Life Coach Magazine

The Origin Of The Christmas Stocking: Where Did It Come From?

By Bidsbypros @bidsbypros

The Christmas stocking is an ever popular item. During the holidays, they show up on table linens, housewares, even bedding and bath items, as well as number of pieces of holiday-themed home décor. But just where did the Christmas stocking come from?

Chrismas Stocking

CC:Image source


There is actually no written record that shows the origin of the Christmas stocking. Instead, we have many myths that attempt to explain how this colorful sock came to play such a big part in the holiday season.

One such myth, or legend, states that the original Saint Nicholas once came to a small and heard about a family in need. The family was headed by a poor widower who had been devastated by the passing of his wife. He could not afford to provide a dowry for his three daughters, and Santa knew the man was too prideful to accept any money.

Instead, Saint Nick actually dropped gold coins down the fellow’s chimney, and the coins landed in the daughters’ stockings, which hung by the fireplace to dry (with care!). And according to this tale, the current tradition of hanging stockings by the fireplace began. Everyone wanted to see what good old Santa would leave in their stockings: would it be gold, candy, or coal?


Another take on this tale says that it was not gold coins that Saint Nicholas dropped down the widower’s chimney, falling into the girls’ stockings. Oh, no, it was actually gold balls. Equally valuable, of course, and still providing a hefty dowry for the daughters. The difference? It gives us the reason that today we often put oranges into stockings. The oranges represents the gold balls.

Stockings vs. Socks

The tradition that began in Europe had children using their everyday socks. But of course, that led to Christmas stockings, which were made exclusively for hanging by the fireside. These stockings were, and are, typically more elaborate and decorated with Christmas designs, or made in bright Christmas colors.


Another stocking origin story is that of Odin. Odin is the German and Scandinavian Christmas figure, comparable to our Santa Claus. Rather than leave Santa Christmas cookies, those who wait for Odin would leave their boots out near the chimney, and fill them with sugar cubes, carrots or straw, in order to feed Odin’s flying horse, Sleipnir. Of course, his flying horse is very similar to our Santa’s flying reindeer.

Once Sleipnir ate the food that the children had left out for him, Odin would repay the children’s kindness by leaving them gifts and candy.

Today’s Stockings

No matter what you believe, Christmas stockings are definitely a huge part of the holidays. Oftentimes families even make their own, putting each family member’s name on a stocking, so that Santa knows just what to put in each one.

Handmade or store bought, these stockings are often elaborate and beautiful. Sometimes, stockings are even used as a fun, reusable way to package holiday gifts. And typically, stockings are reused again and again, creating and holding memories.


+Paul Reichman is the founder of BedBathStore. Using decades of experience in home fashion, Paul offers quality bed, bath and home furnishings at affordable prices through

The Origin Of The Christmas Stocking: Where Did It Come From?
Paul Reichman
The Origin Of The Christmas Stocking: Where Did It Come From?

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog