In Russia, new year is the favorite holiday of the people. But in America, Christmas is the most cherished holiday. Christmas happens to be my favorite holiday. It has a spirit of goodness and thoughtfulness that I adore. I love watching the children (and adults) in my life open their gifts. The looks at their faces fill me with joy.
But there are many Christmas traditions that very few people outside the US and Canada know about. One of these traditions are Christmas stockings. Basically, we hang huge socks from the fireplace, or on a shelf, and fill them with small, inexpensive gifts. Some families open the stockings on Christmas Eve. But the highlight of the stocking as a cultural phenomenon is the COAL. If a child behaves badly throughout the year leading up to Christmas, their parents might give them nothing but coal in their stockings. This is a tradition that dates back hundreds of years.
Another tradition few people know about is the idea of Krampus. Krampus is the anti-Santa who originated in the Netherlands. He has a basket on his back that he uses to abduct misbehaving children. He will then bring the children to his lair and eat them. Though the tradition is much more commonly practiced in The Netherlands, Austria, and Germany, it has been gaining traction in the United States.
I hope you have found these dark Christmas traditions interesting!