Oranges in the Christmas Stocking

10/12/2019 07:56

We all love the vision of the homely, glowing open fire with the traditional fireplace surround,  covered with a decorative garland and the Christmas stockings hanging down ready for Santa to fill them with lots of yummy candy and chocolate treats. But, where did the early tradition of Christmas stockings start and why were they filled with oranges and nuts? 

Well, legend has it that St Nicholas who became known as the patron of children and magical gift bringer because of many stories from his life. The most popular one being how he secretly delivered three bags of gold to a poverty stricken father of three daughters to save them from a very difficult life ahead of them. And as the story goes, one bag of gold landed in a stocking and so the tradition began! 

So why oranges and not gold? Well, of course we can all have gold coins in our stockings - especially the Milk Chocolate ones!

The Christmas oranges represent the gold in the legend, and, in times of the great depression during the 1930s, oranges were a scarce treat, so were deemed a special gift indeed. It is said that the segments of the orange represents the ability to share with others and, in our modern times, we continue this sharing theme with products such as Beech’s Chocolate Orange Creams, Chocolate Orange Fudge, Barnetts Sherbet Orange Sweets that we can give (or receive).



Looking back to the Victorian Christmas stocking, you would find that Santa Claus will have delivered a stocking full of homemade gifts such as jams, jellies and preserves all prepared during the summer months and the all important homemade sweets like Peanut Brittle and Fudge


Moving on in time to the war year Christmas stockings,  the Ministry Of Food announced that ‘a half pound of sweets’ could be included. ‘Woman’ magazine in December 1944 advised:- ‘one of the nicest presents to give (or to receive) is a half pound of homemade sweets’. It must have been a real treat to receive a sweet gift at the time of severe food rationing. And as time marched on into the 1950’s, the orange was still a part of the Christmas stocking, but also new sweet treats were being introduced - Sugar Mice, Chocolate gifts and Liquorice sweets were very popular during this decade. 



And now in the 21st Century, we still follow the traditions of the past by filling stockings with our favourite sweet treats and although we may not place an orange in the stocking, we enjoy the symbolism that the humble orange fruit represents; by giving and receiving of a chocolate or candy gift. At Appleton Sweets we have a wonderful stock of confectionary that, at this time of year, with all the bright lights, the seasonal special aromas of sweet candy and spices; evokes memories for all of your customers who are looking at your shelves of beautifully packed confectionary gifts such as a luxury Chocolate Liquer Selection, the deliciously delicate and soft chocolate covered Turkish Delight, Walkers Milk Chocolate Fruit and Nuts and the luxury Belgian Chocolate Fishing set (perfect for Anglers of all ages!)


Posted By Matt Appleton
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