Tradition – Peru

“En todas las casas donde habian ninos, el 24 de Diciembre en la noche antes de que se vayan a dormir ponian sus zapatos en la ventana o en el balcon para que PAPA NOEL les deje sus regalos. Al dia siguiente los ninos se levantaban muy temprano y iban muy contentos a abrir y ver sus regalos y comenzar el DIA DE NAVIDAD jugando con todos sus juguetes nuevos.”

“In all the houses where they were kids, the 24 of December at night before they are going to sleep, they put their shoes in the window or the balcony so that POPE NOEL will leave gifts on top of them. The following day the kids would rise very early, excited to open their gifts and to begin the DAY of CHRISTMAS by playing with all their new toys.”


Norma never had a Christmas tree growing up. In fact, the first Christmas tree she purchased was years after she came to America. It was during her first year of her marriage (to an American) that she put presents under a Christmas tree. She quickly reminded me that there were never any trees in Peru because December was summer. No Christmas trees grew in summer. This is the reason they put their shoes out. However, this ritual is limited to children ages five years and below since “they’re the really innocent ones and have not discovered that there is no Santa.” Children older five get their presents with the adults after midnight on Christmas Eve.

This is one of many variation of present giving around this time. In Greece, people look under their beds for presents. Yet, one aspect they all share, even with the American culture, is that the young children are always eager to wake up early and play with their new toys.