Odin stuffs a mean stocking

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Everyone has their own way of celebrating the holiday season. Rather than being politically correct and mentioning each and every one of them, I am going to focus on the one I know the most about: Christmas. Not that I have anything against other cultures and their rich heritages, I just feel I can’t properly do justice to something I know so little about. And the research would take longer than I am able to do. As a result, Christmas stockings!

Christmas stockings are thought to come from a variety of origins. The earliest one I have found involved children filling their boots full of carrots, sugar or straw for Odin’s horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Odin, thankful that children remembered how awesome his horse was (it had eight legs and could fly), proceeded to fill the boots with candy and gifts. When Christianity rolled through Europe, Odin changed to St. Nicholas. Jolly old St. Nick spied a poor family whose father didn’t have dowry money for his three daughters. Nobody was able to help, as the father was too proud to accept charity. St. Nick waited until nightfall climbed down the chimney with three bags of gold. Looking for a place to hide them, he spied the household’s socks drying above the fireplace. Into the stockings went the gold, they all lived happily ever after and a Christmas tradition was born. Or evolved, depending on which historian you ask.

Today, everyone who celebrates Christmas puts stockings on a mantelpiece, or the focal point of their living room. Said stockings are then filled with fancy candy canes, small gifts or other “stocking stuffers.” Christmas joy ensues.

There are a variety of stocking types, felt, silk or wool Christmas stockings. A good stocking should last for years, while a bad one will be torn apart in minutes. Christmas stockings come in Christmas colors, expect to see a lot of red and green. If that isn’t enough of a statement for you, there are options for personalization. Custom Christmas stockings will run anywhere from ten to forty bucks, but expect to make a big statement.

So whoever you believe in, make sure you’re ready this holiday season. Don’t make poor, eight-legged Sleipnir go hungry another year.

The author, Frank, is firmly in the Odin camp. His shoes are stuffed with carrots and sugar cubes.

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