“…the stockings were hung by the chimney with care…”
This memorable line from the iconic poem by Clement Clarke Moore is synonymous with Christmas and tradition. Around the world each year, children and even some adults hang out a stocking in anticipation of the goodies that they will find stuffed inside it on Christmas morning.
While the real facts behind the origin of this tradition have long since become the stuff of legends, there are two predominant theories that tell a similar story, each with their own set of interesting twists.
The first, according to legend, comes from the tale of a poor man who could not afford to pay for the dowries of his three daughters.
Hearing of this man’s plight, good St. Nick dropped a bag of gold down their chimney one night in order for the oldest daughter to be able to wed.
By mistake, it fell into a stocking that was drying by the fire.
The second theory is a little less specific but the tradition is said to have come from an old story that dates back all the way to third-century Turkey.
St. Nick would go around to all the houses of poor women who could not afford dowries and throw coins down their chimneys.
According to the legend, the money would land in the stockings they had hung by the fire to dry.
The true story behind the origin of Christmas stockings will probably always remain a mystery, but that doesn’t make the tradition any less fun.
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