First day of Yule was the High Feast, which we had at R’s house and it rekindled holiday magic I haven’t felt since family gatherings of many years ago.
Day two was for Thor and the extremes of cold and heat, as we delve into the winter. We watched A Christmas Carol for the extremes, and the scary ghost stories of the Wild Hunt. We also opened gifts to celebrate the returning of the Sun.
Day three was for Skadi and Ull, Lord and Lady of winter. We made and hung snow flakes in their honor.
Day four fell on Christmas Eve, the night when Santa/Odin comes. This morning, we discussed the Wild Hunt, how the winds blew fierecly and carried Odin and Slepnir, and now Santa and his reindeer, far and wide. We talked about the Wild Hunt and how it is a time of scary stories. In honor of the scary ghost stories, and in preparation of presents received from Santa, Odin, and family tomorrow- to remember the point of Christmas is love not gifts- we watched Nightmare Before Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
We ended the night with tossing reindeer and horse food (oats and sugar) on the front lawn, and leaving out cookies and milk for Santa and a horn or mead for Odin.
Day five landed on Christmas where we explored the idea of family, both kith and kin, who share love between us. To show our love, we share gifts with our family, small tokens that, when enjoyed, you can remember who gave it to you and remember the love you share between you.
The kids were surprised by happy gifts under the tree from Santa, stockings of goodies left by Odin, and gifts from kith and kin sent in from out of town.
Witchlette was also very pleased to see the cookies eaten, the milk drank, and the mead enjoyed.
We spent the morning enjoying each other and our new goodies. After lunch, we headed to my mom’s house where we enjoyed the company of extended family and shared gifts and good food together.
Yesterday was spend with kin receiving gifts. We are very fortunate for everything and everyone we have in our lives. There are those in our community who are not as fortunate. Today is dedicated to them: we stopped at the grocery store and bought supplies for the food back. Last month, we gave canned fruits and veggies as well as beans and rice. The month before that, we gave pasta, tomato sauce, and cereal. This month, we got baby food, toothbrushes, toothpastes, soap, shampoo, and sanitary supplies.
Usually, we drop off our donation to the box at Harris Teeter, but the folks have already picked up the box. Witchlette doesn’t do well in the car, so we’re going to drop off our goodies at the Magick Circle collection. Late, yes, but we did the gathering of supplies on the day.
Day 7 we celebrated Mother’s Night. I learned after it had already passed that Mother’s Night is celebrated the night before the Solstice, which makes sense. Some traditions also have it in the third day of Yule. I will plan differently next year.
Today, for Mother’s Night, I honored Frigg with a meditation of my own, while packing and preparing for our move. Also, since it’s mother’s night, everyone did an activity of moms choosing. This mama chose to go to hockey practice before lunch and watch hockey after dinner.
This was the first day we didn’t fully see through our activity. Today was dedicated to Elements and Elementals. We were going to make elemental totems for a family altar, but the activities were planned far before the day and the amount of packing that was done was not calculated for in the original plans. So…with craft supplies packed, we decided to plan our family altar for our new house and gather supplies. We have sticks and leaves for Earth, feathers for air, shells from our last trip to the beach for water, and crystals from camping for fire. As we are setting up our new house, we will arrange them in a hurricane vase, which is also already packed, and find the perfect spot for the whole family to enjoy it.
Day Nine was devoted to Odin Allfather and all fathers. Witchlette and I spoke of Odin often during the day, though we didn’t have a set time devoted to him. Appropriately, we spoke of him while we were going somewhere.
Hubby was given the choice of doing whatever activity he wanted to do. He wants to get the house on the market, so he decided to spend his time working on the house projects on his list.
The 10th day is for our ancestors. Witchlette wanted to hear more stories about her great grandfather on Hubby’s side, his beloved grandfather, Grandpa C. We didn’t talk much about the countries where we hail from, as Witchlette knows most of that, especially her Pre-K class did an around the world where are you from unit with parent volunteers speaking about their cultures.
Day Eleven fell on New Year’s Eve. Typically I end our Yule celebration with Oath Night, but it wasn’t so this year.
The three of us who were old enough to make oaths last year read them at the dinner table. I wanted to journal weekly to get perspective and positivity. While I didn’t journal weekly, I did journal more frequently and got more positive. Hubby wanted to complete more house projects, and he did. Witchlette wanted Witchling to get better (he was sick this time last year) and since Witchlette got better, Witchlette’s oath was also a success.
We wrote down our oaths for the coming year, with Witchlette whispering hers to Hubby so that it will be hers to own and Witchling whispering his to me.
After dinner, I set the previous, successful oaths a blaze to release them.
The last day of Yule was dedicated to the Sun, which likely should have been marked on the second day. A bit before Thanksgiving, Witchlette spotted some sun catchers in the dollar store. I returned to the store on my own and purchased them as stocking stuffers. I store that in my not usual gift stop and forgot all about them until we were cleaning out the closet last night. Happily, they became our Yule activity for today. The kids painted them as they saw fit, though Witchlette was disappointed there was no red paint, but she loves her finished product of Leo nonetheless.
And now, everything from Yule has been packed away. It’s fucking cold in North Carolina, we have an artic blast with temperatures only going as high as 40 at the end of the week. While the sun has returned and the days are slowly getting longer, we are fully in the cold season.