Some thoughts today and for the next several days on the customs and stories of Christmas.
In England, it is still common to hear someone say that the cock crows for Christmas. Legend has it that the roosters crowing would frighten away the bad spirits from the holy season.
Other superstitions are wonderful in their imagery. One is that bees can sing at Christmas and sheep walk in procession to commemorate the visit of the angel to the shepherds.
In Canada, there is the story of an Indian creeping through the woods on Christmas, watching to see the deer kneel and look up to the Great Spirit.
At one time in the German Alps it was believed that cattle had the gift of language on Christmas, but it was a sin to eavesdrop.
In Poland the story is told that on Christmas the heavens are opened and the scene of Jacob's ladder is re-enacted, but only the saints could see it.
In Scandinavian countries. Goodwill is the order of the season. Old quarrels are balanced by forgiveness and feuds are forgotten. In each household family members place their shoes in a row to symbolize that during the year the family will live together in peace and harmony.
Let us visualize all the shoes of the world in a row this year.