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Why are stockings hung around Christmas?

Merry Christmas! If you celebrate Christmas, I hope your stockings were filled with goodies instead of a lump of coal (unless you're into that kind of thing... BBQers or whomever). In our house, when we were growing up, presents were fine but we were all about the stockings!

We had to wait until everyone was awake and had eaten breakfast before we could open presents. Stocking on the other hand... We could dig into them as soon as were were awake... say at 2:30am. Then of course there had to come a rule that you weren't allowed to wake anyone else up, or risk losing some Christmas presents. And you NEVER tested our mom!

We each had our stockings with our names on them. My brother's was HUGE! I don't have a very good memory but even I remember him being able to fit into that thing for several years. My sister, mom, papa and myself each had the "standard" size that were old-school knitted. This made stuffing and unpacking an art form... which just added to the fun:)

So as an adult (thinking about questions on the daily) I had to wonder, why do we hang stockings at Christmas? Well, legend goes that in the 4th century, when St. Nicholas (yes, the actual person St. Nick/Santa Claus was created after) was alive, he heard of a man who was destitute, had lost his wife and had three daughters to care for. With no dowery, they would not be wed, so their futures were dim. St. Nicholas snuck into their house at night and put gold coins in the girls' stockings hanging by the fireplace drying. The story got around and soon several people were hanging stockings hoping to find treasures in there when they woke.

Pretty cool story if it's true, if not, it's equally cool the stories have lasted this long! Either way, I still enjoy stockings on Christmas morning, even though I don't wake up nearly as early to see what treasures await. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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