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Because of its placement on the calendar and this holiday’s significance in many cultures as the beginning of Winter, it’s not surprising to discover that there were dozens of superstitions and folkways tied to Christmas.

The thought was that if one wished to enter New Years with the best possible luck and providence in their pocket, following these traditions would create a great foundation. So what do we need to do for a great holiday and great year according to tradition?

Well, start your season by cutting a Yule log and bringing it in to burn. Light it with a remnant of the previous year’s log. The longer the log burns the better fortune it generates.

Similarly, this holiday of lights promotes candles. Leave these to burn throughout Christmas day to chase any shadows that linger in your life neatly away. Should either the candle flame or the Yule log go out, it’s a bad omen for the coming year.

As a time when sweet-tooth’s can get plenty of goodies, those of you who like desserts will be happy to know that eating Christmas cake (on Christmas Eve), mince pies (likewise Christmas eve) and Christmas pudding all improves serendipity in your life.

Be aware, however, that snitching before Christmas Eve or day will not only remove your luck, but probably make the household cook pretty angry! With Christmas pudding, stir it three times for prosperity or while making a wish.

If you’re having guests over, the more prosperous or fortunate their names the better, especially the first people to arrive Christmas morning. For the fun of it, look up the names of your first guests in a baby book and see what they presage for your coming year! To improve the effect of this “first footing” as its called, make sure you sweep your doorway and walkway at midnight on Christmas eve to brush off bad influences.

For gardeners reading this piece, go outside and pour a little mead into your plot. This goes back to the concept of Wassailing, which originated in leaving offering for apple trees to insure a good harvest. While you’re serving, give a little Wassail to guests as the word literally means: good health!

By far my favorite Christmas belief is that doing unnecessary work on Christmas day brings bad luck. It gives us all a great excuse to sleep in (provided the children can wait for gifts that long).


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