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Offbeat This Is Why We Hang Stockings on Christmas

13:42  13 december  2019
13:42  13 december  2019 Source:   bestlifeonline.com

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It’s a central feature of any home décor during Christmastime: a series of long, decorative socks hung in front of the fireplace or some other focal point of the home, ready for tiny gifts to be deposited into on Christmas Eve. The reasons date back to the 4th century, when the actual Saint Nicholas.

Learn how the tradition of Christmas stockings got started. Among the most widespread customs of Christmas is hanging stockings on the mantle on Christmas

a person wearing a red flower© Provided by Best Life

Christmas stockings are a central feature of holiday home décor. The festive accessories are hung in front of the fireplace—"by the chimney with care," if you will—waiting to be stuffed with small gifts on Christmas Eve. But did you know the classic Christmas custom actually dates back to the 4th century? That's when St. Nicholas of Myra (the bishop who spawned the Santa Claus we know and love today) walked the earth, making miracles happen. According to one legend, St. Nicholas helped a father who couldn't afford dowries for his three daughters. He tossed bags of gold through their window, where they landed in stockings that had been left by the fire to dry. Whether that's truly the source of the tradition of hanging stockings on Christmas is up for debate.

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Hanging stockings by the chimney with care is one of the most popular Christmas traditions, but many families display theirs without wondering why . No one can be sure when and why the practice started, but some legends give us a clue. We also figured out why Christmas colors are red and green.

It has a little something to do with a man known as St. Nicholas.

But here's another theory that still dates back 700 years, when Dutch children started stuffing their clogs with hay and carrots. They'd leave the shoes outside their homes on the eve of Sinterklaas Day (Dec. 6), believing that Santa would take the treats for his reindeer and replace the goodies with coins or small gifts for them to discover the next morning, according to Smithsonian. Over time, the shoes were moved inside, then replaced by the children's socks—and the date they were hung changed as well, from the eve of St. Nicholas Day to Christmas Eve.

The American idea of stuffing Christmas stockings started with Clement Clarke Moore's 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (better known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"). Moore famously wrote that "the stockings were hung by the chimney with care / In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there." He also mentioned how the jolly figure "fill'd all the stockings; then turn'd with a jerk/And laying his finger aside of his nose/And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose."

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Why do we hang Christmas stockings ? The story is actually quite lovely. Struggling to make ends meet, the father was unable to buy presents for his three daughters. One Christmas , Santa Claus heard of the family’s troubles and saw that the girls had hung their stockings to dry.

Though many of us hang our stockings with care around Christmas without thinking twice about the tradition, it’s hard to imagine why we would ever start Regardless of what started the tradition, people seem to have realized the need to use a decorative stocking in place of an actual sock pretty early on.

As the poem was read and repeated every Christmas in homes across the country, the tradition of hanging stockings spread with it, Penne Restad points out in her 1996 book, Christmas in America: A History. Mothers soon began customizing stockings—larger, more elaborate ones usually with each child's name—and manufacturers followed suit with "a variety of stocking especially designed for the reception of Christmas gifts," according to an 1883 article in The New York Times. It wasn't long before the footwear became as familiar a Christmas symbol as jolly old St. Nick himself! And for more secret history about the practice, This Is Why We Put Oranges in Stockings on Christmas.

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