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CUSTOM

AFTER MIDNIGHT MASS AT CHRISTMAS ANYONE WHO COMES INTO THE HOUSE
IS OFFERED UNLEAVENED BREAD AND WINE TO WISH THEM A BLESSED
CHRISTMAS.

Submitter comment: LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER-IN-LAW.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Mount Clemens

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Single dishes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Greetings, wishes, prayers, cards

Date learned: 03-20-1967

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BURNING BUSH

THE PINSETA FLOWER, WHICH IS WELL KNOWN DURING CHRISTMAS TIME,
IS ORIGINALLY FROM MEXICO[ AND WAS CALLED THE BURNING BUSH. IT
WAS BROUGHT TO THE UNITED STATES BY SECRETARY OF STATE PINSET
IN THE LATTER PART OF THE 19TH CENTURY. THE LEGEND BEHIND THE
BURNING BUSH IS THAT A SMALL MEXICAN BOY WANTED TO BRING JESUS
SOMETHING, BUT HE WAS TOO POOR. ON HIS WAY TO CHRIST'S MANGER
HE SAW A BRIGHT RED FLOWER, AND HE TOOK IT AND GAVE IT TO JESUS.
THE FLOWER SUDDENLY BECAME SO BRIGHT THAT IT LIT UP THE ENTIRE
MANGER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Mistletoe and other greenery
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

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FAMILY CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS MORNING IN OUR FAMILY, A SPECIAL PROCEDURE IS
FOLLOWED REGARDING THE PRELIMINARIES TO RECEIVING OUR GIFTS. ON
CHRISTMAS EVE, OUR PARENTS PLACE THEIR GIFTS TO THE FIVE CHILDREN
IN FIVE PILES IN THE LIVING ROOM, WHERE THE TREE IS, AND THEN LOCK
BOTH DOORS TO THE ROOM. IN THE MORNING, ALL HAVE TO GO IN THE
KITCHEN AND WAIT UNTIL EVERYONE IS UP AND HAS EATEN BREAKFAST (WHICH
ALWAYS INCLUDES A FRUIT STOLLEN SPECIAL-ORDERED FROM THE BAKERY.)
BEFORE THEY CAN GO INTO THE LIVING ROOM. (MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, THE
EARLY RISERS GET IMPATIENT AND WAKE THE LATE SLEEPERS.) OUR STOCK-
INGS ARE HUNG IN THE KITCHEN (WE HAVE NO FIREPLACE) AND THOSE ARE
THE ONLY GIFTS YOU CAN LOOK AT BEFORE YOU ENTER THE LIVING ROOM.
WHEN THE TIME FINALLY COMES, OUR FATHER GOES INTO THE ROOM AND LIGHTS
UP THE TREE, WHILE WE LINE UP IN ORDER OF AGE. WHEN HE GIVES THE
SIGNAL, WE ARE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE ROOM. AFTER WE HAVE OPENED THESE
GIFTS, WE GO UPSTAIRS AND BRING DOWN OUR GIFTS TO OUR PARENTS,
BROTHERS, AND SISTERS. THE CAMERA IS ALWAYS USED TO GET PICTURES OF
US OPENING OUR GIFTS, AND SOMETIME DURING THE COURSE OF THE MORNING
OUR FATHER PLAYS CHRISTMAS CAROLS ON THE ORGAN.

Submitter comment: WE CHILDREN PRESENTLY RANGE IN AGE FROM 11 TO 19,
WE HAVE ALWAYS ENACTED THIS TRADITION, AND AS YET IT HAS SHOWN NO
SIGNS OF DYING OUT. WHEN I HAVE A FAMILY OF MY OWN, I WILL PROBABLY
PASS THE CUSTOM ON TO THEM.

Where learned: OHIO ; MASSILLON

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 F642.84

Date learned: 09-00-1973

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

THE BLACHE FAMILY CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS ON CHRISTMAS EVE. THE
CHILDREN WOULD GO DOWNSTAIRS AND WAIT, WHILE THE PARENTS
WOULD BRING OUT THE PRESENTS AND PUT THEM UNDER THE TREE.
THEN THE CHILDREN COULD COME UP, BUT THE FATHER WOULD MAKE
THEM STOP SEVERAL TIMES ON THE WAY AND "SING FOR THEIR
PRESENTS." THEY WOULD HAVE TO SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS AND ONLY
WHEN THE FATHER DECIDED THEY HAD SUNG ENOUGH AND WELL ENOUGH
COULD THEY RECEIVE THEIR PRESENTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Songs, caroling

Date learned: 00-01-960

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TOMTEN

TOMTEN IS A VERY SMALL AND VERY OLD MAN WITH A LONG BEARD.
HE LIVES IN STABLES AND SHEDS ON THE FARMS AND HE PROTECTS
THE FARMER FROM ILLNESS AND MISFORTUNE AND GIVES THE FARMER
RICHES AND HAPPINESS. TOMTEN IS A VERY IRRITABLE OLD MAN
AND YOU HAVE TO MAKE A FUSS WITH HIM NOW AND THEN AND ON CHRISTMAS
EVE A PLATE WITH PORRIDGE MADE OF RICE IS PUT INTO THE STABLE
SO THE LITTLE MAN CAN HAVE IT. THE SWEDISH JULTOMTEN, FATHER
CHRISTMAS, COMES FROM THE LEGEND OF TOMTEN.

James Callow comment:

PUTTING OF RICE IN THE BARN FOR THE "NISSES"--CHRISTMAS
ELVES--IS A COMMON MOTIF IN SCANDINAVIAN FOLKTALES.
ODDLY, THOMPSON SHOWS NOTHING.--F. M. PAULSEN

Where learned: SWEDEN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Abnormal in size
BELIEF -- Good luck

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CHRISTMAS TRADITION IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA

EARLY IN DECEMBER, ON THE FEAST OF ST. NICHOLAS, A MAN DRESSED AS
ST. NICK WOULD COME TO SCHOOL AND PASS OUT CANDY TO THE CHILDREN.
ON CHRISTMAS, THERE WAS NO SANTA CLAUS AND NO GIFTS WERE
EXCHANGED. ON THE NIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS A FAMILY FROM THE END OF THE
VILLAGE WOULD GO TO SING CAROLS TO THEIR NEIGHBOR, THEN THE TWO
FAMILIES TOGETHER WOULD GO TO THE NEXT NEIGHBOR ETC.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's residence

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 26 Boxing Day St. Stephen's Day
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Songs, caroling

Date learned: NOT RECORDED BY THE COLLECTOR

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ADVENT CUSTOM

IN HER FAMILY, AT THE BEGINNING OF ADVENT THEY EACH OFFER UP
SOMETHING TO THE CHRIST CHILD. ON CHRISTMAS EVE, THEY WRITE DOWN
WHAT THEY OFFERED UP AND PUT IT IN A BOX AND WRAP IT UP AND PUT IT IN
THE MANGER SO THAT ON CHRISTMAS DAY CHRIST WOULD ALSO RECIEVE
PRESENTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 645 September 23 Equinox to December 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 03-00-1971

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

PEOPLE MAKE SPECIAL CAKES AND PLUM PUDDINGS IN MALTA AT CHRISTMAS
TIME. THEY GIVE THESE AWAY AS GIFTS SINCE THEIR CHRISTMAS IS NOT AS
COMMERCIAL AS IN THE U.S.A.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Cake ; CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; GIFTS ; Malta ; Pudding ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Pastry
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 03-08-1970

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CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS EVE EVERY YEAR OUR RELATIVES GET TOGETHER AND EXCHANGE
GIFTS AND SING.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Songs, caroling

Date learned: 09-09-1969

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

EVER SINCE MY PARENTS WERE AWAKENED AT 5 AM ON CHRISTMAS MORNING
YEARS AGO BY ANXIOUS "YOURS TRULY" AND HIS BROTHERS, OUR FAMILY HAS
CELEBRATED CHRISTMAS--THE OPENING, EXCHANGING OF GIFTS--AFTER A LATE
SUPPER CHRISTMAS EVE AND THEN ALL WENT TO BED EARLY CHRISTMAS DAY
MORNING.

Data entry tech comment:

Date contributed and date learned were not recorded. Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Church

Date learned: NOT RECORDED BY THE COLLECTOR

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UKRAINIAN CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS EVE, FATHER OF THE HOUSEHOLD MUST GIVE ALL BORROWED
THINGS BACK TO THEIR OWNERS (SO THE THINGS COULD CELEBRATE WITH
THEIR OWNERS).

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM PARENTS IN UKRAINE.

Data entry tech comment:

INFORMANT AND COLLECTOR SHARE SAME SURNAME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 11-17-1967

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS, YOU WOULD HAVE TO JUMP OVER A BROOM
HANDLE BEFORE GETTING YOUR PRESENTS. IF YOU HADN'T BEEN
GOOD IN THE PAST YEAR, YOU WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO DO IT.
IF YOU HAD BEEN GOOD YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO JUMP IT EASILY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT DID THIS AS A CHILD IN CINCINNATI, OHIO

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Beliefs
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 11-20-1970

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

INFORMANT'S FAMILY OPENS THE GIFTS AT 12 O'CLOCK MIDNIGHT,
FOLLOWED BY A CUSTOMARY MEAL OF HOT PASTROMI ON DARK RYE BREAD.

Where learned: TOLD AT HOME ; NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Single dishes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 01-00-1971

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS WHEN GIVING PRESENTS TO CLOSE FRIENDS AND
RELATIVES, INSTEAD OF USING A BOW ON TOP OF THE PRESENT MY
SISTERS FRIEND'S PARENTS USE A CHRISTMAS BULB SO THAT EVEN
WHEN THE GIFT IS GONE THE THOUGHT WILL BE REMEMBERED EVERY
YEAR ON THE CHRISTMAS TREE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT INFORMANTS HOME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas tree
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

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GERMAN CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

GERMANS DO NOT GIVE PRESENTS AT CHRISTMAS THAT ARE BOUGHT
AT THE STORES. THEY FEEL IT IS MORE IN THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS
TO MAKE THE PRESENTS THAT THEY GIVE.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED THIS IN GERMANY THIS SUMMER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT INFORMANTS HOME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 03-16-1971

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CHRISTMAS

IN POLAND, THE CHILDREN BELIEVE THAT THEIR GIFTS ARE BROUGHT
TO THEM BY ANGELS AND LEFT UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas tree
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 03-23-1971

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FIXED DATE

THE SCOTS EXCHANGE CHRISTMAS GIFTS
ON "OLD YEAR'S EVE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT TRAVELLED.

Where learned: OFFICE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 10-03-1967

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GIFT - GIVING

EVERY CHRISTMAS WHEN I WAS A CHILD, I
USED TO BUY A SMALL CHRISTMAS PRESENT
AND GO TO HOSPITAL ON CHRISTMAS DAY
AND GIVE IT TO SOME CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 02-02-1970

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CUSTOM

ONE PRESENT IS OPENED ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND THE REST ON CHRISTMAS DAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 11-04-1968

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CHRISTMAS GIFT EXCHANGE

AT CHRISTMAS, IT HAS BEEN AN AMERICAN
TRADITION FOR RELATIVES AND GOOD FRIENDS TO EXCHANGE GIFTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 11-00-1969

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