Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Only 11 Days Until Yule

And 14 days until Christmas!

My husband and I both enjoy traditions, both the invention and the continuing practice. Since our religious holiday is Yule (or Winter Solstice) instead of Christmas, we had to decide how we intended to celebrate our religious holiday and the Christmas holiday and where gifts and Santa fit in to our traditions. We both intend to include the magic of Santa in our traditions.

The way we decided to work the holidays is Yule will be our spiritual holiday and we will each get to open one gift that night. All other gifts will be saved for Christmas morning to be opened with the family. Santa will deliver his gifts on Christmas Eve after everyone is asleep, so they will be opened Christmas morning as well.

Part of the reason we were struggling is because we know many people who only observe their religious holiday and none others. The problem we had with that is that all of our family observes Christmas, and we're the only ones who observe Yule. We will explain the origins of both Yule and Christmas to Tree Faerie when she's older, but she will get to observe both in a way. Plus, since the current Santa beliefs are based around him delivering all his presents in one night, we were trying to avoid a future debate on the reason Santa delivered toys to Rowan on a different night.

I'm happy with the final decision. Our spiritual practices are not lost in light of other Christmas traditions (such as Santa), yet Tree Faerie will not feel like the oddball for celebrating something completely different than everyone else. Plus this gives us an opportunity to introducing her to other religions and their practices, which I feel is especially important since we practice a minority religion.

Speaking of my minority religion... Several of you asked what Wicca is, and while I don't feel quite up to explaining it in a post today, my husband has done a pretty good job of explaining Paganism at Summerland Grove's website. This is the link to the information page, and there are additional links on the lower half of the sidebar that explain some of the common Sabbats (holidays), tools, and traditions. If you don't want to go check it out, I'm currently working on a post in my head to explain my beliefs, so stick around for a while.

And the countdown continues!


What The Holidays Mean to You

For you, the holidays are about emotional connections and bonds. You are happiest being around those you love.

You celebrate the holidays in a minimalist style. You are likely to only give one great present and decorate your house with a few special items.

During the holidays, you feel magical. You love all of the decorations and how happy people are. You like to sit back and take it all in.

You think the holidays should be decadent and indulgent. You never mind gaining a few holiday pounds... it's worth it!

Your best holiday memories are of childhood foods and traditions. You secretly still wish you believed in Santa Claus.

What do you mean, "...wish you still believed..."? I DO still believe in Santa! If I didn't believe in Santa, he wouldn't still bring me presents!


Heather said...

Great idea with exposing her to the different holidays and such. I've even thought about purchasing a Menorah and lighting it during Hanukkah. Even though we're not Jewish and no one in our family is either, it is the other major December holiday.

Andrea said...

I've thought about doing that too when she gets older. I'll have to do a bit of research first so I can fully explain the reasons behind those traditions.

TTQ said...

Honey and I are still working out how to create our own Christmas rituals.

And may I just say OMG she is so so cute!

Random said...

yup, exactly. christmas has become a cultural holiday, much like valentine's or halloween. sure, a lot of people still celebrate the spiritual meaning, but my atheist friends throw up some tinsel and lights, too.

it was a struggle for me to figure out what to do with boo when he was tiny. we tried just doing yule at our house and doing christmas at gramma's house, but that didn't work out. obviously.

i like the way we do things.

Patti said...

what great shots of your daughter...she's an imp!

meno said...

Sounds like you have xome up with a great solution. Good for you.

Monnik said...

i think you're taking a great approach to holidays with her.

XYZinn said...

I think that is a great idea what you guys are doing.
I love the whole month of December and how "magical" it feels. I also love all the yummy treats that we only make during this time.