We love a traditional Christmas at Quiggin’s. Decorating trees, roasting turkeys and hanging stockings ready for Father Christmas are all things we are looking forward to doing very soon.
But have you ever wondered why we hang up stockings on Christmas Eve? We did a bit of research to discover the origin of this long-standing tradition.
The Real St Nicholas
No one can be precisely sure when people began hanging stockings, but the most popular theory is linked to St Nicholas. St Nicholas was a bishop who lived during the 3rd and 4th Centuries in modern-day Turkey. His mission in life was to help people.
He heard of a family who were struggling. A widowed father was raising three daughters and didn’t have enough money for their dowries. Without dowries, there was no hope of them finding husbands and getting married, and the family were struggling to survive. Things were desperate, and the father didn’t know what to do.
St Nicholas knew the family would be too proud to accept any help, but he wanted to do something. So he anonymously left them gold one night.
In some versions of the story we read, he dropped the gold down the chimney, and it landed in stockings that were hanging up to dry by the fire. Other versions of the tale say that St Nicholas actually squeezed down the chimney himself. But, in all the stories, the gold provided the girls with dowries, they were able to get married, and it was a happy ending for all.