Yule tidings! Happy Solstice! And YAY! — the world didn’t end today. I really didn’t think it would. But contemplating the faux end of the world got me thinking about other endings, too. Like the end of Christmas traditions as I embrace Yule. Let me explain.
Many modern Pagans grew up in a different faith. When we come out of the broom closet, we sometimes sweep away traditions associated with our former faith. I think this is especially evident to us during the winter holidays when we pine for our old traditions like Christmas carols (that sing about Jesus), midnight mass, lighting a menorah, or some other family practice related to the holidays. It’s not that Pagans are against those traditions now (well, the Princesses aren’t) — it’s just those traditions don’t hold a spiritual meaning for me personally. I still enjoy the sense of community and family bonding that come with those traditions, but they no longer move me in the same spiritual sense.
So in a very Pagan / cyclical way, thinking about endings has me thinking about beginnings, too. [Very apropos for the season, I suppose.] I’ve been thinking about starting new Yule and winter holiday traditions for my home that mean something to me personally. Here are some of my ideas.
♕ Decorate my home with Yule tidings. I suggested some tree toppers a few weeks ago. The same ideas can work for ornaments, wreaths, garland, and mantle swag.
♕ Read aloud poems that reference my beliefs and the celebration of Yule. Odin’s Gift has a large selection of Yule readings, which I was very happy to find. I found some Pagan-centered Yule poetry on Angelfire. There are a few that will work for Heathenry; most are focused on Wicca or general Paganism. There might be a few gems here for your family and home!
♕ Sing songs that include lyrics about Yule or Winter Solstice. Star Foster wrote a wonderful post a few years ago recommending Yule songs. There were a few songs I’d like to learn and sing. Other not-necessarily-Yule songs I’d love to sing this time of year are One Tin Soldier and Christmas in Austin. I haven’t listed to all of the songs about Christmas in Texas, but I’m sure at least some of them would be fun to sing. And let’s not forget the songs Jax recommended a few years ago! Maybe I will rotate poems and songs during the twelve nights of Yule.
♕ Design a Frigga’s Blót (Mother Night) that is filled with joy and hope…and fun for wee ones. I’d love for this to include a Yule log and staying up late to greet the sun. Or maybe waking up early to see her. I’m getting older now and need my beauty sleep. I want this to be something my household looks forward to every year.
I don’t have kiddos yet, but I definitely want to find craft and play ideas for them during Yule, too. I’d also like to try my hand at writing a few Yule songs myself. I used to pen lyrics when I was younger. Maybe I have a tune or two left in me.
What are your Yule, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa traditions?
Featured image: A Winter’s Tale by Domenico Salvagnin.