“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicolas soon would be there.”
Twas the Night Before Christmas, Clement Clark Moore
Stockings On The Mantle
Have you ever wondered how the tradition of hanging stockings for Santa Claus began? As many traditions do, this one sprang from an old legend passed down from generation to generation. It all began with a very poor man and his three beautiful daughters, back in the day when marriages were arranged and dowries were required to seal the deal. The father, being very poor, could not raise adequate dowries to ensure his daughters suitable husbands. He feared after his death his beautiful girls would become even poorer than they were, with no one to look out for them.

Passing through the village where the girls lived, St. Nicolas overheard people talking about their fate. He heard how proud the father was and how he wouldn’t accept charity. After hearing their story, St. Nicolas decided to help.

That night, he crept to the house and threw three bags of gold through a crack in the window. The bags landed in the girls’ stockings hung by the fireplace near the window to dry.

The next morning the girls found the gold and showed it to their father. He was overjoyed and overcome with relief. The girls soon married and lived happily ever after.

The story has long since faded, but the tradition of hanging stockings remains. Candy, small toys, and fruit were some of the earliest treats children found in their Christmas stocking. Some families open their stocking gifts on Christmas Eve, others wait until all the gifts have been opened on Christmas morning. One family I knew put a gift a day in the stocking for the twelve days leading up to Christmas. However your family embraces the tradition, the gifts on our Stocking Stuffer guide are sure to please!

For the Kiddos

Bike Airplane – what kid doesn’t want to feel like he’s flying? May even be true of a big kid on your list!

Under $6 at UG White

Paddle Ball – turn off the screen and engage their hand/eyes in some old school fun. Caution: Make sure they are out of range of the Christmas tree and Grandma’s favorite decorations!

Under $6 at UG White

Chocolate Goodies – sure you could fill their stockings with candy bars OR you could pick up these

Sally's Whistle Sweet Shop

beautiful treats from Sally’s Sweet Shop in Madison. Under $4.00 at Sally’s Whistle Stop Sweet Shop

Duck Bath Light – not just any rubber ducky. This one adds a little light to bath time fun. Under $20.00 at Sweet Pineapple

For the Host/Hostess

garlic magic

The Original Savory – turn ordinary crackers into a party

Under $7 at UG White

Garlic Magic – Free the cook from peeling garlic or digging out the bits of garlic that cling to the press. We love this nifty garlic press. Simply put the clove of garlic in the sleeve, roll on the counter, and the peel comes right off. Sandra swears by hers! Under $10 at Williams Sonoma

Herb Scissors by Sagaform – take the work out of meal prep

Under $10 at Lawren’s Gifts

For Everyone

Canvas Pouch


Canvas Pouch ­– Help him embrace the Boy Scouts motto “Be Prepared” with this canvas pouch for backpack, favorite mode of transportation, hobby bench or diaper bag. Under $20 Sweet Pineapple

Scents Handled – No one wants to know we go. But when nature calls, Poo-Pourri makes the experience a bit sweeter for everyone! Their suitemates and spouses will thank you. Under $20 Sweet Pineapple

Clean Screens – Get your screen squeaky clean and sanitized too using NASA technology to clean your phone, iPad or e-reader. Thanks NASA! Under $20 The Grommet

Double Giving – Give your guy a gift from Duke Cannon – soap, shaving cream, or hand repair. Duke Cannon slogan is “Inspired by soldiers. Benefitting Veterans.” A portion of the proceeds goes to Honor Flight, Military Working Dog Team Support Association, K9’s for Warriors, and the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football team.

For more on the story of the three maidens and history of St. Nicolas, visit

the St. Nicolas Center Webpage

#Holiday #GiftsForHer #GiftsForHim #GiftsForKids

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