Christmas stocking – level 3
By popular belief, the Christmas stocking tradition came from the legends of old Saint Nicholas.
A family in his village had three daughters, and they were too poor to pay for their dowries for marriage. Nicholas was a generous man, and one evening, he dropped a bag of gold down the chimney or through a window. It fell into a hanging stocking which was drying.
The next year, Nicholas gave the same gift for the second daughter, and the third year, he gave the same gift for the third daughter. The third year, the girl’s father stayed up all night to see if something suspicious was happening. Then the legend of Saint Nicholas spread.
Over the years, the tradition has taken many shapes and sizes, from high-knee socks to boot-size stockings that many people hang in their homes today. Some countries often include an orange or tangerine in the toe to symbolize Saint Nicholas’s original gold gift. Other cultures leave shoes by the fireplace or outside their doors to receive gifts.
Difficult words: dowry (an amount of property or money that a bride brings to her husband on their marriage), suspicious (questionable).
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