For Christians, today's the twelfth day of Christmas -- the day the wise men arrived at the stable and presented their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. According to my mother, that means it's also the day to take down any Christmas decorations or face all sorts of bad luck.
All my adult life, thanks to Mom's reminders, I've assiduously ensured that my decorations are down by this magical date. We took our tree down on the weekend, though I discovered a stuffed Garfield Santa toy in the living room yesterday. So I snatched it up and stuck it away to prevent bad-luck from falling on our household this year.
There's also the tossing of spilled salt over your right shoulder, and the fear of seven years bad luck if a mirror is broken. And yes, I give a nickel to anyone who might give me scissors or knives as a gift in order to preserve the friendship that might be 'cut' as a result.
There are more weird obscure ones too. Like not looking at a new moon through glass. I think mom used to tell me you were supposed to greet the new moon too by saying "Good evening, New Moon." Again, three times seems to be the charm.
I doubt any of these rituals actually bring luck -- good or bad -- upon me or anyone in my household, but still, I do them "just in case."
Got any superstitions you're adamant about following? Or ones you've heard that make you laugh?