One of the most beautiful traditions at Christmas time, for those of us fortunate to have a fireplace, is to put socks decorated with Christmas motifs so that Santa Claus leaves our gifts. But do you know where this tradition that has spread to the whole world comes from? Here we tell you this tender legend.


Chimneys have always been the gathering place of the family and in ancient times, they were the place where socks, shoes and other clothing were hung to dry them with the heat of the fire.

And as we all know, Santa Park his sleigh on the rooftops and enter the houses through the chimneys to leave Christmas presents. By going down and finding the beautiful socks of bright colors, each with the name of the inhabitants of the home, it becomes easier for you to know where to place each gift.

The origin of this tradition has two versions dating from the Middle Ages and tell us about the goodness of humanity. A perfect topic to talk about now that Christmas arrives.

Who is Santa Claus?

Santa Claus, also known as St. Nicholas, and familiarly called Santa was a man known for his charity and generosity. On December 6 his feast is celebrated and it is customary to give sweets to children.

The socks were hung on the fireplaces for the feast of St. Nicholas and the custom is to leave them until Christmas Day when they will be full of the gifts that Santa left us on Christmas Eve.

Legends worth telling

One version, the least known, tells that there was a very wealthy and generous man named Nicolás who always offered his selfless help to the most needy and who saved a father from having to give up his daughters in exchange for the debts he had accumulated.

The other version tells us that in a country in Europe, a wealthy and good man, had the misfortune of losing his beloved wife. His sadness was so deep that he decided to distribute all his fortune among the poorest.

This man was the father of three beautiful daughters and lived happily, without luxuries and with limited resources, until they fell in love and when the time came to get married, the grieving father did not have for the dowry of any of his daughters and his suitors did not have enough money to celebrate the weddings.

Santa Claus, who is always on the lookout for those who do good, could not overlook the kindness of this loving father and decided to give each of the girls a gold coin.

On Christmas night St. Nicholas dropped down the chimney of the house of this charitable family, the three coins that rolled until entering some socks that they had left hanging to dry in front of the fire.

The next morning, when the family woke up, the girls went to pick up their already dry socks and were surprised. St. Nicholas had left them the gift that would make their dreams of being united in marriage with their betrothed come true.

A living tradition: hanging your socks on the fireplace to receive gifts there

From these legends is born the tradition of hanging Christmas socks on the fireplace that until today has remained alive and that has spread throughout the world, because it is no longer only followed in Anglo-Saxon countries, but also in many Latin countries.

In centuries past, children hung one of their daily socks on the fireplace. At present the socks are specially made for the occasion; each of them with beautiful ornaments and allegorical decorations.

put socks in fireplace for Christmas

There are gifts for everyone

The Christmas tradition of putting socks in fireplaces has been maintained through the centuries. It evolves with the times, but it never stops exciting us adults and children, hanging them up and on Christmas morning finding what Santa Claus has left us.

Christmas is an occasion for family and friends to get together again. Have dinner together and play with the children in a family atmosphere of joy and happiness. Sing Christmas carols in the heat of the fire sharing our best wishes.

Do not hesitate to give your fireplace its prominence as the focal point of your home and family reunion center. Decorate it with the Christmas socks and she will give you in return, wrapped in the warmth of fire, the magic and joy of Christmas.

Ah! Don’t forget to place it next to your fireplace, along with socks, food and drink for St. Nicholas and some carrots for reindeer. Santa can rest for a few minutes in the heat of the fire, before continuing with his journey.

Merry Christmas!

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By Catharine Bwana