Christmas

Where did the lump of coal Christmas tradition start?

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2009-12-16 20:52:10
2009-12-16 20:52:10
Lump of Coal Tradition Theory:
  • It started in Holland. When a child was bad they got a lump of coal, but if they were good they got a small toy, cookies or candy.
  • There was a pervasive belief in the mid 19th century that if you were poor it was because you or your ancestors did bad things. They were poor because God was punishing them.
  • Most of England and Europe was powered by coal. Most household furnaces were coal burning. They would take coal and put it in pans under the bed to stay warm at night. So coal had value. If you were a poor kid, you were lucky to get coal that you could use to keep yourself warm on cold winter nights. The rich had nice warm houses and lots of goodies in their stockings but the poor, who were so as punishment from God for being bad were lucky to get coal.
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There is an old tradition that a lump of coal in a stocking hung up on Christmas Eve, is a sign of good luck for the coming year. It ends up in your stocking because Father Christmas put it there, of course!


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Depending on the size of the lump, a penny to a few pennies.


Traditionally, a lump of coal.


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the history of coal in a Christmas stocking is nothing more that being left of the toy list as a result of bad behavior. when stockings were being filled the the gift giver reaches down by the fireplace to the bin grabs a hunk or two coal and stuffs the naughty child's stocking while placing toys in the stockings of those children who have been a joy to their parents.


If you're good, Santa will leave toys in your shoe.If you're bad, you will get a lump of coal.This is what all parents teach their children in Holland.


Coal of the time was quite expensive. Scrooge detested expense and would put some coal on his fire in his room and barely a who lump was aloud on Bob Cratchits . Scrooge would prevent Bob using coal by placing the coal scuttle in his room so Bob did not have access to it. This is why Bob is always portrayed as warming his hands on the candle at his desk to keep warm and why Mrs Cratchit hated Scrooge


The tradition of teaching children that they would receive a lump of coal in their stockings if they were bad, began in Norway. In Norway, Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) is a Catholic Bishop accompanied by an enslaved blackamoor named "Zwarte Piet" (Black Peter in English). Complete with black woolly hair, and Al Jolsen style black-face, he is doomed to lug Santa's bag of presents as his personal elfin slave (played by children in black-face). As the legend goes, if a child has been bad, zwarte Piet will reach into his back and grab a coal and permanently turn the white child black. You can search the web for images of zwarte Peit that range from the comical to the occultic. The tradition continues as part of Nordic Christmas celebration today in the greater part of Europe, and post Colonial Central and South America, and much of the Caribbean.


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