Just as Christmas decorations, Christmas stockings too form an integral part of Christmas. I don’t know about you, but I don’t even need to remind my kids when the time for hanging the stockings across the bed comes; they do it on their own! In good old days, when chimneys were used, these stockings were hanged across the chimneys. In fact, do you know that the tradition of stocking started with the chimney itself?
These days, children hang anything from shopping bags, pillow cases, etc along with stockings, across the bed or by the fireplace. But why they do it? Do you know about the interesting story which gave birth to stocking gifts? Let me tell you about it!
It is a story which is quite old, dating back to about the 4th century A.D. It so goes that an old man had three daughters of marriageable age, but much as the old man would like to marry them off, fate intervened in the form of dowry. The old man was too poor to pay for the high amount of dowry required for the marriage, and consequently he was unable to fulfill his desire.
One day it so happened that Saint Nicholas heard about this old man and his three daughters. He set out to help them!
On one night the three sisters hung their stockings across the chimney as usual. Saint Nicholas visited their house, and dropped three purses full of gold coins across the chimney, and obviously they fell into the stockings hanging there. According to other versions of the legend, Saint Nicholas didn’t drop all the purses at once; rather, he dropped one every time the turn for marrying off one of the daughters came! Kids hang stockings because they too expect Santa Claus to make them rich overnight in this way!
I hardly know a kid who doesn’t wait eagerly for the Christmas stocking gifts, but I know many who don’t know the tradition which gave birth to the stocking gifts. Keep in mind that educating your kids about these traditions would not only entertain them but also teach them the true value and meaning of Christmas! Christmas is not about selfish enjoyment; rather it is about the selflessness and generosity which Saint Nicholas displayed in the above story!
The Christmas stocking gift is one of the most favorite gifts anticipated by the kids. Parents often fill the stockings with something intimate and personal. However not each and every gift is fit to be put inside a stocking! The best gifts for stockings are candies, sweets, Christmas story books, etc.
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