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?
One of the stories, it turns out, involves Nicholas passing by the homes of maidens too poor to afford a -- 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.
Stockings have been an essential part of the Christmas tradition for centuries (except, briefly, in the mid-1800s, when the New York Times wrote that Christmas trees almost completely supplanted them as the tradition of choice).
In my day, we didn't have a special stocking to hang--we used one of my father's old socks!
and in the morning, we would find fruit, nuts and sometimes a quarter in the toe.
What will you find in your stocking this year?