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Christmas Superstitions and Lore

In certain areas of England there was an expression that if a dark moon came on Christmas, a fine harvest year would follow. Other areas declared that a waxing or new moon on Christmas portended a good year, but a waning moon a hard year.

"Welcome Father Christmas!" is the shout the first to open the door Christmas morning should give, to let Christmas in and any trapped bad spirits escape. Others might sweep the threshold if they are first to clear it of "trouble".

Eat as many mince pies as you can on Christmas eve and afterward, because the amount will determine how much luck you will have in the next year. Don't cut them with a knife but rather bite into them or you will cut your luck.

For prosperity and peace, Christmas candles must be kept burning and undisturbed from the time they are lit on Christmas eve until they are put out on Christmas day.

The tree should not be brought in and decorated before the 24th of December to avoid "capricious" forces.
Tradition has it that St. Nicholas felt sorry for three sisters at Christmas time and tossed three coins down the chimney. Their stockings were hanging at the hearth and each coin landed in a respective stocking. A superstition has arisen about giving shoes, never give them at Christmas because the person can then walk out of your life.

The yule log for the fireplace has to be cut or found rather than bought and should be big enough to keep burning all night otherwise there it means bad luck for the year ahead. It can be a stump or a big root, not necessarily a proper log. Tradition has it that you then sit around telling ghost stories and drinking mulled wine on Christmas eve in front of the Yule fire.

Caroling is the old tradition of going to people's houses and singing Christmas songs for them. Never turn them away without some food, some money or a drink or you will suffer bad luck for the rest of the year.
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