When you look through your Christmas stocking each year, do you find an orange (or clementine) waiting for you at the bottom? It's a popular tradition for many families and, in case you didn't already know, there's a cool meaning behind it all. Here are four possible explanations:
1. St. Nicholas and His Sacks of Gold
This explanation goes back hundreds of years. According to the story, St. Nicholas, who devoted his life to helping others, had learned of a poor man who didn't have any money for his three daughters' dowries. Thus, he was unable to find them any suitors! So, to help him, St. Nicholas traveled to his home and left three sacks of gold (one for each dowry). The oranges people receive today in their stockings are a symbol of the gold St. Nicholas gave to this man! A symbol of giving!
2. A Treat during the Great Depression
During the Great Depression, not many stockings were being stuffed. Money was tight and the most somebody could look forward to was a sweet orange being gifted to them. It was such a treat to these people and proved that little things like an orange can make somebody's day.
3. Oranges Were Once Scarce
Another possible explanation as to why you might find an orange in your Christmas stocking is the fact that it's so accessible now. For a long time, oranges were hard to come by. So, back then, if you got one of these fruits in your stocking, it was a wonderful treat and really made the holiday celebration special!
4. Tis the Season of Giving
Lastly, it's Christmas time! The color orange is thought to represent warmth and so giving an orange represents your ability to share what you have with other people!
Did you ever find an orange/clementine inside your Christmas stocking?