The following was recorded from a conversation I had on the phone with my mother, marked JS. She described to me a few holiday traditions as well as rituals she did throughout her childhood. Below is one of the rituals.
JS: “We always used to leave our shoe outside on St. Nicholas Day which falls on December 6th. The idea is that he will come by and fill the shoe with treats. Sounds kinda weird, I know…but it always got the family in the Christmas spirit pretty early.”
CS: “Interesting, and you did this every year?”
JS: “Yeah, every year. My mom was way more into it than us kids were.”
CS: “Is there a reason you didn’t continue this tradition with me?”
JS: “I guess I decided it wasn’t as practical as just waiting till the 25th. Gave me more work to do too. I don’t know, by then the tradition was less thought of.”
A phone call conversation with my mom, JS, discussing rituals she did throughout her childhood around the time of the holidays.
JS currently resides in Laguna Beach, California but was previously raised in Minnesota.
I find this ritual interesting because it reflects the values my grandmother set for her family when it came to Christmas time. It is interesting that she decided to take a more unique path and doing a special ritual instead of the traditional and common Christmas traditions. What’s even more interesting is that this ritual didn’t continue into my mom’s adulthood and raising me. Instead, we do the very common Christmas and activities, and in fact, this was the first I had ever heard of this ritual. It is an interesting component of folklore to see how some of it sticks and is viewed with such importance in one’s life while others are simply forgotten over time.