Taken out of context, hanging socks above the fireplace during Christmas eve and waking up the next morning to find edible gifts crammed inside them could seem like a strange tradition. Especially considering that once upon a time stockings weren’t the festively decorated accoutrements we know today but were, in fact, just plain old socks. Today, however, stockings come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny ones that could fit on a newborns feet to outlandishly large ones that weight 1,600 lbs:
But where did this strange custom come from?
While there exists no written records of its origins, one legend has it that very long ago a poor man with three beautiful (and unmarried) daughters was lamenting about what would become of them after he died. It just so happened that Saint Nicholas was passing through the streets when he caught wind of this man’s sorrow and was kind enough to huck three bags of gold through the window, which neatly landed in each of the girl’s stockings that were hanging over the fireplace to dry.
Other folklore traces the stocking custom to the Germanic/Scandinavian traditions of Odin. Children of yore would place their boots stuffed with carrots, straw, and sugar near the chimney to feed Odin’s flying horse. In return, Odin would replenish their footwear with gifts or candy.
Whatever the origins, the tradition is thriving today, with fireplace stockings becoming ever more ornamental and exquisite in their embroidery and design. Even as a large scale cut and sew manufacturing company, we sometimes like to take a moment to appreciate all the homemade craftsmanship and talent that is out there.
Check out our Pintrest CF Holiday Stockings board for a view of our top 5 favorite stocking decorations and a DIY guide. And from all of us here at CustomFab USA — Happy Holidays!