A Germanic tradition, the hanging of the stocking predates the Christianization of Europe. The Norse story of Odin’s horse called ‘Sleipnir’. Sleipnir is the best of all horse and the child of Loki. In the lore, the eight legged horse is ridden to Asgard & Hel.
Local custom celebrating the Sleipnir’s travels included admirers leaving stockings full of carrots, grain and sugar for Sleipnir. After passing by and enjoying the food, Sleipnir would leave small gifts or candy in return.
After the religious change in German & Sweden, the tradition lived on with the Christian version of Saint Nicholas traveling by eating cookie and milk left by children, then filling stockings with small gifts and candy.
Christmas stockings have increased in size with the standard sized stocking fitting a large giant’s foot. The challenge for Saint Nick or any helper who would fill them is to fine just the right small gifts. Fun trinkets, silly toys and some yummy candy bring smiles to those pulling the boodle from the sock.
Our Christmas morning celebration includes the surprise of filled stockings each year. Our particular stockings were lovingly made by grandma and are cherished by our young ones.