Christmas is a time for family, fun and food.            

– Desiree Panlilio

 Have you ever wondered why we hang fancy stockings on the fireplace mantle at Christmas to then wake up on Christmas morning to find them filled with tiny gifts? It was a tradition I always found interesting. More interesting is why my parents would tell me if I behaved badly they would put coal in my stocking. What nonsense was that.

Well, according to the Smithsonian, it began because of a poor widower who was worried he would not be able to marry off his daughters. The need to have a dowry was a real concern many years ago. Thank goodness that tradition has long since passed. The legend goes that St. Nicholas wanted to help this poor widower in the village as he was passing through. However, this man was not the type to accept charity. So instead…St. Nicholas slid down the chimney of this house and filled the girls’ recently washed stocking with gold coins. The stockings, believe it or not, were drying by the fire, and the tradition of hanging stockings by the fire came into vogue. The gold coins also allowed for the girls to have a dowry and to be married. I am not sure how much truth there is to that tale, but it is a story with a happy ending. I enjoy stories with happy endings.

I want to wish all my families a happy and safe New Year. To be grateful for all that we have and to look forward to another year of creating goals and charting your pathway to success and growth.