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Christmas Stockings - Tradition of and Choosing a Christmas Stocking

Updated on October 22, 2009

Traditional Christmas Stocking

Tradition of Holiday Stockings

Throughout the years, it has come to be a Christmas tradition to hang stockings on the chimney mantle or some other means so that on Christmas Day, the stocking will be filled with all sorts of small goodies, typically ranging from candy to jewelry to small model cars.

And, depending on what society your live in, the history of the Christmas stocking varies ever so slightly.

Many and most of the stories as to the origin of the Christmas stocking tradition is based on the good deeds of Saint Nicholas, but one story sticks to mind.

Basically, as the story is told a poor man did not have enough to offer as dowry for prospective husbands for his three daughters, which meant that without the dowry, they were highly unlikely to marry.

Well, one night after washing their clothes, they hung their stockings on the mantle to dry, and that night Saint Nicholas stopped by to see the stockings hanging after everyone had gone to bed, and he took three small bags of gold from his pouch and threw them- one by one- into each stocking.

The next morning the daughters woke to find that their stockings contained enough gold for their dowry.

And, this led to the tradition of leavinig stockings on the mantle, or putting shooes at the door for Saint Nicholas to fill with goodies.

Flickr Image by pmeidinger
Flickr Image by pmeidinger

Filling Christmas Stockings

Ever since the stories of Saint Nicholas, little children make sure that they hang their Christmas stocking where Santa can find it and fill it when he visits on Christmas Eve.

There are many gifts that Santa typically leaves. Some of the more common gifts can include:

  • Candy and gum
  • Crayons and markers
  • Discount movie tickets (for older children)
  • Fun, electric, character toothbrushes
  • Gift cards
  • Hair ribbons and accessories
  • Money
  • Play jewelry for girls
  • Small cars for boys

But, the options of what to fill up a Christmas stocking are pretty limitless. Whatever can fit in the stocking goes.

Choosing a Christmas Stocking

Although, as history tells it, children once used plain old, every day socks to hang on the mantle by the fireplace, but as time progressed, special holiday stockings were created for the same purpose.

The traditional Christmas stocking with the red boot and white cotton top became very popular for a while, and still are to some extent. 

Some families will monogram their child's name into their own stocking so to make sure that Santa knows who's Christmas stocking is who's. Plus, it makes things more personal for the child.

Other options that you can consider is designing your own Christmas stocking with more than just a monogram name.  

If you are a crafty person, you can purchase different color felt, sequins, glitter, cotton balls, and other craft supplies so that your child can decorate his, or her, own Christmas stocking. And, with your help, you can cut out Christmas related designs and patterns such as Christmas trees, snowmen, snow flakes, elves, Santa, etc. and let your child decorate his stocking with the patterns. 

Otherwise, you can always purchase a kit to design your Christmas stockings. To the right, you will find many different options that you can choose from when looking for a kit to buy for personalized Christmas stockings.

You can let your child pick out the pattern that he, or she, wants and then let him, or her, put it all together when it comes in the mail. It will be a fun project that you can do together, when you are getting ready for the Christmas holiday season. 

Pet Christmas Stockings

You can't forget your favorite pet this holiday season. You want to make sure to stuff your dog, cat, hamster, snake, or bird's Christmas stocking with plenty of goodies, just like you want your's stuffed with.

You can fill your pet's stocking with treats, chews, toys, and pretty much anything you think he'd like.  


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    • jim10 profile image

      jim10 9 years ago from ma

      I love waking up early and running to see what Santa Claus left in my stocking.