posted on December 18, 2017 20:24
If you’re looking for a place to store small gifts for children, this type of storage is a shoe-in…
Digging out the Christmas decorations from deep storage in the loft, I started thinking about how children in other countries receive their presents. The UK seems to be unusual in its taste for reindeer and 25 December; in my research shoes seemed to be the most popular form of storage.
In France, for example, children leave shoes by the fireplace in the hope that Pere Noël will fill them with presents and sweets.
In the Netherlands, shoes filled with hay and carrots for Sinterklaas’s horse are left by the fireplace once a week between the middle of November and 5 December and in return are filled with toys and sweets.
In another shoe-based tradition, children in Slovakia leave their shoes by a door on 5 December to be filled with sweets and fruit by sv. Mikulas – if they’ve been good.
In Hungary boots (not shoes!) are left on a windowsill for Mikulas to fill with fruits, nuts and chocolate for good children and a stick or switch for bad ones. Apparently, most children get both.
On 5 January in Italy, La Befana the witch flies around filling stockings left by the fireplace with toys, fruit and sweets.
Back to shoes, and Iceland sounds good. Shoes are left on the windowsill every night from 12 December to 5 January to be filled with presents by the Jolasveinar – although naughty children just get a potato.
And finally, again on 5 January, in Spain shoes filled with hay for the camels are left by a door or window for the Wise Men to fill with toys and sweets.
But my personal favourite is Norway, where tradition says house cleaning is forbidden on Christmas Eve, just in case the witches steal your broom.
If you’re thinking of cleaning out the cobwebs in the new year – not that we’re threatening you with witches, broomsticks or anything – why not give Restore a call on 0333 220 1139 and find out how we can support you with our end-to-end, GDPR-ready records management.