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Why Christmas Stockings?

The Story Behind the Tradition

Hung By The Fire

It's a common practice in most homes during the Christmas season to dust off the stocking and hang it with care,

but why?

It was a reason I needed to know while planning our homeschool unit study all about stockings- yes, that's right, a stocking lesson plan.

while you might intially question,

Is there really enough about stockings to create a whole week's worth of learning?

I discovered, there absolutely is enough!

Stuff Your Stocking

We stuffed our stocking week with engaging learning, creations, and reading surrounding the festive topic. All this fun began though, with the reason behind this age old tradition- the folklore.

*Get the Stocking Unit Lesson Plan complete with learning games, activities, worksheets, and more HERE!*


What's The Story?

As the folklore goes,

Long ago, a widowed man with little money was concerned for his three daughters' future. WIth nothing to offer as a dowry upon his daughters' future marriages, he feared they would be left destitute and undesirable.

Talk of the father's plight spread around town, and upon hearing his plight, St. Nicholas desired to help the father. Knowing that the father would be unwilling to accept any aid, St. Nicholas came up with a plan.

On Christmas Eve night, as the family slept, St. Nicholas climbed upon their rooftop, and tossed three golden balls down the chimney.

The golden balls fell into the freshly laundered stockings left hanging to dry on the fireplace.

Upon waking up, the daughters discovered the gold within each of their stockings.

The father was filled with joy and relief knowing his daughters would no longer be destined for an impoverished life.


Stockings Through The Years

Over the years, the stocking tradition made its way west, and was made even more popular by American Writer, Clement Clarke Moore, in his poem A Visit From St. Nicholas where stockings were made mention of.

Stockings took more place on the mantles, because of later illustrations by Thomas Nast. His illustration "Morning", depicts childrens' faces on Christmas morning upon reaching their stockings.

While the stocking tradition did have a decline once the Christmas tree was introduced, the stocking hung on because of the elastic Smith Stocking. This stocking provided stocking lovers to no longer struggle with finding the right fit for the goodies they were stuffing inside, and more importantly kept the tradition going.

Once stockings became more decorative, personalized, and creative, they undoubtly held their place in Christmas tradition.

Stocking Unit Learning Activity


Stuff Your Homeschool Stocking With More Learning!

Find unique and engaging lesson plans and learning activities HERE.

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