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Well, we are planning on putting up the tree and decorations after Thanksgiving (just not sure when), and we will be celebrating on two different days due to my dad's work schedule. We celebrate both Yule and Christmas with our girls, and we try to add a few new things to our traditions each year. We have only lived in our home for a few years, so we get to iron out whatever works as we go.
We hang up ornaments my mom gave us, as well as home made cinnamon dough ones we made, including a Pentacle we hang on the front of the tree. I want to try my hand at making or customizing a nativity set to represent the Mother Goddess and the rebirth of the Sun God.
We also talk to our girls about the magic of the plants, the tree (even though our's is fake, I can't stomach the idea of cutting one down), the colors, and everything to enforce the specialness of the holiday. We also believe in Santa Claus as well, but we view him as a God who brings gifts and dresses in red. I believe it is Odin who visits and tests our hospitality with our offerings of cookies and milk.
We leave the lights on the tree lit so that they light the darkest night of the year, and my DH and I stay up to get the gifts under the tree (we procrastinate a lot, lol), so the thrill of getting them ready for the girls is always exciting. We usually have everyone open one special gift on Yule, and then the rest on Christmas day, and enjoy a lazy morning of pajamas, breakfast, cuddles, gifts, and holiday movies.
Our tradition includes watching the Muppet's Christmas Carol, and we talk about the lessons being taught in the movie, and the joy that everyone feels from the holiday season. This year I don't know how much we will be decorating the house though, I will be very close to my due date with baby #3, so I will be delegating a lot, and resting while I make gifts.
We try to make most of the gifts we give to family and each other, as well as some special store bought gifts for our girls. I am shooting for a goal of one home-made gift for each of my siblings and parents, and two for each of our girls. I am also working on making a few for my DH too.
We are going to do our Yule and Christmas tree the weekend before so that that sense of occasion is there.
I was going to do a Yule log but I am beginning to realise I have limitations right now in terms of time, energy and wellness. It occurred to me a couple of nights ago when I was thinking about it that I could just have a candle vigil instead. I'm going to fill the back windowsills with candles inscribed with all our one-word wishes for 2013 instead, and take pictures from the outside. I'm going to say a few Yule prayers and meditate before I light them all. The day before, I plan on making a chocolate log of some fashion and will probably have a nice meal, chocolate log and a drink on Yule itself.
Both of your holidays sound lovely! I haven't yet found good traditions for us, but for now I basically implement some pagan themes into Christmas since I'm the only one in the family who's pagan (DH is agnostic)
I love that idea, I think we will have to try it as well. I like the idea of creating that as a tradition, and be able to share it with our kids.
I won't be able to buy the book, but what if we all posted the ideas we had for the 12 nights, so we can all share and use the ones that work best for us? I think helping each other create and craft these ideas is a great way to build community and magic we can pass onto our kids.
what if we all posted the ideas we had for the 12 nights, so we can all share and use the ones that work best for us? I think helping each other create and craft these ideas is a great way to build community and magic we can pass onto our kids.
I'm new to Yule this year, since I was brought up celebrating strictly Christmas and the birth of Christ.
However this year, I want to burn some candles with wishes on them on Yule, meditate and listen to some Yule carols.
Christmas Eve Nevaeh always gets to open a present from Nana, which is always pajamas Then it's relaxing, listening to Christmas songs, when she gets old enough we'll do a game, whether board game or something else, and then we always drive around town looking at Christmas lights
Christmas day is open presents, go wherever we need to go family wise, and then relax all day. This year I get two Christmas dinners! One with my mom and one with my dad. Hello turkey!!