According to tradition, on the eve of Christmas, children put a large Christmas stocking with their name over the family fireplace. The next morning on Christmas, they find gifts, presents and even coins in the hanging sock. This tradition is still respected by people around the world. However, few know how this custom came and what is it about.

The legend of the Christmas stocking

The legend of the hanging sock is related to the life of one nobleman. He lived happily with his wife and three daughters. Suddenly, his wife fell ill and died. Disappointed by the death of his wife, he got drunk everyday and spent all his wealth on bad things. He had to sell his property and live with his three daughters in a nearby village. The daughters learned to cook, clean and sew on their own. The girls soon grew up and it was time to get married. In those days it was customary for the father of the daughters to give the future groom something valuable. The poor man was very sad because he wasn't able to provide them with a dowry. Without a dowry he couldn't marry his daughters! The poor father was looking for a solution while his daughters were growing up and taking care of the house. One day St. Nicholas from Mira passed through the village of the nobleman and heard from his compatriots about the sad story of the family. St. Nicholas wanted to help. He also realized that the poor father was too proud to accept gifts. Therefore, St. Nicholas decided to help him secretly. One night he waited until it got dark. The three daughters washed and hung their socks over the fireplace so they could dry. They turned off the lights and they all went to bed. Then the miracle happened. St. Nicholas took out three bags full of coins and threw them through the chimney of the house. The bags fell into each daughter's hanging socks. In the morning, when the daughters woke up, they found bags of coins in their socks. They were very surprised and happy. The money found was enough for each daughter to get married. It was a miracle for them, a gift from God! And so the father married all three daughters. This story spread throughout the village and all the people - young and old, started hanging their socks over the fireplace the night before Christmas in anticipation of the miracle. 

Today, children hang their socks over the fireplace or under the Christmas tree. On Christmas morning, they find a gift, and perhaps a coin. Centuries ago, children wore socks over the family hearth. This tradition dates back to 1832. Here are some photos of children following this custom: But to receive a gift, dear children, the legend says that you must have been good all year round. Otherwise - disobedient children receive coal instead of a gift!