Why are there oversized socks hanging on your
According to a very old tradition, the original Saint Nicholas
(see the section on Santa) left his very first gifts of gold coins in the
stockings of three poor girls who needed the money for their wedding dowries.
The girls had hung their stockings by the fire to dry. See this
page for a version of this story.
Up until lately, it was traditional to receive small items like fruit, nuts
and candy in your stocking, but these have been replaced in the last
half-century by more expensive gifts in many homes.
According to this
page, the tradition of a lump of coal in the stockings of naughty children
comes from Italy.
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