We are well into December and with Christmas fast approaching, we need to start thinking stocking fillers!
Christmas stockings are special whether by the fireplace, under the Christmas tree or resting on the bed. The mystery of Father Christmas filling each child’s and adult’s stocking is simply magnificent! From Azerbaijan to Australia to Wales, Father Christmas seems to squeeze his way into the chimneys worldwide to fill stockings with various goodies. So, with this stealthy global expedition in mind, how did the wonderful and much-loved Christmas stockings start and develop throughout history?
Unfortunately, some good things have no clear origin and stockings are one of them. There has, however, been a story passed down throughout the generations that is incredibly intriguing. A father lived with his three daughters in poverty, worrying about financing his daughters’ weddings. According to the legend, St. Nicholas passed by, overheard gossip about the family and immediately wanted to intervene. The dad was known to be very humble and would not accept anything, so St. Nick had to be low-key. Whilst the family slept, he threw three bags of gold through the window – one conveniently landed in a stocking. When the family woke up they were so ecstatic – their daughters then married and lived happily ever after! How wonderful, right?
The design of a stocking nowadays is like one of Father Christmas’ size-15 boots with the children’s name on… And the parents’ name too of course! They are all nice designs with Christmassy colours and decorations, but before it used to be plain socks being hung up and stuffed. In the Victorian era, stockings were made to be beautiful because it was the children’s main gift. For Christmas they would fill them up with nuts, fruits, occasionally one or two sweeties and shiny pennies! A wooden toy would also be included. Makes you think how good our children actually have it!
Nowadays, most stockings are filled with chocolates, sweets, and little toys or even bigger gifts. While I don’t want to spoil all the fun by taking out all the chocolates and sweets, why not try mixing it up a bit this year? Reduce the number of unhealthy sweets by adding fun healthy snacks, as well as activity games/toys like skipping ropes, juggling balls, bouncy wrist balls or hacky sacks.