The time of year where we prepare for and follow Christmas traditions has arrived. Ever wonder wonder what’s behind these traditions (i.e. like the hanging stockings as pictured in this vintage christmas postcard of Santa Claus)?
Christmas Stocking Legend
A poor father was in despair as he could not afford the dowries needed for his three daughters to marry. One night the daughters washed out their stockings and hung them over the fireplace to dry.
St. Nicholas of Myra, a 4th century bishop, heard of the father’s despair and decided to pay a visit. Late at night, riding his white horse (this must be a Dutch version, see Santa Claus Rides in Dandy Motorboat ) St. Nicholas stopped by their house.
Seeing the stockings through the window, St. Nicholas climbed on the roof and tossed three full bags of gold coins down the chimney. The bags fell into the hanging stockings. His unselfish gift made it possible for all three daughters to marry.
My Christmas Stocking Tradition
When I was growing up, my sisters and I hung our stockings (knitted in green and red with our names at top) on the back of the bookcase facing the kitchen. We didn’t have a fireplace. Every year, we would get either an orange or apple, nuts, and Christmas taffy. I still hang a stocking. My adult daughter fills it (I fill hers). Most years, an apple or orange finds it way into both our stockings.
The above vintage christmas postcard of Santa Claus is from my personal collection. I found it cute that Santa was sooo little in comparison to the hanging stocking. More Santa Claus and christmas postcards, with festive holiday graphics, can be found in my store.
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