Christmas Traditions

Christmas Clothes

As is mentioned in the chapters on the Yule Cat and on Christmas Presents it was customary in the old rural society that employers gave the employees in their home a new garment and sheepskin shoes for Christmas. This was done to reward the people for good work as the tasks that had to be accomplished before Christmas were numerous and therefore the weeks leading up to Christmas were characterized by a rigorous workload. 

The saying went that those who did not receive a new garment for Christmas would be „devoured by the Christmas Cat“ which was a fate to be avoided at all costs – whether this meant that the Christmas Cat would eat them or eat their food. Thus everyone worked zealously at finishing all the woolwork and knitting of garments for the members of the household before the arrival of Christmas. Today the saying „to be devoured by the Christmas cat“ is still used for those who do not get a new garment for Christmas or as a Christmas present and for many people it is important to be wearing new clothes from top to toe and preferably also to have newly cut hair on Christmas Eve. What has changed, of course, is that people no longer make all their clothes at home and now most people head for the nearest fashion store to buy the new Christmas clothes and Chrismas shoes.