Why Do We Hang Stockings At Holiday Time?


Do you hang stockings at holiday time?

Do you know where this holiday tradition comes from?

According to History.com, hanging stockings comes from a legend about Saint Nicholas. 

In that legend, Saint Nicholas gave three poor sisters gold coins and dropped the coins down the chimney. One of the coins went into a pair of shoes that were left on the hearth, while another coin went into a pair of socks that were hanging by the fire to dry, the site states.

Because of that legend, on Christmas Eve, children in Scandinavia leave their shoes on the hearth, while children in the U.S. and the U.K. leave their stockings on their bedpost or near the fireplace in the hopes that the stockings and shoes will be filled with treats, History.com reported.

The tradition of hanging stockings in the U.S. was solidified with the 1823 publication of Clement Clarke Moore’s poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," also known as "The Night Before Christmas."

At the beginning of the famous poem, Moore writes that on Christmas Eve, "the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there."

Near the end of the poem, Moore writes that during his visit, St. Nicholas "filled all the stockings."

Today, stockings are often filled with candy, treats and small toys. 

Christmas stockings, fire in fireplace, tree, and decorations

Photo: Getty Images


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