I almost finished packing up our Yule Decorations yesterday, and like always, I hated doing it.

It’s not just the work; I mean, yes, I can admit laziness is one of my cardinal vices. But the real reason is that after the color of Halloween and Yule, the house looks so plain when the tree and the garland and the figurines come down. I’ve put all my festive away and have nothing to put up in its stead. It makes me sad.

The next holiday I usually put decorations up for is Ostara/Easter, and that’s fun because it’s all bright and spring-y… but lilies and rabbits just ain’t gonna work in January and February. Part of me says that it’s okay to have an “ordinary time” (to borrow a phrase from my husband’s Catholic faith) to better contrast with the holiday seasons, but (and maybe it’s the dramatic theater teacher in me) I mentally revolt against anything called Ordinary Time. Every time should have it’s own reason to be special. It doesn’t have to be as extreme as Yule and Halloween decorating – just a festive way of decorating the mantle and the centerpiece of my table would be enough. But I want there to be something important, something special, as a visual reminder that every season has its own sacredness.

The Valkyrie's Vigil by Edward Robert Hughes

So, fellow princes and princesses, I’m asking for help from you! Being more Swedish than anything else, the next holiday I plan on celebrating is a Swedish event still held every February in Uppsala: the Disting. Disting (I think it’s pronounced Deece’-teeng; if somebody knows better, please correct me) breaks down to “dísir,” meaning “sacred feminine beings” – everything from goddesses to Valkyries to female ancestors can be considered dísir – and “ting” (or “thing”) meaning democratic assembly.* This is a day to celebrate the dísir and ask blessings on the tools of our craft/livelihood (some cultures call the day “The Charming of the Plow” instead of Disting), as well as a big market day and craft fair.

So here’s where I need you. I’m kicking “ordinary” to the curb. I want to move from one celebration to the next (‘cause that’s how I roll). But I have never heard of Disting decorations. So how would you decorate to celebrate your female ancestors, sacred feminine beings, the artistry of craft, and the blessing of tools?** I would love to see any and all suggestions from any cultural or faith tradition (including ideas you just made up) for any area of the home; the more ideas posted, the better a resource this can be! But specifically for me I’m looking at mantle and table decorations (and maybe something for the kitchen; the kitchen never gets seasonal decoration love) that don’t require mad skills. Unlike GG, crafting has never been my strong suit (I cook, I write, I play piano and sing, but I don’t “craft” well), but I am willing to give it a try! After I’ve decorated up my home Disting style, I’ll take pictures and post them for you to see your ideas in action.

Thanks for your help, and I look forward to reading your ideas!

* Yes, 1000 years ago those so-called “war-mongering, barbarians of the North” had a democratic legislative assembly where they elected leaders and held trials by jury, and it was called “The Thing.” In fact, in Norway, Iceland, Denmark and other places, the legislature is still called some variation of “Thing.”
**This would be the GOOD definition of tool: what we need that makes our livelihood possible (like my netbook), not the modern “he’s such a tool” definition. Honestly, it makes me sad that the word “tool” has been given a negative connotation. What a wonderful thing it is to be useful! We should celebrate helpfulness, not denigrate it.