogs, filled with straw, by
the hearth for the reindeer. At the same time, they placed a treat for
'Sinterclass' (Santa Claus) near the fireplace in the house. As a return
gift, the Sinterclass used to leave some gifts for the children. With
time, the clogs became stockings and Sinterclass became Santa Claus.
The Nobleman Theory
A nobleman and his wife had three daughters and they were living quite
happily. One day, the wife contracted some fatal illness, which led to
her untimely demise. Devastated by his wife's death, the nobleman
squandered all his wealth and property. Since he was left with no money,
he had to move into a peasant's cottage, along with his daughters. Soon,
the time came for the daughters to get married. However, the father had
lost all his wealth and could not afford to give any dowry.
As time passed, the father started getting more and more worried about
getting his daughters married. One day, St. Nicholas of Myra happened to
pass through the nobleman's village and heard the villagers discussing
what the father was going through. St Nicholas knew that the father
would be too proud to accept money from him. He decided to wait till
dark and then, went to the nobleman's house and threw three bags of gold
coins from the chimney.
The same evening, the daughters of the nobleman had washed their clothes
and had hung their stockings by the fireplace. The bag of gold coins
dropped into the stockings, one bag for each daughter. When the family
members woke up in the morning, they found the money in their stockings.
The father utilized the money for marrying away his daughters, each with
a generous dowry. Soon the villagers came to know of St. Nicholas'
generosity and started hanging their stockings by the fireplace.
This article provides information on Christmas stockings history. Read on to explore the history & origin of Christmas stocking.