The tradition of hanging stockings on Christmas Eve is believed to have been derived from one of the most popular stories about St. Nicholas. The story dates back to the 1800s, telling the tale of the saint’s generosity to three maidens of a poor family. Although the daughters were of marriageable age, they could not be married because their father could not afford a dowry. St. Nicholas heard of their misfortune and set out to help them. Wanting his act to be a secret, Nicholas visited their home in the middle of the night and threw bags of gold coins down their chimney. It is said the bags landed in the girls’ stockings, which they had hung out to dry on the mantle.


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