Right now we’re running a fantastic competition, where you can win £50 of Coals2U vouchers, and we’ll send a piece of coal to a person of your choice (hopefully) in time for Christmas. All you need to do is tell us why that person deserves a piece of coal.
Click here to enter, and read on for more information...
But we are looking for funny stories only folks!
It’s far too merry a time for tales of woe, so let us know about the colleagues who pinch your biscuits, the partner who records your shower singing, or the friend who’s gone one bad joke too far.
Why send someone a piece of coal for Christmas?
Many of us in Britain grew up in fear of receiving nothing but a lump of coal in our Christmas stocking. Of course many of us don’t even hang stockings more, but we’ll still happily tell a child to ‘behave or Santa will only give you coal for Christmas’.
Where does sending coal for Christmas come from?
When we were researching the tradition of giving coal for Christmas, we found stories originating from numerous places, but the general consensus was that the tradition, or rather, the ‘threat’ most likely began in Holland or Italy.
Coal could be left in a stocking to punish greed. One story tells us that there was once a nobleman who had three daughters, but no money to provide a dowry for any of them to marry. The kind St Nicholas visited the house, and left enough money for the girls to marry in their stockings, which were drying by the fire. Once word had spread, other people began leaving their stockings by the fire in the hope that they too would be visited. But for those undeserving, St Nicholas would leave only a piece of coal.
Another (more terrifying) story, is that naughty children would receive coal as a reminded that they would be burned (in Hell!) for their wrongdoing.
A simpler tale, is that when Santa arrives at a house and sees that the child’s name is not on his ‘Good’ list, he reaches down and removes a piece of coal from the fireplace, and places that in the child’s stocking in place of a toy.
In Europe in the 1800s, it was a different story. Poor children would be lucky to get a piece of coal for Christmas, as they would be able to burn it in a pan under their bed to keep them warm at night!
If you’ve heard any other origins of receiving coal for Christmas, please let us know, we’d be interested to hear them.
If you know someone who deserves a piece of coal for Christmas, tell us why, and we’ll reward the sender of the funniest story* with a £50 Coals2U voucher, and send the offending person their very own piece of coal for Christmas!
Two runners up will receive a £20 voucher each, and a piece of coal sent to a person of their choice.
*All stories will be shared anonymously on our website. This competition is to be held in good taste, and in good humour, and any stories containing vulgarity, swearing, or cruelty will not be published. Voucher codes will be delivered via email, and can be used for online orders only. We will send a single piece of coal and a personalised message to the person of your choice via standard post. Unfortunately due to reasons beyond our control, we cannot guarantee that the coal will reach the recipient before the 25th of December, although we will make every reasonable effort to ensure that it does. The competition will close on Wednesday the 18th of December, and the winner and runner ups will be announced on Thursday the 19th of December. Winners and runners up will be responsible for providing the name and address of the recipient of the coal.