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Christmas Stocking

Christmas Stocking‘And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there’

The above often repeated Christmas rhyme tells us about a Santa Claus, which was traditionally called Saint Nicholas that was not only legendary character. But waht is the connection between Santa and the Christmas Stocking? First let’s take a closer look at the history of Nicholas, and especially at one fact from his life that brought us a tradition of hanging stockings at the fireplace.

The real story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, born in the 3rd century in the village called Patara. At the time all this land was Greek and (it is now in the southern Turkey). He has very wealthy parents, who raised him as a devout Christian They both died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still very young. According to Jesus’ words one shall ‘sell what he own and give the money to the poor’, and so Nicholas used to do. He used his whole inheritance to assist the people in need, to help them as much as he could. Though he was very young, he was made Bishop of Myra; then he sacrified the whole his life to serving God.

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But you still may ask – what is the deal with these Christmas Stockings? Well… There is a story of Saint Nicholas telling us, that once upon a time he rescued three poor maidens from being sold into slavery. They didn’t have any dowries, and was not able to marry some men, and Saint Nicholas gave it to them, but in a specific way. As he hadn’t want to be recognised by the maidens (because we were advised by Christ not to boast of helping the others and to do it secretly) he tossed in the gold dowry money through the chimney or window. It is believed that that gold have landed in stockings left to dry near the fire at the fireplace.

There also the other tradition connected with Christmas Stockings. People use to put an orange (or even an apple) in the toe of the Christmas Stocking as a reminder of Nicholas’ dowry gift. The gold Nicholas threw into the maiden’s room is often shown as gold balls. The oranges in stockings symbolizes that great gift of Saint Nicholas.

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