We've uncovered four explanations for how the tradition of placing an orange in stockings came to be.
1. St. Nicholas and his sacks of gold.
One explanation for this tradition stretches back hundreds of years to St. Nicholas, who was born in what is now present-day Turkey. He inherited a large sum of money, but devoted his life to helping others, and eventually became a bishop.
According to the story, St. Nicholas learned of a poor man who wasn't able to find suitors for his three daughters because he didn't have money for a dowry. St. Nicholas traveled to the house, and tossed three sacks of gold down the chimney for each of the dowries. The gold happened to land in each of the girls' stockings which were hanging by the fire to dry. The oranges we receive today are a symbol of the gold that was left in the stockings.
2. A treat during the Great Depression.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, money was tight, and many families simply didn't have the means to buy gifts. Instead, it was such a treat, even a luxury, to find things like a sweet orange or some walnuts in your stocking on Christmas.
3. Oranges were once a scarce treat.
Some also offer the idea that fresh oranges were hard to come by, especially in the north, so finding one of these fruits in your stocking was a huge treat, and a way of celebrating the holiday.
4. It's the season of giving.
Another theory behind the tradition is that December is the season of giving, and the orange segments represent the ability to share what you have with others.
perfect base for hearty, cold busting soup or stew
No plastic Shopping bags here....
Please bring your own re-useable shopping bag. If you forgot, you could buy a lovely reusable bag from us, or we can supply you with a cardboard box. If you REALLY want a bag, you can buy a recycled paper one for a quarter, and we will donate any proceeds to the local food bank. A step toward a smaller ecological footprint....