Christmas Stockings | Nantucket, MA
Nantucket History & People

Hung by the Chimney with Care

Commonly asked questions and misunderstandings about antiques… and the odd or end fascinating bit!

Christmas Stockings | Nantucket, MA There is no written history of the origins of Christmas Stockings… but there are legends. Long ago in northern Europe children would place their boots near the chimney filled with carrots, straw, or sugar for Odin’s flying horse. The Norse god would thank those children by refilling their boots with gifts or candy. When Christianity spread across Europe, the legend of Saint Nicholas providing a poor widower with dowries for his daughters was told far and wide: the Turkish bishop threw three bags of gold through their window, landing directly into their stockings which had been hung by the fire to dry.

Whatever the origin, the custom was embraced, and, at one point, almost surpassed the Christmas tree itself. Children around the world still hang their stockings or put out their shoes to be filled with candy, fruits and nuts, money, little gifts… or coal!

Antiques Snippets are provided by Jack Fritsch, proprietor of the Antiques Depot at 2 S. Beach Street (across from the Nantucket Yacht Club)

Articles by Date from 2012