A SUPERMARKET is hoping to revive a Christmas tradition which has almost been forgotten.

Morrisons, in Dovercourt, has handed out hundreds of oranges to parents to put in their children’s stockings and encourage them to tell the story behind it.

On Saturday, the oranges wrapped in Christmas tissue paper were given out with a story-card telling the history of the tradition so that parents can read it to their children ahead of the big day.

The tradition can be traced back to a story about Father Christmas who dropped three gold coins down a poor family’s chimney for them to find in the morning.

They landed in the children’s’ socks which were hanging by the fire to dry, and the oranges we receive today are a symbol of the gold left in the stockings.

Patricia Webb, store manager at Morrisons, in Garland Road, Dovercourt, said: “Like putting out carrots for Rudolph, oranges in stockings is part of the magic of Christmas.

“We want to help keep these traditions alive and help Harwich’s parents pass on the stories behind them to their children. And if Father Christmas wants to swing by and pick up an extra sack of oranges we’ll be happy to help.”