parent holding happy baby in front of a christmas tree
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6 Bizarre Superstitions About Christmas Babies

You seriously can't make this stuff up.

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As far as holiday birthdays go, Christmas has got to be the topper. Oh sure, Fourth of July babies get fireworks each trip around the sun. Halloween babies get an epic costume party, and Valentine’s babies will surely never feel a lack of love when they blow out the candles. But Christmas is next level: double the gifts, double the fun. Sure, Christmas babes have to compete with the Prince of Peace, but what’s that when you know you get to eat gingerbread and all the birthday cake you want every Dec. 25? Plus, old wives’ tales say Christmas babies have special blessings.

That’s right, superstitions suggest that Christmas birthdays come with some bonus powers. No, not like Xena Warrior Princess powers (they can’t use telekinesis or outwit their opponents with magic). Instead, their special attributes have to do more with their birth being a good omen and a clue that their future is bright. One need only consider a few Christmas babies to see how this might be true. Think: Jimmy Buffet, Annie Lennox, and Isaac Newton. If their lives are any indication, claiming the 25th of December as your b-day isn’t too bad at all. Then again, folklore is a fickle thing and bound to have contrarian opinions. What will you believe? Read these fascinating old wives’ tales about Christmas Day babies and decide for yourself.

Old Wives' Tale #1: They're Super Lucky

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You could say that a Christmas child is truly born under a lucky star. As a poem from 1525 put it, children born on Christmas were pretty much guaranteed a successful life, according to And if your December 25 baby is born on a Sunday, all the better: "a grete lorde he shalle be." In 1878, popular superstition had it that Noel babies could never be drowned or hanged. Then around 1957, things got simplified, and everyone agreed that being born on Christmas would generally be blessed with good luck. (So if you have a Christmas-born relative or friend, have them play your next lottery ticket for you.)

Old Wives' Tale #2: They'll Live A Long Life

If your Christmas baby is born on a Thursday, better save up that college tuition now. According to that same poem, not only will a Thursday Christmas child do good deeds, they'll also be "of speche and tonge wyse and reasonabylle." Friday babies, on the other hand, will live a long, long life, according to that same poem. And a mischievous one that that.

Old Wives' Tale #3: They're Really UNlucky

Oh, one more thing about that poem... seems not all Christmas babies were fated to be fortunate. According to the verse, while all the Sunday-through-Friday babies are blessed with wisdom and strength, "Yf Christmas on the Saterday falle... children that e borne that day, Within halfe a yere they shall dye, par fay." Yikes. It was once believed that Christmas-born folks were more likely to see ghosts and spirits, too. As if that weren't confusing enough, the Mrs. Daffodil Digresses blog explained that, back in 1921, it was thought that Christmas-born boys would be lucky, while Christmas girls were known as "the sorrow child[ren]."

Old Wives' Tale #4: They May Turn Into Goblins

Having a Christmas birthday in Greece isn't what you'd call a happy event. As the German newspaper Spiegel explained, Greek legend has it that nasty goblins called Kallikantzaroi appear at night between December 25 and the January 6 Epiphany. During that time, they run riot, smash belongings, and generally scare the eggnog out of everyone. Furthermore, Greeks believe that when a baby is born on Christmas, it will turn into a Kallikantzaroi for trying to take all the attention away from Christ. To avoid that unhappy fate, garlic was tied onto their newborns. It may make for some rather stinky cuddle sessions, but better that than having your kid become a red-eyed, worm-eating hellbeast.

Old Wives' Tale #5: They Can Talk To Animals

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Your Christmas child could be a real-life Dog Whisperer. Or Cat Whisperer, Goat Whisperer, or Lemur Whisperer. The Chest of Books website says that folklore from the Kentucky mountains has it that babies born on Christmas can "understand the speech of animals."

Old Wives Tale #6: Their Career Paths Are Set

Mrs. Daffodil Digresses added that a number of old wives' tales about Christmas-born babies are related to the jobs they were destined to have. In early 20th-century England, superstition had it that parents of boys born on December 25 should push them to enter the clergy, and girls born that day should become nurses. And in 1890s Silesia, now part of the Czech Republic, it was believed that a Christmas-born boy "must be brought up a lawyer or he shall become a thief." I'm guessing that there were lots of Silesian lawyers celebrating Christmas birthdays back then.

Whether or not you believe any of these old wives' tales, there's one undeniable fact: Having a healthy December 25 baby is always a happy gift. (But it can't hurt to keep the garlic handy, just in case.)

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