Popular Pagan Holidays
Autumn: The Croning Time
Daily Goddess Awareness
Well, You Donít Celebrate Christmas...
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
The Dark Half of the Year
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year
The Beltaine Storm
Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik
The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Childrenís Story
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
A Celtic View of Samhain
Ostara: Enter the Light!
Supermomsí and Superdadsí Defense Against ďHoliday KryptoniteĒ
A Summer Solstice Primer
A Story For Autumn
Witches Lost in Halloween
The Best Thing About Death
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
The Babylonian Ghost Festival
The Celtic Origins of Samhain
The Ostara Transformation
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
Dealing with the Darkness, Post-Samhain
The Samhain Experience
The Theme of Mabon
First Thanksgiving... in China
Solstice of the Soul
A White Christmas in Fuyang
Love Lives On: A Samhain Reflection on Death, Rebirth, and the Afterlife
Yule and the New Year
A Samhain Dance
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
The Story of Ostara
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
The First Yule
Unity During Samhain
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface
The Blood is in the Land
The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
Sandy Was The Name Of the Dark Goddess This Samhain
When The Crone Pays A Visit, You'd Better Pay Attention
The Promise of the Harvest
Samhain is Ablaze with Reflections of My Father
At Samhain, Meet Bilť, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother
Mabon - The Flash of the Setting Sun
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom
The Call of the Crone
Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest
Opening to the Anima Mundi Ė The Gift of the Equinox
The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice
Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World
Symbology of Altar Decorations
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire
A Heathen's Approach to the Holidays
Anthesteria, the Hellenic "Samhain"
Ode to Ostara
From Samhain to Yule: Light in the Darkness
Sonoran Desert Wheel of the Year (Square Peg, Round Hole)
Samhain: the Sunbeam in the Twilight
Gaia's Mantle:The Greening of the Earth
The Lover's Flame-Beltane
Beltane and Samhain: Reflections of Life and Death
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!
Article ID: 13001
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,189
Times Read: 13,380
RSS Views: 37,858
Author: Lori Dake
Posted: November 30th. 2008
Times Viewed: 13,380
One of the things I truly enjoy doing is decorating for the Holidays, and the Sunday before Thanksgiving is when I start doing my yearly ritual. It was a lot later when I was growing up, sometimes as late as Christmas Eve, because we always had a real tree, and as you all know, real trees tend to dry out and look rather Charlie Brown-ish if itís left up too long.
I do miss the wonderful pine smell, but I certainly donít miss the pine needles all over the floor stabbing my toes, or the resin giving me a terrible rash as I string up the lights, nor do I miss the aftermath of what an urban Pagan apartment dweller is to do with a tree that was cut down for our amusement. So, since we use an artificial tree year after year, I get to decorate mine much earlier, as well as lavishly cover our humble abode in twinkly white lights and pretty red ribbons. So, early decorating is a bit of a tradition I have started, and hey - one of the perks of having your own family is to change things up a bit!
And why do I choose to decorate before Thanksgiving? I means seriously! Donít we always complain about how the holidays are rolling around earlier and earlier, no thanks to the Big Box stores (and all their evilness!) trying to make a few more dollars? Well, quite frankly, I'm going to be busy preparing Thursday's feast all this week starting on Monday, since I do prep work like a well-founded catering company! Also, since we run a home business predominantly through eBay, the Dakes will be in a retail full swing, trying to compete with those aforementioned Big Box stores and their incredibly low prices! And, Sunday is Clean Up The House! day around these parts, so this is really the only opportunity I have to decorate before Santa starts to pack up his sleigh. That, and well, decorating, for me at least, is a lot of work - an all-day thing actually! - so I want to enjoy the fruits of my labor for just a little bit longer. But I promise, after New Yearís Day, they really do come down! I swear! Really! No ornaments will be discovered with decorated eggs!
So, with this being the Saturday before, I've already started straightening up the living room / warehouse to make room for all the decorations, and I've even bought a couple new items for this year's Yule Diorama, which is my version of the Nativity Scene; I have a wolf and a moose to add! I have such fond memories of playing with the cast of characters as a kid, so I restructured the scene to more accurately reflect my Pagan beliefs.
My husband said if I keep adding onto it, that by the time our son has his own kids, my little "manger scene" is going to take up a whole wall! And since almost all of the pieces in my Yule Diorama were originally intended to be childrenís playthings, as opposed to being delicate, hand painted porcelain religious icons to be admired and not touched, I happily welcome the thought of having that wall of critters and magickal creatures readily available for my future grandchildren.
We also break another tradition of throwing ourselves into bankruptcy over buying the biggest and best gifts for extended family and ourselves. My husbandís family is huge, and their tradition is that everyone buys everyone a gift. When his sisters, their husbands, their children and now, their childrenís husbands and children are factored in, even token five dollar gifts can easily jack up to over a thousand dollars!
So, in order to still manage to give something to everyone, I also invest a full day of cookie baking, with at least four varieties and a dozen cookies per gift bag. (Yes, thatís a LOT of flour and sugar, but soooo good!) Okay, so we end up looking like cheapskates to some of our wealthier family members, especially when the gifts we get in exchange are pretty darn sweet, but I am at least trying to convey the message we do care and hopefully one day, someone will do the math and realize just how much work and love was put into them all. If anything, I got to make my home smell delicious and was able to sprinkle a little magick into their tummies!
Now, one tradition I have retained intact from childhood is to add at least one new ornament for the tree. For at least the last decade, I've been desperately searching for a blue Santa, more like a Father Christmas than the Coca-Cola image people are mostly familiar with, because somehow, it just feel ĎrightíĚ, for lack of a better term. Our tree is very Pagan-ish, but without being blatant or tacky about it, and I feel it reflects our faith as a whole. So, to find that special Santa would be such a wonderful addition to all the birds, bells, stars, icicles, snowflakes and winter woodland creatures that currently adorn our happy little tree, and it would just plain make me happy.
Hereís the way I see it:
Yes, we're Pagan, yes we celebrate Yule, but yes, we also open presents on Christmas and have no problem calling them Christmas presents. Sure, we also open a special gift at Yule, but just like any religiously blended family, thatís another perk: more presents for the holidays! But no, we do not send out cards that say "Merry Christmas!" on them, unless we specifically know the recipients celebrate the holiday as such.
Oh, and no - I wouldn't be offended if you or anyone else were to wish me a "Merry Christmas". I know a couple times, people have tap-danced around that term, and it always came off as rather awkward, even in email form. I was able to just sense that fumbling around with a half-hearted, generic "Happy Holidays", and to me, it just took away from the gesture.
Now, while I honestly do appreciate that extra effort, the sentiment is all the same to me, so I kindly ask my friends and family to just say whatever comes to mind. Itís not necessary with us. We always appreciate the sincere wishes, in all its guises. Iím a vegetarian too; as just the same, Iím not out to inconvenience anyone when what he or she gives me is out of love (Iíll just stick with the sides!)
So in closing, I wish a Merry Christmas to you, a Blessed Solstice, a Happy Yuletide, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, a Happy Boxing Day and a thousand other ways to wish you a wonderful holiday, however you wish to call and celebrate it!
PS. Pssst! So hey - if anyone comes across a blue Santa ornament, would you kindly let me know where to find it? :) I'd really like to start a new quest!
Yule Diorama: http://pagan-wiccan-practice.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_pagan_nativity_scene
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Author's Profile: To learn more about Lori Dake - Click HERE
Other Articles: Lori Dake has posted 4 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Lori Dake... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren‚Äôs Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches‚Äô Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).