I’d Like To Know
Q I had my grandchildren staying over, and as you might imagine, the excitement is growing for Santa’s visit. They asked me why we hang up stockings and I didn’t have an answer for them. Can you shed light on it? Mrs A.W., Liverpool. A It’s all down to St Nicholas, as far as we can tell. With no written record of how the tradition first began, one popular tale is that a widowed father was struggling to provide for his ththree ddaughters.ht With stockings t ki hung up to dry over the fireplace, and knowing that the family were poor, St Nicholas dropped coins down the chimney which landed in the stockings. Children then began hanging stockings up in the hope of similar rewards.
The Christmas stocking is mentioned in the poem, “A Visit From St Nicholas”, which was originally published in 1823.
The opening verse reads:
’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
Q My husband and I still very much enjoy watching reruns of “Last Of The Summer Wine”. Have the actors who play Marina and Howard made appearances in any other TV roles? Mrs I.C., Barnstaple. A Yes, they have. Jean Fergusson (Marina) and Robert Fyfe (Howard) have both appeared in TV soap “Coronation Street”. Jean also starred in the comedy “Run For Your Wife”, while Robert appeared in the movie “Around The World In 80 Days”. Q The festivities aren’t complete for me without listening to Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas”, but my friend says the song wasn’t first aired in the movie of the same name. Is this correct? Miss D.W., Bolton. A The movie “White Christmas” came out in 1954. However, Crosby sang the Irving Berlin song on his radio show “The Kraft Music Hall” on Christmas Day, 1941, and again in the movie “Holiday Inn” (1942).