On Christmas eve my hosts asked me to leave out a pair of my shoes so that "petit Jésus" (little Jesus - they were Catholic), would fill them with gifts for us to open the following morning. I was amused by this very interesting tradition and eagerly awaited the next morning to see what I would get. Though already of adult age, I was giddy as a child.
The next morning when we all ran into the kitchen where we had left our shoes the night before, we found a rather large pile of jumbled footwear of all sizes and kinds. What!? Now how did that happen? Apparently in the night the boys had decided to be rather funny and removed all the shoes from the gifts they were next to (the parents' way of letting us know which gifts were ours), and tossed them and all the shoes they could find around the house into a big pile. It was hilarious! We did eventually sort out whose gift was whose but of course that meant confessing who had gotten what for the other. Oh well!
But back to the tradition: It was in the 20th century, largely thanks to the Americans that the tradition of the shoes for petit Jésus became shoes for le Père Noël. Now, you may be asking how you could possibly fill a pair of shoes with your Dr Dre Beats headphones, or your Flat screen TV or even the latest bestseller. Actually traditionally the shoes were filled with fruits and candy.
So this Christmas eve bring a little French tradition to your holiday celebration and leave out your shoes for Santa (or baby Jesus).
Happy holidays to you all!