‘First Footing’ is a long held tradition that is said to ensure that good fortune will be brought into the house on Christmas morning, or more usually on New Year’s Eve. One tradition says that a dark man , who should be an uninvited stranger should enter the house after midnight. He, the ‘First Footer’, should enter the house carrying a piece of coal, a slice of bread, a pinch of salt and an evergreen. Try and avoid a strange woman, or someone with red hair, or someone with cross-eyes or flat feet entering the house for the first time on Christmas morning or New Year’s Eve as traditionally it is said that disaster will strike and misfortune will stay throughout the year! If you are in the mood for cleaning on New Year’s Day it is said to be disastrous to do this before midday or you will sweep out your quota of good luck for the year.
Take something out of the house on Christmas morning before something is brought in to encourage prosperity and health throughout the next year.
A white Christmas is still very popular although apart from the aesthetic reasons the reason why is lost. It is thought that this is because traditionally snow falling is said to indicate that there will be fewer deaths in the following year.
An Olde English (UK) custom says that a loaf of bread baked this night has all kinds of curative powers. It is also said that animals have the power of speech on Christmas Eve, and that bees will hum the Hundredth Psalm as midnight.