Where did the use of stockings at Christmas come from? It can be traced back to a folk tale that tells a story of Saint Nicholas' generosity toward a struggling widower. The once rich man, was now poor and wifeless with three daughters to care for, and was very distraught over not having funds for their dowries. Saint Nicholas heard of his worries and secretly dropped sacks of gold coins, down the chimney, into the stockings of each daughter that were hung dry on the fireplace.
As you might guess this caused others to begin hanging stockings in hopes of mysterious gifts as well! While we don't expect sacks of gold, the anticipation of what tiny treasures and treats a Christmas stocking might hold is enough for us to keep the tradition in our hearts and on our hearths – or wherever suits our style.