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Author Topic: Yule - What does it mean to you?  (Read 2193 times)

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Tirya

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Yule - What does it mean to you?
« on: November 24, 2010, 09:55:43 AM »

Discussion starter time. When you think of "Yule", what does it mean to you? What comes to mind? How do you celebrate, and why?
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bluefire

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Re: Yule - What does it mean to you?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2010, 06:59:35 PM »

Great question, Tir.

I'm getting more comfortable using the term Christmas again.  I was kind of hedgey about that for awhile.  But the season has multiple layers of meaning for me. 

Above all else, it is a celebration of the solstice.  In the darkest time of the year, we find comfort and joy.  We decorate, we sing, we gather with friends and family.  I can't imagine the dark expanse of winter without that effort to find happiness by taking exteme measures like putting trees in the house and putting pretty things on them.  To me, it's like the whole world slows waaaaay down to see how we will fill the void.

Christmas day itself at my house is really really fun.  The kids spend Christmas Eve night, we do stockings, then breakfast, then wrapped presents, then games, movies, food, and drink the rest of the day.

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Wolfsrain

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Re: Yule - What does it mean to you?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 07:47:42 PM »

Above all else, it is a celebration of the solstice.  In the darkest time of the year, we find comfort and joy.  We decorate, we sing, we gather with friends and family.  I can't imagine the dark expanse of winter without that effort to find happiness by taking exteme measures like putting trees in the house and putting pretty things on them.  To me, it's like the whole world slows waaaaay down to see how we will fill the void.

BF, that was really beautiful.

Truthfully and I guess personally because there are some who would disagree, I don't see a huge difference between Christmas and Yule. Putting "secular" aside, I think every kid should get to experience Santa. If you have the right mind set it's equally a shared and inner celebration of so many things.

I see the season as an incredible time for love and I really appreciate the giving part. Giving of self to spend time with loved ones, giving to those who can't give back, giving gifts that make someone's new year all that much more special. Christmas at home is kinda simple, though I admit Christmas Eve has changed at my grandma's since my psycho auntie decided that her life goal was to produce her own mini football team. Christmas Eve was most special to me. My memories of it are so...perfect compared to how it is now. I remember thinking the snow sparkled as if all the tree lights and stars came together and said "let's live here." Snow was the main thing for me...it was magic to me. I honestly think my feelings towards the holiday and what it means for me still stems from what I felt as a kid. The whole evening was magic and oddly my favorite parts about it little revolved around Santa (though 4 am wake up call was still a must.) Laying under my grandma's Christmas tree and feeling the ornaments that looked like gingerbread men with their gritty glitter in my hands -that was magic to me too. Falling asleep under the coffee table after dinner waiting for grandma to tell me the cookies and chocolates were out on the table. I guess I just want to recreate those feelings always. Christmas day is like a whole other world for me. It's about food and presents at my house and running on no sleep. Maybe it's the simplicity of what we do...

Oh boy...rambled. Apologies are in the box by the door, please take one as you exit the thread
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Re: Yule - What does it mean to you?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2010, 08:24:50 PM »

For me, it isn't a day, but rather a season and something of a state of mind.  From the time the decorations are up, until they come down after the first of the year, is span of the season.  It doesn't last long, but it is full of beautiful things, family, love, presents, sparkly and twinkly things, snuggles in front of the fireplace waiting for the kids to be asleep enough to sneak upstairs and drag down the Santa gifts.  It may be somewhat dark, cold and gloomy outside and the trees bare and snapping in the bitter wind, but it is warm and bright inside, with lots of food (usually too much) and laughter.
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Re: Yule - What does it mean to you?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2010, 08:28:30 PM »

I must be rather literal because to me Yule is mostly about the shortest day of the year. I get a little warm, cozy hopeful feeling when I realize that the days are no longer getting shorter but are going to get longer once again after Yule. So Yule is about hope and anticipation of the warmth and sunlight to come.

So far, the only Yule tradition that I have really adopted is to make traditional Swedish peppakakor in the shape of suns for Yule and invite friends over to share them and to give them small gifts. 

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Re: Yule - What does it mean to you?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2010, 12:31:06 AM »

Like Foxy, Christmas/Yule for me is a season in and of itself.  It's a time of magic and wonder, full of beauty and light in a dark part of the year.  And it's a frame of mind.  Belief in the magic and full of hope that human beings can actually rise above their petty nature and live in peace with each other.

One of the reasons I really can't deal with being out in the crowds shopping is the reality of how nasty so many people are to each other.  They either have forgotten or just don't get what it's all about.

Ah well ... for me it shall start Friday.  The tree will go up and I will watch "Miracle on 34th Street" (one of my all-time favorite movies) to kick things off. :)
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vordan

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Re: Yule - What does it mean to you?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2010, 08:55:38 AM »

What is beautiful to me about Yule is the hope, the hope that anything is possible, that the goodness and the light within humanity can triumph. On the shortest darkest day of the year that is when there there is the rebirth of the light. It is the moment when the life stands back up like Rocky Balboa from the mat ready to take on another round. Darkness loses at it's moment of triumph for life and light are not defeated. I can't think of a better time for the Christians to celebrate the birth of Christ, the light of the world, then at the Winter Solstice. I don't really go much in for the traditional Christmas but do a little of the regular Christmas things with my family. I have a very nice ritual with my coven for Yule and a feast.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 09:03:09 AM by vordan »
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Re: Yule - What does it mean to you?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2010, 01:36:14 AM »

Above all else, it is a celebration of the solstice.  In the darkest time of the year, we find comfort and joy.  We decorate, we sing, we gather with friends and family.  I can't imagine the dark expanse of winter without that effort to find happiness by taking exteme measures like putting trees in the house and putting pretty things on them.  To me, it's like the whole world slows waaaaay down to see how we will fill the void.

BF, that was really beautiful.

Yes, quite good. 

I agree w/pretty much everything everyone else has said. 
The fall/harvest/Samhain season is my personal favorite, but the winter/Yule/Xmas season is a close second. 
If Hallows signifies a 'descent into the dark' then Yule begins the re-emergence of light, two equal and integral things. 

My observances of both are quiet and contemplative affairs, and since I currently practice solitary I can incorporate the formal ritual I was taught... or not.  :) 
Typically there's a traditional altar that's been tweaked with symbols of the season.  I have a green tree/bell ornament, a Father Christmas figurine, a stag, an old bronze bowl, and a pinecone the size of a football.  There's usually a silent prayer followed by a Guinness libation.  :groovin:
This year the Moon will fall on the Solstice, so I have to come up with something for that too. 


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