Palmer Coking Coal Co. in Black Diamond offers 'lumps of coal' to raise money for Vine Maple Place

For six years, Palmer Coking Coal Co. has made a tradition of giving out free "lumps of coal" to those Christmas shoppers looking for a funny gift or gag.

Palmer's goal is to raise funds for Vine Maple Place.

A donation box isavailable for those willing to support this local, non-profit organization providing home for single parents with children.

In traditional English folklore, a lump of coal was left in stockings hung over the fireplace of those who had been naughty the previous year.

In Italy on the evening of the day after Christmas children would be visited by a good witch named Strega Buffana (derived from the word 'epiphany') who flew on a broom and give treats for good children, but lumps of coal for the mischievous.

In Denmark, children put a shoe out on Christmas night with the good receiving chocolate and the badly behaved getting coal.

The Scottish New Year's tradition holds that if a tall dark stranger comes through your door carrying a lump of coal, you're in for good luck.

Another legend suggests the lump of coal is the fuel that warms eternity for the misbegotten.

If you know someone "naughty" deserving of a lump of coal in their stocking, stop by Palmer Coking Coal located at 31407 Highway 169 in Black Diamond and pick up a free gift-wrapped piece of coal and make a donation to the children helped by Vine Maple Place.

Although the company no longer sells coal, Palmer is one of south King County's largest providers of landscape products including sand, gravel, rock, topsoil, beauty bark, play chips, lava rock and compost.

To learn more about the company and their retail products,visit their website at or call 425-432ยท4700.

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