Ever wondered why on earth we hang up Stockings as part our Christmas preparations? I did. So I did what everyone does when they need an answer to something, I googled. And google didn't disappoint, I was warmed by a lovely tale, dating back to 1823. It seems this tradition is well rooted in our Christmas history, and the story is quite sweet and a good reminder of how times used to be.
A simpler time, when children's expectations were modest, families sang Christmas carols together and when morning came, there was just one gift for each child waiting under the Christmas Tree. There was no tears or tantrums, just gratitude for the kind stranger that visited overnight. Never the less, here is the story of how the Christmas Stocking tradition came to be.
'A recently widowed man and father of three girls was having a tough time making ends meet. Even though his daughters were beautiful, he worried that their impoverished status would make it impossible for them to marry. St. Nicholas was wandering through the town where the man lived and heard villagers discussing that family’s plight. He wanted to help but knew the man would refuse any kind of charity directly. Instead, one night, he slid down the chimney of the family’s house and filled the girls’ recently laundered stockings, which happened to be drying by the fire, with gold coins. And then he disappeared. The girls awoke in the morning, overjoyed upon discovering the bounty. Because of St. Nick’s generosity, the daughters were now eligible to wed and their father could rest easy that they wouldn’t fall into lonely despair'. (ref:smithsonian.com, 2012)
Quite a funny little story that today would surely send feminists into a rage! But we do have to remember the times that it was in, and for the sake of a story, its a good one. I love looking at the history behind these little things that we sometimes do so mindlessly. I think we do sometimes have to stop and question things, and assess whether it is something we want or need to do.
Personally, I have done away with the Christmas Stocking in my house. I felt as though I was just buying 'stuff' for the sake of it, just so I could fill the stocking! Nothing that was actually needed or of any real value. Just cheap bits and pieces that I later collected up and either donated to the op shop or put straight in the bin, because well, it was likely they were broken or missing pieces! The last couple of years the Christmas Stockings have stayed in the Christmas Box, and my girls havn't even noticed!
If you love the tradition of the Christmas Stocking, by all means, go with it! But if you can, look at some sustainable options. Visit your local op shop and find some secondhand goodies, or think about filling it with practical items such as hair ties, a bamboo toothbrush, socks and underwear. Whatever you choose to pop into the stockings, just try to steer clear of the almighty dreaded plastic, and ensure it is something of real value. Not just something you grab in a last minute dash to fill it!
A simple Christmas is a happy Christmas. Well, it certainly is in my house. Don't let the pressure of giving gifts take over the essence of Christmas is meant to be. Children love to see you happy, they love to see you relaxed and enjoying time with them. Your time costs nothing, and will be something they remember forever. I can't promise the same about any toy or electronic device that you have had to put on the credit card and will spend most of the new year trying to pay off!
I hope you've this little Christmas themed blog! I'll be squeezing in one more Blog post before the end of the year, but until then, stay safe and enjoy the Silly Season!!
Thank for reading,