Thursday, December 13, 2012


Most of us are familiar with the lines in ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ poem:

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there

However, how many of us know, as Paul Harvey would say … the rest of the story?

There was a kindly nobleman whose wife had died of an illness leaving the nobleman and his three daughters in despair. After losing all his money in useless and bad inventions, the family had to move into a peasant's cottage where the daughters did their own cooking, sewing, and cleaning.

Legend says, when it came time for the daughters to marry, the father became even more depressed because his girls had no dowries, money, and property given to the new husbands’ family. One night, the daughters had washed out their clothing and hung their stockings over the fireplace to dry.

However, a miracle happened one cold December night. Saint Nicholas, knowing the despair of the father, stopped by the nobleman's house. Looking in the window he saw the family had gone to bed and noticed the dangling stockings. Inspiration struck Saint Nicholas. He took three small bags of gold from his pouch and threw them one by one down the chimney. Each landed in the stockings. This afforded the nobleman to see his daughters’ weddings and to live a long, happy life surrounded by adoring grandchildren.

All over the world, the tradition continued at Christmas. In France, children place their shoes by the fireplace which dates back to peasants wore wooden shoes. Children in Holland fill their shoes with hay and a carrot for the horse of Sintirklass. In Hungary, they shine their shoes before putting them near the door or a windowsill. Italian children leave their shoes out the night before Epiphany, January 5, for La Befana the good witch. However, in Puerto Rico children put greens and flowers in small boxes and place them under their beds for the camels of the Three Kings.

Whether you prepare socks, shoes, or boxes, have YOU considered the possibility of making a ‘miracle’ happen for someone this Christmas?