21 Weird Greek Superstitions: Customs and Traditions


Lucky Bat Bones
Lucky Bat Bones

All countries and cultures have their own customs, traditions and superstitions, some happen to have more than others, take Greece for example, here are just a few weird Greek superstitions that any Greek worth his salt adheres to!

1. “To Mati” The evil eye.

The Greek evil eye charms & amulets
The Greek evil eye charms & amulets

This must be the most well-known of Greek superstitions, the curse of the evil eye, said to be caused by jealousy and excessive praise.

 Greek evil eye  charms and amulets, in the shape of eyes, are worn, carried in pockets, or hung on walls, to ward off this bad fortune.

To test if you have been unlucky enough to have been touched by the curse of the evil eye, place a drop of oil in a glass of water, if it floats, all is well, you have not been afflicted, if it sinks though, well, then it’s a good idea to call a Greek mama to say her secret prayer for you, and when you start yawning, that’s the sign the curse is leaving you!


2. “Filaxta” Talismans and amulets.


  "Filaxta" Greek charms & amulets
"Filaxta" Greek charms & amulets


Flilaxta, are Greek amulets, or talismans, usually seen pinned to babies, or children’s clothes, but are also carried in the pockets and purses of older people, and are believed to ward off the evil eye.

Called “Baskania” by The Greek Orthodox Church, small pieces of cloth are sewn into tiny sachets, embellished with beads, or the sign of the cross, filled with cotton wool soaked in holy oil, which has been blessed by a priest, or pieces of olive branch or basil, that has been used in some religious ceremony, performed by a priest.

Anything that is from holy ground, or that has been blessed by a priest, can be used to fill these “Filaxta”.


3. Spitting

Nais, taking spitting to another level!
Nais, taking spitting to another level,
and making double sure of protection from the evil eye, is that a Greek evil eye bracelet I see on her wrist?

Don’t be too surprised to see Greeks spitting all over the place, actually, it is not spitting as such, but more of a spitting sound;

 “Ftou, Ftou Flou”

Always spit three times (Three depicting The Holy Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Ghost), and you’ll be kept safe from the evil eye.

If you hear someone speaking of misfortune and misery, say “Ftou, Ftou, Ftou”, that should keep the same misfortune and misery away from you and your loved ones.

Fishermen spit on their nets, to ensure a good catch, and Greek babies are “Ftou, Ftou Ftoued” over,  all the  time, to keep the devil at bay.


4. Itchy palms


Giving or receiving? Which palm was itchy, left or right?
Giving or receiving?
Which palm was itchy, left or right?

 
Next time your palm itches, take note which one has the tickle, left, or right?

I hope for your sake, that it’s the right palm, this means you’re going to receive money, not a welcome itch if it’s the left palm though, you’ll be the one giving money to someone else’s itchy right palm!


5. Open scissors


Always close scissors, never leave them open Painting Raymond Logan
Always close scissors, never leave them open
Painting Raymond Logan

After using a pair of scissors, never put them down with the blades open, this is just an invitation for people to talk about you, and not in a good way!


6. Never leave shoes lying on their side


Even if your shoes are red-soled Louboutin,  don't leave them lying sideways
Even if your shoes are red-soled Louboutin,
 don't leave them lying sideways


Even if your shoes are coveted Louboutin, restrain yourself from leaving them lying on their side, in order to admire those cherry - red-soles.

Shoes left on their sides means bad luck, lots of it, some say even death!


7. Never leave your slippers sole-side up while you sleep.



Offending slippers
Offending slippers


If you want to have children, then be careful not to leave your slippers sole-side up while sleeping, a sure way, according to Greek folklore, to remain childless.


8. Writing boy’s names on the soles of wedding shoes.


Who will marry me?
Who will marry me?

Want to know who’ll you marry?
When attending weddings, young, unmarried girls, and bridesmaids, write the names of their loved ones on the soles of their shoes, or, the name of the boy they have their eye on.

If, at the end of the day, the name has not worn off, then, you soon may be hearing your own wedding bells.
Have you noticed how young Greek girls seem to walk so, so, carefully at weddings?

Now you know why!


9. Don’t hand over a knife


Lay your knives on the table
Lay your knives on the table

If someone asks you to pass them a knife, never put it straight into their hand, if you want to remain friends.

Place the knife on the table, in front of them, for them to pick up themselves, otherwise, you will fight, or your friendship will be cut short.



10. Never give perfume as a gift without receiving a coin in exchange.

Smells like a break-up
Smells like a break-up

If you can’t imagine live without your best friend, or don’t want to break up with your boyfriend, don’t give them perfume as a gift.

Giving perfume as a gift is a sure-fired way, according to the Greeks, to ruin any relationship.

If you absolutely must buy them the latest cult fragrance, make sure they give you a coin in return; this should ward off any evil vibes!


11. Always enter and leave a house by the same door.


If you came in this way, you leave this way.
If you came in this way, you leave this way.

When visiting someone, always leave from the door through which you entered,
don’t go in the back door, and leave through the front, or vise versa, if you don’t want to break up a romantic relationship.


12. Salt sees off unwelcome visitors


Worth a pinch of salt
Worth a pinch of salt

Someone overstayed their welcome?
Never fear; a pinch of salt, thrown behind their back, will see them on their way!

It’s also said, salt sprinkled in a new home, will drive out evil spirits.


13. Don’t eat straight from the pot.


Who could resit pinching one of these potatoes  straight from the pot?
Who could resit pinching one of these potatoes
 straight from the pot?

Everyone hopes for glorious weather on their wedding day, right?

Make the effort to put your food on a plate then, never eat straight from the cooking pot, that’s just asking for bad weather on your wedding day!


14. Lucky bat bones


Bat bones, lucky for some.
Bat bones, lucky for some.

Especially on the Greek islands, bat bones are considered lucky, and are carried around in pockets and purses, to attract good luck.

On Corfu, I have heard, they believe to actually chew on bat bones brings the most luck!
The problem here is how to acquire a good set of bat bones, as it’s known to be so unlucky to kill a bat!


 15.  Try not to spot a priest walking in the street.


Greek Priests "Garlic, garlic!"
Greek Priests
"Garlic, garlic!"

Everybody loves a Greek priest, but, even though they are revered, look away quickly, if you see one in the street, it’s thought to be a bad omen.

If you can’t avoid a priest out and about on the streets, whisper “Skorda” garlic, this should do the trick of deflecting any bad omens!


16. Always steal plant cuttings.


Never pay for a plant cutting
They must have been Greek!

If you want plant cuttings to flourish, never ask for them from neighbours, family or friends, pinch them, it’s the only way for them to take root !

On eyeing up a particularly handsome plant, in a friends garden, on asking for a cutting, the friend is likely to reply;

“Come and take a cutting tonight, when I’ve gone to bed, so I don’t see you”

If you turn up too early, and they happen to be looking out of the window, well, then, they’ll just turn a blind eye!


17. Never leave a purse or wallet completely empty.


Money in my pocket
Money in my pocket

Money attracts money, so they say, so, never leave a purse or wallet empty, at least leave a couple of coins in there, and hope for some attraction!


18. Plant cactus outside the door.


Cactus security
Cactus security

Greece has the perfect climate for cactus, and they seem to grow anywhere and everywhere, but have you noticed, that it’s quite common to see them planted, either in pots, or in the ground, outside doors and entrances?

This is because these plants are considered useful as spiky, prickly door men, keeping the undesirable evil spirits out of the house.


19. Sneezing


Atchoo!
Atchoo!

Greeks believe, that when you sneeze, someone is talking about you, to find out who that someone is, ask whoever is with you, to give you a three digit number, add the digits together.

 For example, say they give you the number 123:
123 1+2+3=6, the name of the person who is talking about you, begins with the sixth letter of the alphabet.


20. Crows


"Sto Kalo, Sto Kalo" Picture by Colette Davis
"Sto Kalo, Sto Kalo"
Picture by Colette Davis

To the Greeks, crows represent a bad omen, bad news, misfortune and death, and the crow was a symbol of the occult in ancient Greek mythology.

When they see, or hear a crow, a Greek is likely to say:

“Sto kalo, sto kalo, kala nea tha mou ferris”

This means, literally:

“Go to the good, go to the good and bring me good news”
With this, they send the crow on its way, with instructions not to return without good news.



21. Salt, bread and eggs should never leave the house after sunset.



Not allowed out after dark
Not allowed out after dark


If a neighbor comes knocking on your door after dark, asking to borrow either salt, eggs or bread, say no!

If any of these three items leave your house after dark, you and anyone else living in the house are doomed, bad luck will befall you all, you will be inflicted with the evil eye.

Be very, very careful, people can be sly and may ask you for these items after dark, with the intent of causing you and your family harm, always say no!

Taking all of the above superstitions into account, if you come across someone decked out in evil eyes and amulets, spitting all over the place, muttering “Garlic, garlic” under their breath, while chomping on a bat bone, well, there’s a very good chance that it’s a Greek!

If you enjoyed reading this,how about reading about some of the most mysterious and creepy places in Greece!



More Greek lists below!

40 things I've learned about the Greeks

How the Ancient City of Athens got its Name and the Sacred Olive Trees of Greece.

The Acropolis of Athens by Leo von Klenze (1846) .Neue Pinakothek  Munich
The Acropolis of Athens by Leo von Klenze (1846)
.Neue Pinakothek
Munich

 "The entire Mediterranean seems to rise out of the sour, pungent taste of black olives between the teeth.

 A taste older than meat or wine, a taste as old as cold water.

 Only the sea itself seems as ancient a part of the region as the olive and its oil, that like no other products of nature, have shaped civilizations from remotest antiquity to the present."

'Prospero's Cell' - by Lawrence Durrell.


The olive tree has been sacrosanct for Greeks since ancient times, it is a a symbol of peace, wisdom and triumph and so revered  was the olive tree to the Greeks, that olive groves were considered sacred ground, only virgins and chaste men were
 allowed to cultivate them.


Olive groves of Greece Photo by alexandros9
Olive groves of Greece
Photo by alexandros9 

Solon(638-558 BC) an Athenian statesman, lawmaker, and poet created a law prohibiting the cutting down of olive trees.

The punishment was death!

Hercules, the hero of Greek mythology, was protected by a wreath of olive leaves, (Kotinos in Greek), and it  was a wreath made from olive leaves that was used to crown champions at the ancient Olympic games, leaves used for these wreaths were taken from a sacred olive tree near the temple of Zeus at Olympia.


Victor of ancient Olympic games being crowned with a "Kotinos" Olive leave wreath, depicted on Ancient Greek pottery
Victor of ancient Olympic games being crowned with a "Kotinos"
Olive leaf wreath, depicted on
Ancient Greek pottery

  The ancient Greek philosopher, Sophocles, said, of the olive tree;

"The tree that feeds the children"

Homer, great Greek poet, author of "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey", when referring to Greek olive oil, called it "Liquid gold"


Greek olive oil "Liquid gold"
Greek olive oil
"Liquid gold"

In the first book of The Old Testament, Genesis, a dove released by Noah, returned with an olive branch, to show that the floods had receded.

This has been a symbol of peace ever since.


Dove & olive branch Picasso Symbol of Peace
Dove & olive branch
Picasso
Symbol of Peace

As you can see from the above, the olive trees of  ancient Greece were sacred, no other tree came close.

 It comes as no surprise then, to learn, that this glorious tree played a part in the naming of one of the oldest cities in the world, continuously inhabited for at least 5000 years, the  most powerful city of ancient Greece, Athens.

In ancient times, the most well-known city of Greece, and center of commerce, a beautiful city, atop a hill, was named Cecrops, after its ruler, a mythical creature, half man and half snake.


Cecrops, legendary creature of ancient Greece Half man, half snake. Once ruler of Cecrops, today, the city known as Athens.
Cecrops, legendary creature of ancient Greece
Half man, half snake.
Once ruler of Cecrops, today, the city known as Athens.

The twelve Gods, of Mount Olympus, a wonderful place to live at the time, thought the grass looked greener, over there in Cecrops, and got to thinking;

 "Why should we take no credit for this thriving city?"

 "It should be named after one of us!"

To cut a long story short, as Greek myths tend to be, after a heated debate, two Gods were declared suitable of honouring this great city of Greece with their name, but which one? 


Both contenders, Poseidon, God of the sea, and Athena, Goddess of wisdom, begged Zeus, ruler of all Greek Gods, to become the Patron God of Cecrops.

Poseidon God of the sea
Poseidon
God of the sea - Leo Cailliard

After much deep thought, Zeus came up with an idea, each contender would present a gift to the ruler Cecrops and his citizens, the citizens would then choose which gift they preferred and the city would then, take the giver's name.

Poseidon and Athena, went away, to think about what could be the best ever gift for the people of Cecrops.

After weeks of much thinking and preparation, the two Gods returned to the city on the hill, and were ready to present their carefully thought-over gifts to its citizens.



The contest of Athena and Poseidon. West Pediment of the Parthenon Photo Tilemachos Efthimiadis
The contest of Athena and Poseidon. West Pediment of the Parthenon
Photo Tilemachos Efthimiadis

First up was Poseidon, who struck the rock with his trident and out flowed water, symbolizing naval power.
  (There are other versions that state Poseidon's gift was a horse.)

"Choose me" said Poseidon  "Here is a never-ending flow of water, never again will you go thirsty, never again will you experience drought"

But when the people tasted the water, it was salty, of course, Poseidon is God of the sea!

Now it was Athena's turn, in her hand she held a single seed, which she threw to the ground, where it instantly took root and became an olive tree, symbol of peace and prosperity.

(Some versions of the story have Athena striking the ground with her spear, and an olive tree appeared)


Athena Goddess of wisdom
Athena
Goddess of wisdom
"Choose me" said Athena "I shall plant these trees throughout the region, you shall never want for food, oil or firewood"

The citizens weren't stupid, they rose to their feet, chanting " Athena, Athena, we name our city Athena"

And the rest is history!

A sacred olive tree, thought to be the one originally created by Athena, all those thousands of years ago, was still growing on the Acropolis, in the 2nd century AD, according to Pausanias (Greek traveller and geographer).

But Herodotus (Greek historian) claims the tree was burnt in The Persian Wars 499-449 BC, and that shoots shot forth from the stump of the burnt tree, and that is the olive tree which remains on the Acropolis today!


Sacred olive tree of the Acropolis. Athens. Greece  Photo by Gianna Arax
Sacred olive tree of the Acropolis. Athens. Greece
 Photo by Gianna Arax

Olive trees have been thriving in Greece for well over ten thousand years.
One of the seven oldest trees in the World is an olive tree.

The olive tree of Vouves  (a village on the island of Crete.)
is thought to be between three and five thousand years old.

It still produces olives which, as you can imagine, are highly prized!


Olive tree of Vouves, Crete One of the oldest trees in the world Thought to be between 3000, and 5000 years old!
Olive tree of Vouves, Crete
One of the oldest trees in the world
Thought to be between 3000, and 5000 years old!

Olive trees are hardy, drought, disease and fire resistant, if rather slow-growing, which accounts for their longevity, the average age for an olive tree being three to four hundred years!

"GREECE IS A VINE AN OLIVE TREE AND A BOAT"

Greek Nobel prize winner for literature
Odysseus Elytis

More Magical Greek Myths






The Beggar Boy at Christ’s Christmas Tree - Fyodor Dostoevsky - Read The Whole Story Here - When nostalgia hits it hits hard - The saddest Christmas story.


Christmas past
Christmas past

It came out of nowhere, an intense wave of nostalgia, which made me gasp.

A memory so vivid, it could have been yesterday.

It was a book; a huge doorstep of a book, as books were in those days, you see, the book 

belonged to my mother, when she was a child.


The book was hard-backed, with a faded-red, cloth cover, and, at some point, I imagine, there must have been a dust jacket.

The pages were as thin as onion paper, yellowed, covered with tiny print, and, here and

there, it had the occasional black and white, woodblock – printed illustration.





My mother
My mother


We had other books which had belonged to our parents, when they were children, Enid

Blyton’s “Book of Bunnies”, telling the tales of Binkle and Flip, two mischievous rabbits.


Enid Blyton "Book of Bunnies" 1923
Enid Blyton
"Book of Bunnies"
1923

Enid Blyton’s “Book of Bunnies” belonged to my father, as did 

 “The Song of Hiawatha”

 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a book I never really liked.


My father
My father


I loved the “The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby” by the Reverend Charles

Kingsley, a story about Tom, a chimney sweep, who drowned, and became a water

baby.

“The Water Babies” was kept at my grandmother’s house, oh how I longed to take it

home with me, but that was not allowed, strict times!


I managed to find a picture of the exact same edition, the illustrations were wonderful.



"The Water Babies" Charles Kingsley
"The Water Babies"
Charles Kingsley


No book though, at this point of my life, (I must have been around six or seven years old)

was as fascinating to me, as the big red book of my mother’s.


I can’t remember the title of the book; it was one of those compendiums, a collection of

short children’s stories, and I can only remember one story from the book, which, I read,

over and over again, I knew it by heart, and, more or less, still do.


It was such a sad story, so sad, I would cry and cry after reading it, my mother would

chide me, tell me to put it down, but I read it, probably every day!


I never knew who had written the story; I had never “Googled” it, until today.

I remembered the story clearly, but I just wanted to sit and read it again.


Would you believe it, at the age of about seven, I was reading Dostoyevsky!



Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Fyodor Dostoevsky


The title of the story is “The Beggar Boy at Christ’s Christmas Tree”, in my mother’s book,

 it was called;

 “The child at Christ’s Christmas Tree”

 Of that I’m sure, but yes, it is the same story.


I found the story, and here it is, read it, and, if you are anything like me, have a little cry.


The Beggar Boy at Christ’s Christmas Tree by Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1876

Translated by Constance Garnett


I am a novelist, and I suppose I have made up this story. I write “I suppose,” though I know for a fact that I have made it up, but yet I keep fancying that it must have happened on Christmas Eve in some great town in a time of terrible frost.

I have a vision of a boy, a little boy, six years old or even younger. This boy woke up that morning in a cold damp cellar. He was dressed in a sort of little dressing-gown and was shivering with cold. There was a cloud of white steam from his breath, and sitting on a box in the corner, he blew the steam out of his mouth and amused himself in his dullness watching it float away. But he was terribly hungry. Several times that morning he went up to the plank bed where his sick mother was lying on a mattress as thin as a pancake, with some sort of bundle under her head for a pillow.

 How had she come here? She must have come with her boy from some other town and suddenly fallen ill. The landlady who let the “concerns” had been taken two days before the police station, the lodgers were out and about as the holiday was so near, and the only one left had been lying for the last twenty-four hours dead drunk, not having waited for Christmas. In another corner of the room a wretched old woman of eighty, who had once been a children’s nurse but was now left to die friendless, was moaning and groaning with rheumatism, scolding and grumbling at the boy so that he was afraid to go near her corner.

 He had got a drink of water in the outer room, but could not find a crust anywhere, and had been on the point of waking his mother a dozen times. He felt frightened at last in the darkness: it had long been dusk, but no light was kindled. Touching his mother’s face, he was surprised that she did not move at all, and that she was as cold as the wall. “It is very cold here,” he thought. He stood a little, unconsciously letting his hands rest on the dead woman’s shoulders, then he breathed on his fingers to warm them, and then quietly fumbling for his cap on the bed, he went out of the cellar. He would have gone earlier, but was afraid of the big dog which had been howling all day at the neighbor’s door at the top of the stairs. But the dog was not there now, and he went out into the street.

Mercy on us, what a town! He had never seen anything like it before. In the town from he had come, it was always such black darkness at night. There was one lamp for the whole street, the little, low-pitched, wooden houses were closed up with shutters, there was no one to be seen in the street after dusk, all the people shut themselves up in their houses, and there was nothing but the howling all night. But there it was so warm and he was given food, while here—oh, dear, if he only had something to eat! And what a noise and rattle here, what light and what people, horses and carriages, and what a frost! The frozen steam hung in clouds over the horses, over their warmly breathing mouths; their hoofs clanged against the stones through the powdery snow, and everyone pushed so, and—oh, dear, how he longed for some morsel to eat, and how wretched he suddenly felt. A policeman walked by and turned away to avoid seeing the boy.

There was another street—oh, what a wide one, here he would be run over for certain; how everyone was shouting, racing and driving along, and the light, the light! And what was this? A huge glass window, and through the window a tree reaching up to the ceiling; it was a fir tree, and on it were ever so many lights, gold papers and apples and little dolls and horses; and there were children clean and dressed in their best running about the room, laughing and playing and eating and drinking something. And then a little girl began dancing with one of the boys, what a pretty little girl! And he could hear the music through the window. The boy looked and wondered and laughed, though his toes were aching with the cold and his fingers were red and stiff so that it hurt him to move them.

 And all at once the boy remembered how his toes and fingers hurt him, and began crying, and ran on; and again through another window-pane he saw another Christmas tree, and on a table cakes of all sorts—almond cakes, red cakes and yellow cakes, and three grand young ladies were sitting there, and they gave the cakes to any one who went up to them, and the door kept opening, lots of gentlemen and ladies went in from the street. The boy crept up, suddenly opened the door and went in. oh, how they shouted at him and waved him back! One lady went up to him hurriedly and slipped a kopeck into his hand, and with her own hands opened the door into the street for him! How frightened he was. And the kopeck rolled away and clinked upon the steps; he could not bend his red fingers to hold it right. the boy ran away and went on, where he did not know. He was ready to cry again but he was afraid, and ran on and on and blew his fingers.

 And he was miserable because he felt suddenly so lonely and terrified, and all at once, mercy on us! What was this again? People were standing in a crowd admiring. Behind a glass window there were three little dolls, dressed in red and green dresses, and exactly, exactly as though they were alive. Once was a little old man sitting and playing a big violin, the two others were standing close by and playing little violins, and nodding in time, and looking at one another, and their lips moved, they were speaking, actually speaking, only one couldn’t hear through the glass.

 And at first the boy thought they were alive, and when he grasped that they were dolls he laughed. He had never seen such dolls before, and had no idea there were such dolls! All at once he fancied that some one caught at his smock behind: a wicked big boy was standing beside him and suddenly hit him on the head, snatched off his cap and tripped him up. The boy fell down on the ground, at once there was s shout, he was numb with fright, he jumped up and ran away. He ran, and not knowing where he was going, ran in at the gate of some one’s courtyard, and sat down behind a stack of wood: “They won’t find me here, besides it’s dark!”

He sat huddled up and was breathless from fright, and all at once, quite suddenly, he felt so happy: his hands and feet suddenly left off aching and grew so warm, as warm as though he were on a stove; then he shivered all over, then he gave a start, why, he must have been asleep. How nice to have a sleep here! “I’ll sit here a little and go and look at the dolls again,” said the boy, and smiled thinking of them. “Just as though they were alive! …” and suddenly he heard his mother singing over him. “Mammy, I am asleep; how nice it is to sleep here!”

“Come to my Christmas tree, little one,” a soft voice suddenly whispered over his head.
He thought that this was still his mother, but no, it was not she. Who it was calling him, he could not see, but someone bent over to him, and … and all at once—oh, what a bright light! Oh, what a Christmas tree! And yet it was not a fir tree, he had never seen a tree like that! Where was he now? Everything was bright and shining, and all around him were dolls; but no, they were not dolls, they were little boys and girls, only so bright and shining. They all came flying round him, they all kissed him, took him and carried him along with them, and he was flying himself, and he saw that his mother was looking at him and laughing joyfully. “Mammy, Mammy; oh, how nice it is here, Mammy!” and again he kissed the children and wanted to tell them at once of those dolls in the shop windows.

“Who are you, boys” who are you, girls?” he asked, laughing and admiring them.
“This is Christ’s Christmas tree,” they answered. “Christ always has a Christmas tree on this day, for the little children who have no tree of their own …” and he found out that all these little boys and girls were children just like himself; that some had been frozen in the baskets in which they had as babies been laid on the doorsteps of well-to-do Petersburg people, others had been boarded out with Finnish women by the Foundling and had been suffocated, others had died at their starved mothers’ breasts (in the Samara famine), others had died in the third-class railway carriages from the foul air; and yet they were all here, they were all like angels about Christmas, and He was in the midst of them and held out His hands to them and blessed them and their sinful mothers. … and the mothers of these children stood on one side weeping; each one knew her boy or girl, and the children flew up to them and kissed them and wiped away their tears with their little hands, and begged them not to weep because they were so happy.

And down below in the morning the porter found the little dead body of the frozen child on the woodstack; they sought out his mother too. … she had died before him. They met before the Lord God in heaven.

Why have I made up such a story, so out of keeping with an ordinary diary, and a writer’s above all? And I promised two stories dealing with real events! But that is just it, I keep fancying that all this may have happened really—that is, what took place in the cellar and on the woodstack; but as for Christ’s Christmas tree, I cannot tell you whether that could have happened or not.

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