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Why Do We Hang Christmas Stockings?

It’s almost time for our stockings to be hung by the chimney with care, but have you every wondered where this strange tradition came from? It’s difficult to imagine why we would ever ask Santa Claus to put treats in socks.

Here at Firestone Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we decided to put our curiosity to rest and do a little research on the Christmas stocking tradition. Unfortunately, there is no official record of how it first began, but there are a few theories.

Why Do We Hang Christmas Stockings?

A very popular stocking origin story is one about a widowed father with three young daughters. In the story, the father and his daughters are quite poor, and had no money for Christmas. Santa heard about their plight and when he came down the chimney, he found the family’s stockings hanging up to dry. Santa placed gold coins and other treats into the stockings in an attempt to help the family.

Another way stockings could have originated comes from the old, Dutch tradition of putting out shoes for St. Nicholas’s feast, held on December 6th. In this tradition, children leave their shoes out before they go to bed on December 5th. Sometimes the children fill the shoes with hay for St. Nicholas’s donkey to munch on. In the morning, the hay will have been replaced with coins or treats.

No matter when the tradition began, it’s one that has endured through the ages and Christmas stockings are now a beloved part of the holiday traditions!

Our Firestone, CO pediatric dentist’s office, Firestone Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics would like to wish our patients and their families a healthy and happy holiday season! Please don’t forget to visit our office for a dental cleaning and exam once the holiday festivities die down!

Posted on Dec 16, 2016

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