Monday, 2 December 2013

'Tis the Season...

'Tis the Season...

Where has this year gone???

I feel like Samhain has only just happened, but yet somehow November is already over... and so the wheel begins to turn towards Yule. 

Yule is one of those festivals that has such close ties with other winter festivals it can sometimes feel like everyone is celebrating together. This can feel great, especially if you are the "only Pagan in the village". In the last week, more non Pagans than ever, have asked me about my religious choices and in particular my religious holidays and what we get up to.

This has led me to think about how I celebrate this season and how I share it with my children. Sometimes when there is so much emphasis on the corporate face of the season it can be hard to find the spiritual centre to this saccharine sweet seasonal candy-cane.

I can sum up my personal beliefs about Yule in this poem...


This is a time of renewal for all
A time to reflect and hear the Goddesses call
The Sun God is born this Solstice night
And so we welcome the growing light
The dark of the year we have lived though
And we look to the future, and light renewed
The Goddess has rested in darkest slumber
And now emerges with this new-born wonder
Now the sun’s rays will awaken the Earth
It is a magickal time, this time of re-birth
The God did die, to be re-born again
We celebrate his birth, with the lighting of a flame
It’s Solstice night so let us all rejoice
Warm our bodies and raise energy, with the power of our voice 

~ Arietta Bryant, Ramblings & Rhymes ~

I like to keep our decorations on the natural side of things, although who doesn't like a bit of sparkle?
My daughter enjoys helping me to make garlands of popcorn and cranberries to festoon our tree (these are put out on our hedgerow for the birds to eat when the decorations come down) and both children make decorations for the tree each year.

Our Yule celebrations at home are always informal, filled with joy and lots of singing (most seasonal carols can easily be adapted to have a more Pagan theme and are easy to join in with since most folks know the tune already). We all light candles to represent the Sun's re-birth and our wishes for the new year. The candles are placed into our Yule Log (As we don't have a real open fire our Yule Log is a large oak log with holes drilled into it to hold taper candles) and are left to burn for the evening.

We each get a gift at Yule and have a special family meal which the children usually choose and we save the rest of the gift giving for the 25th of December when we can share the fun and joy of giving with our non-Pagan friends and family.

 So yes, my children still write to Santa. We did for a while call him "Father Yule" but it was too hard for my youngest to say so we stick with calling him Santa and know that deep down we all know who he is, so it really doesn't matter what we call him.

We do the whole myth, with gifts magically appearing in stockings over night and the children leave out food and drink for Santa & his reindeer, which is perhaps less strange for a Pagan family who are used to putting out offerings for household spirits, fairies and Gods.

Both of my children are firm believers at the moment but as my children get older and start to question the origin of their gifts I plan to share this poem with them which I think sums up the magick & myth of Santa perfectly...

The Child Wonders...

Papa, she said, her eyes full of tears,
will you talk to me and quiet my fears?
Those bad boys at school are spreading a lie
'bout the impossibility of reindeer that fly.

There's no Santa Claus, they say with a grin
there's not one now and there has never been.
How can one man take all of those toys
to thousands of girls and thousands of boys?

But I told them Papa, that they were not right,
that I would come home and find out tonight.
Mama said wait until you had come home.
Please tell me now that I was not wrong.

Her Papa looked down at her questioning face
and sipped at his drink, while his frantic mind raced.
He had put this off for as long as he could,
he had better think fast and it better be good.

Whispering a prayer, he began with a smile...

"Remember at circle how we learned to pray,
asking the Goddess to take care of us each day?
And you know how we say a blessing before every meal?
To this same Goddess whom we know to be real.

Though we never see her, we know she is there
watching her children with such loving care.
The Goddess started Yule a long time ago
when she gave us herself to love and to know.

A spirit of giving came with that gift,
and with her generosity the whole Earth did lift
Man had to name this spirit of giving
just as he names all things that are living."

"The name Santa Claus came to somebody's mind
probably the best name of any to find.
There is, you can see, and I think quite clear
Truly a Santa who visits each year.

A spirit like the Goddess, whom we never see,
She enters the hearts of your Mama and me.
Each year at Yule for one special night
WE become HIM and make everything right.

But the REAL spirit of Yule is in you and in me
and I hope that you are old enough now to see
that as we believe and continue to give,
our friend Santa Claus will continue to live."

~Author Unknown~

How do you celebrate the season of goodwill to all? Why not share your favourite holiday traditions in the comments below or post them on my facebook page 

I will end here by wishing you all a very happy and joyful season ... Blessed Be!

If you have enjoyed reading my blog and liked my poetry then please consider entering my Good Reads Giveaway where you could win a signed copy of my Poetry Anthology... 

Just click on the link below before December 13th 2013

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Ramblings & Rhymes by Arietta Bryant

Ramblings & Rhymes

by Arietta Bryant

Giveaway ends December 13, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
This blog is part of the Pagan Writers Press Winter Solstice Blog Hop

<!-- start InLinkz script -->
 <a href=""><img style="border:0;" src=""></a>
<!-- end InLinkz script -->


  1. when my kids were younger, we celebrated Yule and Christmas. I still do, as does my older son. It is nice to have traditions, especially ones that connect you with nature.
    I also have a largish collection of SantaShamans

  2. Great to meet you on this hop!

  3. That is a lovely poem, Arietta, thank you for sharing it! I hope you don't mind, but I've written it out to tuck into my BOS (credit included, of course!)

    Happiest of Yules to you and yours!