In America, Christmas traditions are fairly tame and often enshrined in holiday song; "chestnuts roasting on an open fire" and "a turkey and some mistletoe help to make the season bright," are just a few lyrics top-of-mind this time of year. But the idea of hanging socks next to the fireplace must seem quite foreign to some people, (nevermind the idea of a man dressed in red, breaking into homes to deliver gifts). On that note, here are five of the strangest-seeming ways Christmas is celebrated by people around the world:

5. Yule goats

In Scandinavia, the straw Yule Goat has become a popular Christmas tree ornament, and the strange creatures can even be found in some Ikea stores globally during the month of December.

However, the idea dates back to ancient Pagan festivals, which may link the goats to the pair that pulled Thor's chariot across the sky. As time went on, the Yule Goat had a place similar to Santa Claus in Christmas celebrations, before being overtaken by the jolly elf himself. There are even paintings depicting Santa and the goat which date back to the 19th century.

Annually, a massive Yule goat is created in the town of Galvo, Sweden. Since it was first erected in 1966, the straw goat has been damaged or destroyed by arson 38 times. At first, the fires were thought to have been started by neo-Pagan groups, but it is now assumed to be the work of local hoodlums.

4. Throwing shoes

Single ladies take note -- this tradition is just for you.

It is said that women in the Czech Republic can predict their future during the Christmas holiday using only a shoe and a doorway. Holding a single favorite shoe, a woman stands with her back to the front doorway of her home. She throws the shoe over her shoulder and out the open door, in a style similar to a bride throwing a bouquet.

If the toe lands back facing the door, it is told the thrower will be married by the following Christmas. This likely has something to do with being carried over the threshold after being wed, mixed in with a bit of that old Christmas magic.

3. Candy shoes

In another tradition involving shoes, German children are told to leave their shoes outside their bedroom doors way back on December 5.

As they sleep, St. Nicholas brings candy and small gifts to fill the shoes -- though he is not to be confused with Weihnachtsmann or Father Christmas, who visits the home on Christmas Eve. Traditionally, St. Nicholas will leave a tree branch decorated in festive candy for each good child, while bad children are left barren branches, similar to the idea of misbehaving American kids receiving coal in their stockings. In modern times, wealthy families often have specially-made shoes for St. Nicholas Day, which are filled with money and small toys.

2. Night of the Radishes

People from around the world travel to Oaxaca, Mexico for Noche de Rabanos -- the Night of the Radishes -- each December 23.

Since the late 19th century, shopkeepers in the town carved intricate radish displays in an effort to bring in shoppers on their way to church. The practice became so popular, the Night of the Radishes was declared an official annual event by the mayor in 1897. Radishes as large as six pounds are harvested less than a week before the festival. They are then turned into crowd-stopping nativity scenes or images of popular local flora and fauna. Monetary prizes are given out for the best-carved radish in various categories.

1. Defecating logs

Catalonia was in the news several times over the past year, but certainly not for this odd Christmas tradition.

Known as the caga tio (which translates to "defecating log" in English), locals create a smiling, wooden character from a hollow log on December 8 or the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Each night, until Christmas Eve, children are told to take care of their new wooden friend by "feeding" it dried fruits and nuts. Finally, on December 24, the kids take turns beating the log like a pinata while singing a traditional song before the caga tio is burned in the family's fireplace.

Not to be outdone, adult Catalans enjoy the tradition of placing the caganer, a tiny porcelain statue of a man defecating, inside nativity scenes. In the heavily Roman Catholic region, the statues are not meant to be offensive but are instead said to "fertilize" the holy ground of the scene and result in prosperous harvests the following season.