Most think the origin of hanging Christmas-Stockings comes from the story of St. Nicholas and his generosity to three impoverished daughters that needed a dowry to get married. At that time women of marrying age were required to have a dowry and St. Nicholas decided to supply that dowry anonymously. The women had hung their stockings by the fireplace to dry and when St. Nicholas spied the stockings through the window he supplied each stocking with a purse of gold coins.
The History of the Christmas-Stockings tradition began in Germany where the stocking were filled with five traditional gifts, one for each on the five senses. Fruit(taste), like the oranges and apples we all got in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Noise(sound) like the unshelled nuts or rattle toys, Sight (something brightly colored) like the various brightly colored unusual candies or jewelry. Clay or Clothes (touch) and Smell like perfume or cologne.
Christmas Stockings
Thomas Nash
In 1822 the Author Clement Clarke Moore Clement Clarke wrote “A Visit from St. Nicholas” which is more popularly known as “T’was the Night Before Christmas” and a line from the poem was “The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,”
which was further popularized when HarpWeek published an article some 50 years later(1866) and that was illustrated by Thomas Nash that it became tradition in the United States to hang your stocking by the fireplace.

In other countries the stocking is replaced by a shoe, generally for countries where Sinterklaas is still celebrated, like Belgium, Holland and France.

Today Christmas-Stockings are hung on just about anything, door frames, chairs, specially constructed “stocking trees” , window sills, just about anywhere that is convenient when you don’t have a fireplace. The stockings come in every kind of shape and size imaginable even mimicking shoes rather than socks.
Christmas stocking
By far the most memorable keepsakes are those stocking that are made by someone that cares for you. That is why cross stitch stockings, needlepoint stockings, personalized stockings, quilted stockings and other wise sewn stocking are pulled out of keep sake trunks and drawers and used until they are thread bare. The personalized Christmas stockings are the one most noted in recollections of Christmas past and most sought after stocking patterns at Christmas time.

For being such a precious commodity they can be relatively simple to make or as time consuming as you want them to be.

If you want something more specialized to your tastes make your own.

There are many different theories about the History of Christmas Stockings and traditions on hanging the Christmas Stocking. Although attempts to help with ideas for filling the stocking appear in nearly every catalog containing Christmas related articles, few know if there is a tradition that started the type of “filling” for the Christmas Stocking.

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