In fact, historians are unclear about exactly when and where the tradition started. Perhaps the earliest origin is a 4th century story about a nobleman who spent all his money providing food for his three daughters during a time of famine. This kind-hearted man even sold his land and moved into a small cottage, using the money to buy bread for the local villagers. On a trip to market his three daughters met and fell in love with three handsome men, but they were unable to marry unless they had large dowries. The plight of the impoverished noble man reached the ears of a travelling preacher, Saint Nicholas, and the story goes that Nicholas knew the good man would be too proud to accept charity, so he waited until the household slept, crept in and filled the daughters stockings with gold coins as they hung up to dry by the fire…providing a dowry and a happy ending.
The idea of Santa Claus bringing presents came to
Just bear in mind, that this was provisional on good behaviour. Badly behaved children might well find not presents, but a lump of coal at the bottom of their stockings….
Wishing you all a very happy and healthy Christmas!