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11 September 2013

A short History of Christmas Stocking Fillers

Christmas stocking may look like a pretty weird tradition to anyone looking from the outside of Christianity,

and in truth there’s no definite proof of why they exist. One speculation is that St Nicholas (Santa) Left some gold in the drying stockings of three poor daughters so they could get married. This explains a few of the myths surrounding Santa and present giving on the Christmas Day.

Golden Balls - A variation of the coins being left in the stocking is that he left balls instead of coins. This explains why people get oranges. Perhaps this again explains coal, although that’s still considered to be pretty mean.

A chimney is a ventilation shaft, not an entrance – When St Nicholas heard about the father’s lack of wealth and desire to get his daughters married, he was aware that they probably wouldn’t take his charity. For this reason he decided to give them loads of money in secret. I’m not sure there were even locks in the time we’re talking about here, but anyway, he decided to break into their house via the chimney, hence the tale we’re all familiar with today. Using ventilation shafts as a mode of transports is one of the few things Santa has in common with Solid Snake.

This meant that children would regularly hang out their stockings in the hope that Santa would fill them full of gold and/or oranges in the night.

Present day Presents

Christmas stockings are still firmly part of our Christmas traditions, and like any predominantly capitalist holiday period there are people who are going to take it way too far.

The world’s biggest Christmas stocking is a matter of great contention, regularly receiving attempt to topple its predecessor. Currently the record holder is over fifty one metres in length, and as it had to be filled with presents, they filled it with sweet-filled balloons. This may seem stingy, but that’s thousands of sweets for one person, and this was done by a charity.

We’ve come a long way in Christmas Traditions

It’s fairly obvious that we’re a long way from oranges and coal. Christmas stockings are now simply used as a first port of call for kids’ presents, a kind of warm up for the big ones under the tree. If you look at the range of stocking fillers from you can see that there is now everything from books and mugs to gadgets and even toilet golf.

What do you put in your child's stocking?

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  1. Very interesting....
    I put all the small things in their stockings! The stuff that is too fiddly to wrap...hehehe

  2. We open our stockings on Christmas Eve and they always contain new pj's, chocolate and a DVD.

  3. My son always has a tangerine its a tradition! He usually has itunes voucher, a dvd and some chocolate too :) Thanks for your post it has made me excited about Christmas!

  4. some small toys some sweets can not belive we are already on the subject of Xmas lol

  5. Small toys and, as is traditional in our house, an apple and a satsuma. Dad always used to put in liqueur chocolates. Happy days!

  6. I'm so glad we have come a long way, oranges and coal? I'm allergic to oranges haha! I don't think Sienna will have a stocking this year! It was my fav part of xmas presents though! :)

  7. What a really interesting post.
    My ch' have a couple of very small gifts and some chocolate - just to keep them entertained for a bit longer before Grandad wakes up!

  8. Interesting to learn some of the history of Christmas traditions! I tend to put the smaller presents in their stockings.

  9. We never really had stockings as a child, just sacks! I made one for Dylan for his first Christmas though so I guess I should make one for the littlest too

  10. Satsumas every year with out fail and a bit of choccy and smaller presents but most presents go under the tree.

  11. Nothing little things like hair stuff, pencils, figures, sweets and chocolate :-)


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