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7 Surprising Old Wives' Tales About Christmas Eve Babies

Werewolves & ghosts? Is this the right holiday?

by Kinsey Gidick and Meguire Hennes
Originally Published: 

Of all the dates a child might want to avoid for their birthday, Christmas Eve has got to be high on the list. First, you have to compete with Christianity’s superstar, Jesus Christ (and unless you’re a first grader who can turn water into wine, ain’t nothing gonna top him). Second, there’s the whole host of holiday trappings that happen each Christmas Eve. Maybe your family goes to Midnight Mass each December 24, which means you’ll likely share your b-day with a Christmas Pageant until you leave for college. But it’s not all bad. Some old wives' tales about babies born on Christmas Eve are actually pretty great.

But before we jump into the superstitious side of things, let’s look at some of the scientific data surrounding Christmas Eve. Turns out that December 24, according to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, is a low birth rate day. Compared to the rest of the calendar year, not very many babies are born then. But that might be because lots of people are getting busy on that date instead, that December 24 is one of the most popular conception dates. Don’t ponder that too much, Christmas Eve babies.

Maybe because Christmas Eve babies are so rare, old wives' tales about them grew. Let's take a look at a few of the most prevalent (and if you're expecting some super festive predictions, you're in for a surprise).


They might be able to communicate with non-humans

Learning Spanish or German is so 2019. You want to really give your child a leg up in the spirit world? Give birth to them on December 24 and they’ll be gifted with the power to speak to beasts. At least that’s what the Encyclopædia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences suggests. No word on which beasts exactly this includes, but we’re hoping Direwolves and Krakens.


Their chances of being left-handed are promising

For thousands of years, wives’ tales have often associated the devil with being left-handed. Don’t be freaked out, but a study conducted by the University of Vienna in 2014 says that boys born in winter, specifically December 24, are more likely to be left-handed than boys born in other months. I’m not saying your December 24 baby is 100% the spawn of Satan, but this wives’ tale sure thinks so.


They might turn into a vampire

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So apparently, your December 24 baby could turn into a brooding, deadly, mysterious 100-year-old teenager, with a thing for sucking blood. (Hi Edward Cullen) For centuries, Italians believed that babies born on midnight on December 24 would grow up to become a deadly creature with diamond skin and Robert Pattinson-level cheekbones, oh, and a desire to drink blood of course. There’s no evidence, of course, and none of the Cullen family has a birthday on Christmas Eve, but there’s still a possibility. Be on the lookout for sparkly skin, a.k.a. “the skin of a killer, Bella.” Make sure to stock up on garlic and crucifixes. The Italians also said December 24 babies could turn into a werewolf, so just to be safe, steer clear of the full moon as well as the sun. And if you have a girl born at midnight on December 24, prepare to parent a witch.


They might live longer

Apparently your December baby will live longer than babies born in February and March (maybe they are a vampire). According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Aging Research, babies born on December 24 are more likely to live to be 105. They’ll see the 70th President of the United States. They might even see flying cars! Now would be a good time to make a time capsule.


They might become a lawyer...or a thief

In 1897, a small region in central Europe developed a superstition around boys born on December 24. Depending on their upbringing, these boys would grow up to either become a successful lawyer or if they were more of a rambunctious child, they would become a thief. So, keep an eye on your little boy and make sure he ends up on the right side of the law.


A career in dentistry might be in their future

Maybe the most haunting Christmas Eve baby forecast of all? There’s a strong possibility they’ll become a dentist. Ok, so this is less of an old wives' tale and more of a fun bit of census data, but according to the Office for National Statistics, your birth month can affect your career and in the case of December babies, that means a lifetime of promoting oral health.


They might be considered unlucky

In the 18th century, girls born on Christmas Eve were automatically considered unlucky, while December 24 boys were associated with happiness — unfair, clearly. In some European countries, certain superstitious city leaders called girls born on that special day, “the sorrow child.” If you’re not a big fan of this old wives’ tale (same), let’s leave it in the 18th century, shall we?

It’s not everyday that a baby is born on Christmas Eve. They’re definitely going to steal all the attention during the holiday season (as they should), so be prepared to gift them double the presents each year — for Christmas and their birthday. But regardless of the Christmas/birthday chaos and the hit your wallet might take, December 24 babies are unique, rare, and special, even if they can’t turn water into wine.

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