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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. While there are no written records of the origin of the Christmas Stocking, there are popular legends that attempt to tell the history of this Christmas tradition. One such legend has several variations, but the following is a good example: Very long ago, there lived a poor man and his three very beautiful daughters. He had no money to get his daughters married, and he was worried what would happen to them after his death. was passing through when he heard the villagers talking about the girls. St.

Nicholas wanted to help, but knew that the old man wouldn't accept charity. He decided to help in secret. After dark he threw three bags of through an open window, one landed in a stocking. When the girls and their father woke up the next morning they found the bags of gold and were, of course, overjoyed. The girls were able to get married and live happily ever after. Other versions of the story say that Saint Nicholas threw the three bags of gold directly into the stockings which were hung by the fireplace to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sometimes the story is told with gold balls instead of bags of gold. That is why three gold balls, sometimes represented as oranges, are one of the symbols for St. Nicholas. And so, St. Nicholas is a gift-giver. This is also the origin of three gold balls being used as a symbol for pawnbrokers. A tradition that began in a European country originally, children simply used one of their everyday, but eventually special Christmas stockings were created for this purpose. The Christmas stocking custom is derived from the Germanic/Scandinavian figure.

According to Phyllis Siefker, children would place their boots, filled with, or, near the chimney for Odin's flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Odin would reward those children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir's food with gifts or candy. This practice, she claims, survived in, and the after the adoption of Christianity and became associated with Saint Nicholas as a result of the process of. Today, stores carry a large variety of styles and sizes of Christmas stockings, and Christmas stockings are also a popular homemade craft. This claim is disputed though as there are no records of stocking filling practices related to Odin until there is a merging of St. Nicholas with Odin. St. Nicholas had an earlier merging with the Grandmother cult in Bari, Italy where the grandmother would put gifts in stockings. This merged St. Nicholas would later travel north and merge with the Odin cults. Many families create their own Christmas stockings with each family member's name applied to the stocking so that Santa will know which stocking belongs to which family member.

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