why do we hang stockings at christmas

Those hanging up their stockings by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there may not know that the tale that inspired the cheerful Christmas stockings tradition is pretty dark. The story begins with a nobleman who lost his wife after she died from a long and painful illness. The widower was left to raise their three daughters alone, and he soon ran out of money because of some bad investments. [Got a question? and we'll look for an expert who can crack it. ]
At the time, women without a dowry were unable to marry, and as a result may have had to enter into prostitution just to make a living. The impoverished father and his daughters were fearful of what would become of them.

A former monk named Sinter Klaus, who was also known as St. Nicholas and is the real man that, heard of the family's plight and decided to discreetly help them. "To save the girls from prostitution, the good Bishop Nicholas secretly left bags of gold near the chimney for them, one at a time," Donald E. Dossey wrote in his book, "Holiday Folklore, Phobias, and Fun. " "The third gift of gold fell into a stocking that was hanging near the chimney to dry. " According to legend, the father of the daughters caught leaving one of the gifts one night while the rest of the house slept. St. Nicholas begged him not to tell anyone, but word of the bishop's compassionate act soon spread.

The tale ends with all three daughters finding husbands, getting married and living happily ever after. In fact, they were so well off that they could afford to support their father, who lived happily ever after as well. As for St. Nicholas, he was later anointed as the patron saint of children for his kind and generous deeds and serves as the inspiration for. For many people who celebrate Christmas, the holiday is full of small traditions. Decorating the tree and hanging lights, wreaths and are just a few of the seasonal visual clues that mark colder weather and a possible visit from.

Actually, the chances of Santa landing on your roof in his are pretty high -- the big gamble, though, is whether or not he stuffs your Christmas stockings with presents or a shiny lump of coal. Hanging stockings over the chimney is an integral part of Christmas, and these oversized stockings are reserved for smaller gifts like candy and action figures. But why do we hang stockings anyway, and how did the tradition start? Although most countries have their own variations on Santa, the oldest reference to St. Nicholas goes as far back as the third century. The ancient town of Myra, located in what is now modern Turkey, is home to a shrine dedicated to Bishop Nicholas.

Over several centuries, tales spread detailing the benevolence and generosity of Bishop Nicholas, and this is where the idea of St. Nick as gift-giver began [source: ]. One of the stories, it turns out, involves Nicholas passing by the homes of maidens too poor to afford a dowry -- money that a bride gives to her groom for their wedding. The bishop would throw gold coins down the chimneys of these maidens, where they would fall into stockings, which were hung over the fire to dry. Dutch children take part in another tradition -- one that may have directly influenced the North American practice of hanging stockings. The children leave wooden shoes out by the fireplace, which are filled with hay for Sinterklaas's horse (the Dutch version of Santa Claus not only has a different name, but a different mode of transportation).

Santa replaces the hay with gifts, and it's thought that Americans adapted this tradition sometime in the early 19th century [source: ]. So n]ow that you know why some people hang stockings for Christmas, have you ever wondered how Santa actually gets down the chimney in the first place? What if you don't have a chimney? Fortunately, we have what we think is the most logical explanation, so follow the link to find out how. For more Christmas-related articles, see the next page.