Weird and wonderful traditions to add sparkle to your Christmas

What is so wonderful about Christmas is that we all have our own unique traditions that make the celebration very personal. You may have a certain place in your home where the Christmas tree is always placed, and, truth be told, most people have already decided on this when they view a property for the first time. Some people like to stay at home, whereas others travel to be with family and friends. If you’re looking for something new to add to your festivities, maybe one of these weird and wonderful traditions will add some extra sparkle to your Christmas this year.

Stockings to shoes
Do you place stockings by your fire, in hope that Father Christmas will fill them with small treats? Over in the Netherlands, eager Dutch children will be placing their shoes by the fire, where Sinterklass traditionally leaves carrots for Amerigo, a white horse. Just as coal was left for naughty children, those who end up on the wrong list will find a potato in their shoe.

It’s no Elf on the Shelf
To make sure our kids are on the nice list, many homes use the services of a little naughty spy known as Elf on the Shelf. But if you need some extra support, tell them the tale of ‘Krampus’, an Austrian ghoulish creature who is the evil accomplice of Saint Nick. Krampus is said to wander the streets, seeking out any children who have behaved badly. During December you can often find people out and about wearing terrifying masks, spooking all with their ghastly pranks.

And more spooks
Austrians are not the only ones with a spooky tradition – in Iceland the legend of the Yule Cat is certainly not the cuddly story that you may assume. The huge and vicious Yule Cat roams the streets of Iceland on Christmas Eve looking for anyone who hasn’t gotten new clothes, to eat them.

A tinsel alternative
While many of us will be spending the next few weeks surrounded by sparkling decorations, over in Ukraine you won’t find baubles, stars or tinsel on the tree. There, the legend of the Christmas spider has influenced their web-style decorations. According to the folklore, a poor widow lived in a small hut with her children, who cared for a pine tree hoping it would become a Christmas tree by the time winter fell. On Christmas Eve, the tree had grown but they couldn’t afford to decorate it. As they slept, spiders began to spin beautiful webs all over the tree. When the first rays of light shined through the windows and touched the webs, they turned to gold and silver. Now spiders’ webs are considered to be lucky, so why not add one to your tree this year?

Seek the pickle
Another historic tradition, which is believed to have started in 16th centur Germany, is to hide a pickle on a Christmas tree somewhere within the branches. If you are the lucky child to find the pickle, you receive a gift. Some say it didn’t start in Germany, but either way, we at Samuel Wood believe it’s a fun tradition that will bring smiles.

New traditions
The world is filled with many weird and wonderful traditions that bring joy and laughter. We create new traditions when we move home, and if you’re looking for a property in Shropshire let us help you find the best Christmas present ever.

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