are a significant part of the Christmas traditions. The gift giving, Santa Claus
and the stockings are all closely related to each other. Early from the childhood times, Christmas stockings have been something that we are very excited about. Putting up the red big socks and receiving gifts on the Christmas is nothing less than a surprise package for all. The tradition of Christmas stockings is very old and has its origin from different cultures from around the world.
To put it simply, Christmas stockings are empty socks that are hung around the Christmas time by the children. It is believed that Santa Claus comes and fills the stockings with gifts and presents for children. These small gift items are known as stocking stuffers or stocking fillers. If followed by tradition, Christmas stockings were placed around the fireplace but nowadays it is hung jus about anywhere around the house.
The beginning of the Christmas stocking
tradition started in Germany. It was believed that the stocking should contain five types of gifts to indicate the five senses in us. These gifts can be in the following types.
- Something to eat like a fruit or candy.
- A noise making toy
- A gift item that pleases the eye like a shiny object, piece of jewelry etc.
- Something that you like to touch like clay, soft toys etc.
- A present that has a pleasing smell like perfumes, cologne etc.
Here are the other traditions that are associated with Christmas stockings.
The Dutch Concept
It is popularly believed that it was the Dutch who introduced the tradition of Christmas stocking to America. It was said in the 16th century the children of Holland would leave behind their clogs for the reindeer or the donkey. Also food was left for Santa in the house by the fire. In return of this warm gesture, Santa Claus would leave treats and gifts for the children. As time went the clogs came to be stockings.
The Kind Nobleman Story
This is a famous story that goes round for Santa Claus and the gift giving tradition. It is believed that there was a poor nobleman who had three daughters. These people were always in hand to mouth situation. When the time came to marry his daughters off, he had nothing left with him. One night when the daughters were washing their clothes they hung their stockings
over a fireplace to dry. That day Saint Nicholas knowing the agony of the father threw three bags of gold down the chimney into the stockings. From here started the tradition of Christmas stockings
Celebration of the Christmas Stockings
Though there are different legends and stories behind the custom of Christmas stockings there is certain traditions that closely bind it to history and the lives of each one of us. Like in Puerto Rico the tradition of Christmas stocking is in the form of small boxes that they place under their beds for the camels of the Three Kings.
Similarly in Italy the tradition is for the children to leave their shoes out in the night before (January 5) for the La Befana good witch. None of these traditions have a stocking involved in them, yet these traditions have their roots in the history of Christmas stockings.