The tradition of Christmas stockings also began with coins. There are countless versions of the story, but this one is delightful, and starts with St. Nicholas. A 4th Century Greek saint, he was also rich as his wealthy parents had died when he was young.
He loved giving gifts to those less fortunate, preferably in secret, and heard about a local nobleman who had lost both his wife and his money, and had moved into a peasants’ cottage with his three daughters, all of marriageable age. In those days, a girl needed a dowry to offer the groom’s parents, and this poor family had barely enough to eat.
St. Nicholas knew they were too proud to accept charity. On spotting that the girls had hung their stockings to dry on the chimney ledge St Nicolas decided to climb down the chimney and put a bag of silver coins into the oldest girl’s stocking. On the next visit he placed coins into the second daughter’s stocking. The third time, the grateful father hid in the room and caught St. Nicholas in the act.
Although St. Nicholas begged him to keep it a secret, word soon got out, and everyone started to hang their stockings, hoping for a visit from St. Nicholas. Of course, his generosity meant that all three daughters could marry, and everyone was happy ever after, especially the nobleman! Thank you to the Royal Mint website for the main content of this story. www.royalmint.com, and if you would like to give someone the gift of a gold sovereign this Christmas please contact me for the latest price.