French Christmas Tradition

Half Chinese half french

French, Chinese, English

18, student

Los Angeles

26 April 2011

Christmas Tradition

Every year on Christmas my family and I put our shoes outside our doors and in the morning they are filled with goodies. This is something my dad tells me he did as a boy in France. The idea was to put your shoe out so that St. Nicolas might come by and reward your good behavior with some special goodies or even money.

To Brandon this represented a part of his heritage and his childhood. Although he doesn’t still practice this tradition it reminds him of his childhood and the excitement he once felt as he check his shoe the next day. The shoe candy or “bon-bons” were a favorite part of his holiday experience and even though he doesn’t know “exactly” how it started he cherishes the tradition. Brandon is French and the tradition stems from the French custom to put your shoes out the night before Christmas. He figures that his family has been doing this same thing for generations on his father’s side.

This folk custom is an example of a tradition that has become part of someone’s identity. To Brandon the tradition of putting out his shoes reminds him of his family and his heritage. People have been putting their shoes out for years. The tradition probably started when France faced rapid poverty. That’s when people left their shoes outside their doors and Pater Noel would put coins in their shoes to ease the times The tradition stuck and people have been putting their shoes outside their doors ever since. Examples and variations of this can be seen in modern Christmas movies like Santa Clause when the kids leave their stockings out for him to fill with toys and candy if they’ve been good all year.

Tim Perille


1027 W. 34th St. Los Angele CA