The Legend Of The Christmas Stocking
According to legend, the custom of hanging up stockings during Christmas began all the way back in the 4th century with St. Nicholas. The story told is about a nobleman who was once rich and powerful, but then came into hard times. Whether rich or poor, he was always kindly and generous to his fellow man.
His wife had passed away and he was left with a daughter who he loved very much, but could not provide her with a dowry. Without the dowry, she could not marry, which made them both very sad.
Nicholas heard of the troubles of the nobleman and one night, during the Christmas season, Nicholas threw a bag of gold through the man's window. The bag of gold landed in one of the girl's stockings that had been hung up to dry. The gold was just enough to be used as her dowry.
Since then, Children have hung their stockings up each Christmas Eve in the hope of finding treasure in them in the morning...
Another variation of the origin of this custom is related to Santa Claus. One Christmas Night, after visiting a house he was going back up the chimney when several gold coins fell out of his pocket and landed inside the children's stockings which been placed by the fire to dry.