Where does the tradition of the Christmas stocking come from?

Where does the tradition of the Christmas stocking come from?

Plump velvet stockings decorate our hearth every Christmas morning. And according to custom, each stocking contains a tangerine and a fresh new penny. The Christmas stocking is said to have begun when three destitute girls hung their newly cleaned socks by the fire to dry. As they waited for them to rewarm, food came to their minds first: oranges and apples for the oranges, and pennies for the apple trees in the orchard. Thus began the tradition of putting something special in everyone's stocking.

The first written evidence of Christmas stockings comes from 14th-century England when the mayor of London asked his citizens for donations for poor people like him who had no money for clothes or shoes. These donations were supposed to be placed inside large wooden boxes called "mumms" that were left outside churches on Christmas Eve. It is because of these boxes that we give gifts on Christmas Eve today. The mayors' requests eventually became a ritual called "the mumming of the keys," which was performed to request safe travel for yourself and your family members during the coming year.

In 1580, an English printer named John Norden invented a machine called a "Norden rifle" to make sock balls. These objects are similar to modern basketballs but made out of socks!

In 1790, Thomas Jeffery patented the first rubber ball.

Where did the tradition of wearing socks at Christmas come from?

A European custom that originated with youngsters just using one of their ordinary socks, special Christmas stockings were ultimately produced for this purpose. The Christmas stocking tradition is based on the Germanic/Scandinavian god Odin. He was known to keep his sacred gifts inside a deer skin bag called a mitten.

Some historians believe the practice of putting money inside your sock to be sent to the church for prayers before a wedding or buying land came from this ancient Germanic tradition. There are records of merchants in medieval Europe placing coins inside their shoes as they walked through the streets selling their goods. When they received payment, they would remove the coins and place them in a box at the church or monastery where they worked. This act of charity was important since there were no banks back then, so all cash transactions had to be done face to face between buyer and seller.

In the 14th century, peasants in Germany started leaving their wooden shoes outside their homes overnight so that the spirits of the dead could not harm their crops. In return, God would protect them during war and death. They took their shoes in on Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter) so that Jesus could heal their feet too.

Why are stockings a Christmas tradition?

Why do we put stockings up? If you've been nice, Father Christmas can fill it with gifts. The first Saint Nicholas, according to legend, placed gold money in the stockings of three destitute sisters. The girls left their stockings dangling over the fireplace one night. The next morning they found treasure inside: coins, food, and clothes. This story was probably made up to explain why the girls' father, a wealthy merchant, gave them gifts on Christmas Day. But now we know that Santa fills his bag full of gifts at the North Pole and delivers them all in one night!

Where does this tradition come from? Stockings were originally worn by miners as protection against the dangers of coal mining. The word "stocking" comes from these protective pieces of cloth that went over the miner's leg to cover his or her foot. Miners would hang their stockings by the fire to keep warm while they worked underground.

What happens if I don't put my kids' shoes out for Santa?

If you don't put your children's shoes out for Santa to see, he will not bring them any presents. Children need to believe that Santa sees everything they do and hear what they say, so they should always be willing to help him find something under the tree or in a drawer.

What do you put inside a Christmas stocking?

A Christmas stocking is often an empty sock or sock-shaped bag hanging on Christmas Eve and filled on Christmas morning. They are traditionally loaded with fruit and nuts, or toys and sweets. Other gifts such as books, CDs, and DVDs have been known to be included.

The word "stocking" comes from the old English word stang, which means "long slender rod". The first stockings were probably made from bamboo or hemp. Later they were made of wool.

People would go around their houses on Christmas Eve checking to see if any children had left gifts behind. If so, they would hide them in the stocking. This way, all the kids would know what was inside the stockings when they were opened on Christmas morning.

In America, it is traditional for children to leave their shoes by the bedside on Christmas Eve. When they wake up on Christmas Day, they find a gift in each shoe. This is called "Santa's Little Secret".

In England, there is no such tradition. Children go to school dressed as elves or Father Christmases and get presents at lunchtime. Then they go home and open their bags/baskets of gifts - usually found under the tree - and play games with their friends!

What is the legend of the Christmas stocking?

The Christmas stocking is said to have originated in the life of Saint Nicholas. He tossed three sacks of gold out an open window after dark, one of which landed in a stocking. When the girls and their father awoke the next morning, they discovered the gold bags and were ecstatic. However, when they went to check on the sock that had contained the bag of gold, they found that it had been ripped open by a big dog who lived in the house.

After this incident, the parents of the girls asked Saint Nicholas if they could make some sacks of their own out of wood. The next night he did it again, but this time he gave them only two sacks instead of three. The parents then asked for something to protect their children from dogs, so Nicholas made them each a little doll dressed in red. On Christmas Eve, Saint Nicholas came to visit and all the dolls were put under the tree. Then he threw his cloak over the back of a chair and left.

Some people say that you can still find the sacks hidden in the walls of houses in various parts of the world today. If you look carefully, you may even be able to see the hole where the dog tore the sack open.

Others say that the story is just like many other folk tales that have been passed down through the years - no proof that it is true, but still believed by many.

About Article Author

Jane Jolly

Jane Jolly is a parent educator with years of experience in the field. She has worked extensively with children and families over the course of her career, and she has helped to develop programs that have been used all around the world. She is currently working on developing a program for parents who are interested in learning more about how to work through their own personal difficulties so they can better interact with their children.


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