Santa, The Jig Is Up

Santa, I’m on to you. Who’s been naughty or nice? I have an answer to that question.

It appears that the orange that people put in their stockings has its own story…and it’s huge! I think this is the closest I’ll ever get to solving the mysteries of the Universe and Everything.

First, the supposed story of the orange goes something like this. Bishop Nicholas wanted to help a poor man by providing a dowry for his three, lovely daughters. Because the poor man did not accept charity, Bishop Nicholas secretly threw bags of gold coins down their chimney, which magically landed in their stockings hung by the fireplace. These bags of gold transformed into balls of gold, which are now symbolized by oranges.

They they are again. Suspicious oranges.
There they are again. Suspicious oranges.

Not so fast, Nicholas. Why all the secrets, huh? You say it’s because the father didn’t want to accept charity, but how did you come across three bags of gold? Maybe it was you who wanted to keep it a secret. Never mind that the dowry was for a woman who would marry someone else. That’s beside the point. I think our friend Nicolas was trying to impress a lady. I’m going to go out on a limb here, because I feel it in my bones, and say that Nicholas did this for a woman with intentions that weren’t altogether pure. He did this for a love that he could not have.

But, alas, this was the next best thing…to see her have happiness. He watched her from a distance and threw himself into gift giving.

And, now, we’re all running around like rabbits, trying to fulfill his hidden agenda, anxious and stressed out. All for the sake of a woman. Yes, it all makes sense now. It’s crystal clear. St. Nick, consider yourself found out. I bet you never thought I would reveal this on a blog with readers that could number in the millions. It could happen.

I imagine now that I have revealed this story, there will be a mad rush to make a documentary or, perhaps, an Academy award-winning film. Of course, this won’t happen. No one would ever produce it because Christmas would be ruined for the kids.

But for the record, the first gift of Christmas was cold, hard cash in the form of gold coins. My oldest son has requested cash for Christmas. First, he requested books, which I was happy about until I learned he wants them in hardcover only. I explained hardcover cost quite a bit more than the soft cover. He, however, wants the hardcover for his collection that he will hand down to his kids. Such a manipulator. Just the books, oh, and some cash, in addition to some gifts he assumes he’s getting.

Oh, he can have some cash. Here darling, how about all that I have left? Here’s a dollar. That will get you half a candy bar, which will taste as good as a whole one. If that isn’t enough to satisfy you, look deeper into your stocking…you can have that orange.

Nicholas, Saint, jolly man…I hope it was worth it.

40 thoughts on “Santa, The Jig Is Up

  1. Interesting to learn that the first gift of Christmas was cash. Guess the love of money transcends time. Since I’m currently in the midst of fighting a cold, I’d prefer a stocking full of oranges. Rather load up on vitamin C than coins!


  2. My 85 year old father brings up the orange and walnuts that were in his stocking every year–the only time he had fruit because it was so expensive. Didn’t know he was part of the legend!


    1. I didn’t know much about the orange, just that I always got one! It was never discussed, and I started putting them in my kids’ stockings, just because. I didn’t give it much thought either. My husband thought I was crazy. Then I saw this display and did research. Voila! Of course, there’s a history. It’s funny how things get carried down out of habit!


  3. Love this, Amy! Great blog. I’m going to stick an orange or two in my son’s stockings and tell them it’s liquid gold. I should record their reactions too because I’m fairly certain there will be an eye roll or two. Probably two.


    1. Thanks, Justine! I know, my kids ignore their orange every year. I think I end up eating the orange. I’d love to see your kids’ reaction. If it’s from Santa….maybe they’ll think twice about it.


  4. Don’t forget in medieval times the rich people would use oranges to mask the revolting scent of the peasants. You can’t trust oranges. Especially those “cutie” ones that cost ten times as much as a bigger orange. What is up with that?

    And Bishop Nick, shame on you. Brings new meaning to “I see you when you’re sleeping . . . “


    1. Yes, beware of the oranges! I wouldn’t mind if they turned back into gold though. I love the “cuties” but it seems whenever I get them, they’re sour, so they’re not so cute after all! Bishop Nick 🙂 who knew?


  5. The orange in the stocking was tradition in our family. It was a treat as oranges were very expensive in Canada at that time of year way back when. It also brings back some wonderful memories of Christmases with my Mom as a child. I can tell you I would give you all those bags of gold and more to have her around to put an orange in my stocking.


    1. Michelle, yes, we too had long tradition of oranges in our stocking. I started doing it with my kids out of habit. I understand they’re a huge treat for a lot of people, and something I probably take for granted living in California. My heart goes out to you about your mother. I’m happy this brought back some good memories. Will your grandchildren have oranges in their stockings? I hope so.


      1. I actually don’t have any kids … so no grandkids. I’m pretty sure my sisters did the orange thing with their kids but I don’t know if it got carried on any further. I don’t usually see anyone until long after the stockings are done. 😉


      2. Oh, forgive me, Michelle. I see that you have a niece and nephew! I’m going to try to keep the orange tradition going. Maybe one day, my kids will just do it and not even wonder why like I did! Until now, of course.


      3. No worries, nothing to forgive. I have lots of nieces and nephews that I “borrow” when I need a kid. It works out fine. 😉


  6. Just for the record, my sister and I HATED the orange in the stocking toe. It took up precious space for cooler treats and toys. Your kids will tell you later about this. Don’t say you haven’t been forewarned.
    Wasn’t it Sally, Charlie Brown’s sister, who was asking Santa for tens and twenties?
    (You got a typo on your subtitle for your picture)
    Love ya’,


    1. Shalagh, I always enjoyed the orange, but I’m probably the only one in my family who did. I’m still doing it for my kids! If they don’t eat the orange, I will. Yes, Sally was all about the money.


  7. Interesting. I never heard of the orange in the stocking. Growing up, I had to leave my shoes near the front door and in the morning there would be a popcorn ball in each one. I’ll have to get to the bottom of where the heck that came from.


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