Children look forward to gifts with anticipation. They hang their Santa letters and wake up early to check what Santa has gifted them this year. The origination of Christmas stocking dates back to 280 AD. Nicholas, a man who belonged to a wealthy family, lost his parents to an epidemic. He was a kind nobleman who was a true follower of Jesus Christ. He lived on the principles of Christ, and upon the death of his parents, he became a priest. He dedicated his life to the service of God and became a bishop at a very young age. He used his wealth to help the needy and the children.
He gave presents to children late at night to keep his identity anonymous. He showed special concern towards sailors and ships with Santa letters and was named the patron saint of children and sailors. With time he came to be known as Saint Nicholas. It is believed that Santa Claus is an alteration of the same St. Nicholas. And here’s a tale that narrates how the concept of hanging stockings on Christmas came.
Other factors that affected the scenario
A poor peasant who once lived happily with his wife and three daughters was left in despair with his three daughters after the sudden demise of his wife. The poor father stayed depressed as he knew no way of marrying them to good men. In those days, men were offered something valuable (a dowry) before the marriage. The poor peasant had nothing to offer, so he lived his life with a heavy heart as he looked for any solution to marry his daughters to good men. During this time, when Saint Nicholas came to know of the condition of the peasant, he decided to help him. One night, he went to the peasant’s house with a bag of gold and waited for them to sleep so that he could finish this good deed secretly.
As the daughters and the peasant went to sleep, St. Nicholas quietly went near the cottage and peeked inside through the window. Near the fireplace, he saw stockings hung to dry. Since they were close to his reach, he carefully put in his bag of gold and Santa letters in one of the stockings and tiptoed his way back. The next morning, the father found the bag of gold and wondered where it came from. He wondered if it was from God. With this gold, the peasant was able to marry off his eldest daughter to a good man.
Some nights later, Nicholas returned with another bag of gold, and he did the same trick as before and put the gold into one of the stockings that were left to dry. The father was ecstatic again, and this time he was able to provide for his second eldest daughter and marry her to a good man. The father’s curiosity had grown by the second time he received gold, and he wished to find the mysterious benefactor this time.
And this is how the tradition of Santa letters near a fireplace or on a Christmas tree originated.