About a week before Christmas a fellow called me and later came to the shop to buy 50 pounds of coal for his Dad who was interested in learning how to forge. It is to be a Christmas present.
It is an unusual gift and not in the same spirit as the lump of coal in the stocking tradition. I never got a lump in a stocking, although I surely deserved it once in a while. I do recall my folks talking about it.
I went to the web to see what was there to explain the origin of the practice and found this interesting link as a starter.