A heartwarming tradition of hanging Christmas stockings over a fireplace started near the end of the 19th century. While there is no written records of the origin of this custom, there are popular legends that explains this tradition and the story below is a very good example.

Once, there was a kindly nobleman whose wife had died of an illness leaving the nobleman and his three daughters in despair. After losing all his money in useless and bad inventions the family had to move into a peasant’s cottage, where the daughters did their own cooking, sewing and cleaning.

When it came time for the daughters to marry, the father became even more depressed as his daughters could not marry without dowries, money and property given to the new husband’s family.

One night after the daughters had washed out their clothing they hung their Christmas stockings over the fireplace to dry. That night Saint Nicholas, knowing the despair of the father, stopped by the nobleman’s house. Looking in the window Saint Nicholas saw that the family had gone to bed. He also noticed the daughters stockings. Inspiration struck Saint Nicholas and he took three small bags of gold from his pouch and threw them one by one down the chimney and they landed in the stockings. 

The next morning when the daughters awoke they found their stockings contained enough gold for them to get married. The nobleman was able to see his three daughters marry and he lived a long and happy life.

If you would like to begin the tradition of hanging a Christmas socking over a fireplace but don’t have one,  you don’t need to have a contractor tear up your living room to install one. Modern fireplaces can be literally installed in about an hour and it can be done by you, saving you money on labor cost. Or if you have an existing fireplace  but want to go green, using a fireplace insert is the perfect option. Ventless fireplace emits  no soot, it’s real fire without the wood.