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Why Do We Hang Christmas Stockings?

For those of us who do hang Christmas stockings, have you ever wondered why?</br></br>The easy answer is <em>tradition</em>, of course. Well, that and the fact that they make an exceptional place to stuff extra holiday goodies. But, as with any tradition, there’s more to the story when it comes to <a title="Christmas Stockings" href="http://www.atgstores.com/christmas-stockings_17278.html" target="_blank">Christmas stockings</a>.</br></br><strong>An Empty Stocking</strong></br></br>The funny thing about the Christmas-stocking story is that, as far as anyone can tell, that’s all it ever was – a story. So many of our traditions spring from symbolism: Easter eggs symbolize new life, Christmas trees represent eternal life and Halloween masks were traditionally worn to “trick” the spirits of the dead into leaving the wearer alone.</br></br>The Christmas stocking, on the other hand, has no larger meaning behind it. It is a unique tradition in that its only symbolism is manifested in the thing itself – an empty stocking. As kids today might say, it’s all very <em>meta</em>.</br></br><strong>A Stockingly Sad Story</strong></br></br>There are a few different versions of the stocking story floating about in the annals of history, the details of which range from touchingly sad to weirdly awful.</br></br>The basic yarn is that St. Nick hears of a poor man who worries about how to support his three loving daughters, and so the jolly gift-giver drops three bags of gold down the man’s chimney – which so happen to land in one of each of the girls’ stockings that were hung there to dry (presumably with care).</br></br>Aw, isn’t that heartwarming? Yet, for whatever reason, it apparently wasn’t sad enough, which is why other versions portray the man as a depressed, jobless widower worried that his daughters would be forced to turn to prostitution because he couldn’t afford their dowries.</br></br>This may be the oldest evidence of why some sequels should never be made.</br></br><a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes all of your Christmas stockings are filled with cheer this year.
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