"He sees you when you're sleeping, He knows when you're awake;
He knows if you've been bad or good So be good for goodness sake!"
-from the song "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" by Frank Gillespie
Everyone has heard of countless superstitions, old wives' tales and myths, but I was surprised to find many holiday ones circulating around the globe. Just look above at the refrain from the popular Christmas song. Thousands of children looked behind them when they did something wrong, hoping that jolly old man didn't witness their crimes.
I grew up with a weather superstition: "If it snows by Thanksgiving, we'll have a white Christmas." My sisters and I would anxiously look out the window every day in November in hopes that there would be snow for Christmas. I found another weather myth at The Holiday Spot. "Snow on Christmas means Easter will be green."
I know better than to walk under a ladder or to cross a street after a black cat has crossed it, but some holiday myths threatening bad luck were new to me:
"Singing Christmas carols outside of the festive season is unlucky."
I personally think this warning should be extended to the month of November. In Chicago we have a radio station that starts playing Christmas Carols on Thanksgiving Day - and that's all they play until Christmas Day!
"Never give shoes to someone you love during Christmas
or they can walk out of your life in future."
In Greece, some people burn their old shoes at Christmas time to prevent bad luck in the coming year. I know someone who lives in Greece, so I'll have to ask her about this.
I don't know how kissing under the mistletoe originated, but somebody must have been refused that holiday kiss because one myth is that "If someone avoids the kiss under the mistletoe they will have bad luck." Again, my personal opinion is that you could have bad luck even when you kiss the guy, so beware!
Here are just a few more superstitions and old wives' tales that might remind you of your childhood, tickle your fancy or raise the hairs on your arm:
"A blowing wind can bring good luck during Christmas."
"The dog who screams on Christmas Eve
will go mad by the end of the year." ???
"If a rooster crows at midnight on Christmas Eve, it's a good omen"
"If Christmas Day on a Sunday fall
A troublesome Winter we shall have all."
"The doors of a home should be flung open at midnight on Christmas Eve to let out any trapped evil spirits. You can also use a broom first thing on Christmas morning to sweep out any trouble."
Who would have known how many superstitions hover over the holidays. I hope they have made you giggle and get into the holiday spirit. Do you have any interesting myths, old wives' tales or superstitions you grew up with (or are starting with your children LOL) that you can share with us? Wherever you are in the world, holidays are special times and sure to bring us cheer.