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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

TAFFY WAS A THIEF
TAFFY CAME TO OUR HOUSE
AND STOLE A LEG OF BEEF.

Submitter comment: IN BAVARIA, GERMANY - KRIS KRINGLE CAME AROUND AND GAVE TO GOOD
CHILDREN POP CORN MADE INTO A BALL IN STOCKING - BAD CHILDREN GOT
SWITCHES AND ASHES.

James Callow comment: COLLECTOR DID NOT SAY WHEN CHRISTMAS WAS CELEBRATED.
BOGGS NUMBERS, ADDED BY ME, SHOW POSSIBILITIES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.

Date learned: 11-30-1972

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ADVENT CALENDAR

FOR ADVENT ONE OF THE KIDS IN THE FAMILY (USUALLY THE OLDEST)
WOULD MAKE AN ADVENT CALENDAR. THIS CONSISTS OF TWO LARGE
PIECES OF CARDBOARD PUT TOGETHER. THERE WOULD BE A PICTURE ON ONE
SIDE AND CERTAIN ITEMS IN THE PICTURE WOULD BE NUMBERED AND MADE
SO IT COULD BE OPENED. BEHIND EACH NUMBER (ONE FOR EACH DAY
OF DECEMBER) WOULD BE A PICTURE AND THE REST OF THE FAMILY WOULD
GUESS WHAT IT WOULD BE. ALWAYS BEHIND #25 WOULD BE THE
NATIVITY SCENE. ONLY ONE NUMBER WOULD BE OPENED A DAY. THERE
WAS NO REWARD FOR GUESSING THE RIGHT PICTURE.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname and place of residence.
 

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 645 645.2
Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Guessing
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Month
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

Date learned: 10-07-1972

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WHEN WE LIVED ON THE FARM, ABOUT AN HOUR AFTER DINNER, SANTA CLAUS (MY FATHER OR MOTHER) CAME AND PASSED OUT ORANGES, WALNUTS, COOKIES,
ETC. (NO TOYS). I DON'T KNOW IF THIS WAS A POLISH CUSTOM OR NOT.

James Callow comment:

COLLECTOR DOES NOT SPECIFY DAY. BOGGS NUMBERS ARE
ADDED BY ME TO COVER POSSIBILITIES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

Date learned: 10-07-1972

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ADVENT CANDLES

ON THE FIRST SUNDAY IN DECEMBER, THE SWISS MAKE A HOLLY WREATH WITH
FOUR CANDLES. EACH SUNDAY UNTIL CHRISTMAS THEY READ PART OF THE
CHRISTMAS STORY FROM THE BIBLE AND LIGHT ANOTHER CANDLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: 645 645.2
686 686.1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

Date learned: 11-04-1972

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CHRISTMAS BELIEF

AROUND THE FIRST OF DECEMBER, THE SPECIAL WORKERS OF SANTA, THE
BROWNIES, COME OUT IN FULL FORCE. THEY CARRY BIG BOOKS WITH EACH
GIRL'S AND BOY'S NAME IN IT. THEIR JOB IS TO SNEAK AROUND AND MARK
YOUR BEHAVIOR IN THEIR BOOK AND THEN REPORT TO SANTA. IF YOU HAVE
BEEN BAD, SANTA WILL NOT BRING YOU ANYTHING.

Where learned: OHIO ; NORTH OLMSTED

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Beliefs
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Santa Claus
BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome

Date learned: 00-00-1950

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SUPERSTITIONS ABOUT ELVES

THEY LIVE IN THE EARTH AND BEFORE CHRISTMAS THEY COME UP AND DESTROY
NATURE AND ANIMALS. WHEN ANYTHING HAPPENS, TORNADOS, ETC., IT IS
BLAMED ON THE ELVES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Wind Whirlwind Hurricane Cyclone Tornado
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.46

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CHRISTMAS LEGEND

ON DECEMBER, 6 ST. NICHOLAS VISITS THE HOMES OF THE PEOPLE
AND LEAVES GOODIES FOR GOOD LITTLE CHILDREN, AND SOOT IN THE
SHOES OF BAD ONES.

Submitter comment: RONNIE LEARNED THIS ITALIAN LEGEND FROM HER FATHER WHO IS
FROM ITALY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- September 23 equinox to December 20 Also used for Advent.
BELIEF -- Religious hero

Date learned: 12-04-1967

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ETHNIC CUSTOM

DECEMBER 6 IS THE FEAST OF ST. NICHOLAS. ON THE NIGHT OF DECEMBER 5,
IN GERMAN HOMES, CHILDREN HANG UP THEIR STOCKINGS. IF THEY HAVE BEEN
GOOD DURING THE YEAR, THEIR STOCKING IS FILLED WITH CANDY, NUTS AND
TANGERINES. IF THEY HAVE BEEN BAD, THE STOCKING IS FILLED WITH COAL

Submitter comment: THIS WAS A CUSTOM MY MOTHER'S FAMILY FOLLOWED AND WHICH WE FOLLOWED
FROM ABOUT THE TIME I WAS 5 UNTIL I WAS 17.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOL ; THREAT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- September 23 equinox to December 20 Also used for Advent.

Date learned: CA00001960

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

IN MANY RELIGIONS, IT IS A CUSTOM THAT YOU BUY AN ADVENT CALENDAR.
IT IS A CALENDAR WHICH HAS 24 ITEMS WHICH CAN BE PLACED ON THE
CALENDAR OR 24 PANELS WHICH CAN BE OPENED. THEN, ON DECEMBER 1, THE
DOOR OR PANEL IS OPENED. ON DECEMBER 2 THE SECOND DOOR IS OPENED
AND IT GOES ON. THE 24TH DAY'S ITEM IS USUALLY A PICTURE OF THE
NATIVITY SCENE, OR THE FINAL TOUCH TO THE NATIVITY SCENE.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A NICE CUSTOM IN ANTICIPATION OF CHRISTMAS. OUR FAMILY
HAS FOLLOWED IT FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- September 23 equinox to December 20 Also used for Advent.
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.24

Date learned: CA00001961

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RELIGIOUS CUSTOM

ON ST. NICHOLAS DAY, DECEMBER 6, THE CHILDREN LEAVE THEIR SHOES OUT
FOR HIM TO FILL THEM WITH GOODIES, OR IF THEY HAD BEEN BAD, A PIECE
OF COAL.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANTS FAMILY STILL PRACTICES THIS CUSTOM AS I CAN READILY
ATTEST TO. THIS IS A VERY OLD GERMAN CUSTOM.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- September 23 equinox to December 20 Also used for Advent.
BELIEF -- Religious hero

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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CUSTOM

A BRANCH FROM A CHERRY TREE WILL BLOOM, THAT IS, BLOSSOM ON CHRISTMAS
IF IT IS PICKED ON ST. BARBARA'S FEAST DAY, DECEMBER 4, AND
PLACED IN WATER.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: NO DATE INDICATED.

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DUTCH CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

THE DUTCH HAVE THE CUSTOM OF PASSING OUT THEIR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS ON
ST. NICHOLAS DAY SO THEY CAN CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS IN CHURCH WITHOUT
ANY INTERRUPTIONS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

Date learned: 03-30-1968

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AUSTRIAN CUSTOM

ON ST. NICHOLAS@ DAY THE CHILDREN LEAVE THEIR SHOES OUTSIDE THEIR
DOORS. IT THEY ARE BAD ST. NICK WILL PUT COAL IN THEM BUT IF THEY
ARE GOOD THEY WILL RECEIVE PRESENTS.

Submitter comment: HEARD FROM GRANDPARENTS WHO CAME FROM AUSTRIA

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): ST. NICHOLAS'DAY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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FESTIVAL

ON THE FEAST - DAY OF ST. NICHOLAS, THE CHILDREN RECEIVE GIFTS FROM
AN ANGEL UNDER THE PILLOWS IN THE MORNING.

Submitter comment: UKRAINIAN

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): FESTIVAL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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ST. NICHOLAS' DAY

ON DEC. 6 A MAN WEARING A WHITE SHEET AND CARRYING A BIG CHAIN WOULD
VISIT ALL THE HOUSES AND ASK THE CHILDREN IF THEY HAD BEEN GOOD AND
IF THEY KNEW THEIR PRAYERS. IF NOT THEY WERE TOLD SANTA CLAUS
WOULDN'T VISIT THEM ON CHRISTMAS. IT WAS VERY EFFECTIVE, EVERYONE
WAS GOOD FROM THEN TILL CHRISTMAS BECAUSE THEY WERE FRIGHTENED
OF HIM.

Submitter comment: PRACTICED IN STEELTON, PA. ABOUT 00001920

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ST. NICHOLAS' DAY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas

Date learned: 01-12-1964

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ST. NICHOLAS DAY: ON DECEMBER 6TH, THE CHILDREN WOULD GATHER AND
GO FROM ONE RELATIVE'S HOUSE TO THE OTHER WITH A BAG IN THEIR HANDS.
WHEN THEY REACHED THE HOUSE, THEY WOULD HAVE TO KNEEL DOWN AND PRAY.
IF THEY WERE NOT GOOD, THEY WOULD BE HIT WITH A SWITCH.

Submitter comment: MRS. DEVEREUX LEARNED THIS FROM HER RELATIVES AND IT WAS THE CUSTOM
IN HER DAY ALSO.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): ST. NICHOLAS DAY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas

Date learned: 11-03-1963

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BLACK PETER

IN HOLLAND, ON DECEMBER 6, ST. NICHOLAS TRAVELS AROUND THE COUNTRY
LEAVING FRUITS AND SWEETS FOR THE GOOD CHILDREN. BLACK PETER
ACCOMPANIES HIM AND TAKES ALL THE BAD CHILDREN AWAY ON A BOAT TO
AFRICA.

Submitter comment: MR. CLISDAL LEARNED OF THIS WHILE IN EUROPE LAST YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

Keyword(s): ST. NICHOLAS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

Date learned: 10-16-1967

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

A FAMILY CUSTOM OF GERMAN ORIGIN ( HER MOTHER'S SIDE OF FAMILY ) WAS
TO LEAVE A BOWL ON THE FRONT PORCH DURING DINNER, ON THE FEAST OF
ST. NICHOLAS, DECEMBER 6. A LOUD KNOCK WAS HEARD, AND WHOEVER
ANSWERED THE DOOR FOUND NO ONE, BUT THE BOWL WAS FILLED WITH CANDY
AND SWEETS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

Keyword(s): ST. NICHOLAS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

Date learned: 11-30-1967

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CUSTOM

WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, OUR FAMILY USED TO HANG UP CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS
ON ST. NICHOLAS' DAY ( DECEMBER 6 ) AND IN THE MORNING WE WOULD
FIND CANDY AND OTHER GOODIES IN THE STOCKINGS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ST. NICHOLAS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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THE HUNGARIAN CHRISTMAS

SANTA CLAUS COMES ON THE 6TH OF DECEMBER. JESUS COMES DOWN FROM
HEAVEN ON THE NIGHT OF THE 24TH. THEY BOTH BRING PRESENTS FOR
CHILDREN AND THE ADULTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): SANTA CLAUS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

Date learned: 03-05-1968

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