What would Christmas be without a fireplace and a nice roaring fire? Just the thought of Christmas conjures up images of stockings hanging on the hearth, filled with lots of yummy goodies and fun little gifts. Waking up on Christmas morning with those warm, inviting flames flickering across the room simply completes that cheery Christmas spirit.
Even when there is no real fireplace available, people have clung to the idea of a fireplace at Christmas by using the cardboard version. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same if there was no place to hang those precious stockings!
But where and when did this great tradition start? It has been said that the tradition began long ago in many European countries. There are various theories, but here is one of the most popular: There once lived an old man, who had three daughters. These daughters were of marrying age, but since they were very poor, they could not afford the dowry that was needed to get married. However, they were too proud to accept charity.
A man named St. Nicholas heard of this poor man and his three daughters and decided he would like to help them in some way without hurting their pride. He saw that the daughters had washed their stockings on Christmas Eve and had hung them up to dry in front of their fireplace. He waited until everyone had gone to bed, and then he threw three bags of gold down through the chimney. These bags of gold miraculously landed in each of the daughter’s stockings.