|Stocking is the prevailing custom of washing
deep red stockings with white trim and putting them near the fireplace
in anticipation that Santa will fill them with presents. Followed
in a many number of countries, stocking is now intricately related
to Christmas traditions.
Stocking is very popular with children who love to find presents
and gifts in these stockings in the morning. There are many legends
how it became a part of Christmas symbols. It gives a great comfort
to the heart when we see kids smiling innocently after they find
gifts and toys in their stockings, purportedly from Santa.
There is not a shadow of doubt that stockings have now become intimate
part of Christmas symbols. The tradition of hanging stockings is
said to have originated in Holland where kids used to leave their
clogs by the fireplace filled with straw for the reindeers or donkeys
of the Saint and a treat for Santa himself in the house. In return,
the Santa Claus used to leave gifts for the kids.
Another legend that is also very popular behind the emergence of
stockings is associated with Saint Nicholas. In a twist of fate
a kind nobleman lost his fortune and his wife and was left alone
to fend off his old days with three daughters all of them of marriage-able
age. Once, when kind St. Nicholas was wandering, he heard the sound
of crying from the four members of the family of Nobleman. They
had little to eat and make merry. The father was not in a position
to arrange dowries for his daughters.
Saint Nicholas knew that these people wont take charity, as they
were respectable. So he thought of another way to help them out.
He saw that the three daughters had washed their stockings and hung
them over their fireplace to dry. So, in the night, he quietly he
put three gold purses in each of the girl's stockings.