By Andrew Hind for The Sideroads
Ornaments sparkle on green branches, bushy wreaths hang from doors, and big bows dress up garlands. Everywhere you look, there's the sparkle of silver and gold making spirits bright. And there, hanging upon the mantle just as they have been for centuries, are stockings with trim of white, bringing a nostalgic glow to adult faces and expectant smiles to little ones.
Hanging stockings on the fireplace mantle is as much a part of the Christmas celebration as having the beautifully decorated tree. Though in modern times the stocking is most often used as a place to put smaller presents that might normally get lost under the tree, it's role throughout history has been as varied as the many legends associated with its origins.