It's December 1st! Which means fair game for all of my various holiday posts, and no one is allowed to groan!
What fun observances and holidays do you enjoy this season? What are your favorite traditions?
I celebrate both Yule and Christmas. It should be noted that in these terms, I am referring to Christmas as a secular holiday, not to be mistaken for the Christian Holy Day of Christ's Mass, which is not in my realm. Many of the traditions of the Pagan Yule were carried over into Christmas, so they blend easily together. Nearly everything about Paganism is rich with symbolism and deep meaning, and since there is no set doctrine to follow, each Pagan has their own unique take on each aspect of their spirituality.
However, here is a basic run down of some things I do:
We decorate our home with lights and candles, to light the way through the darkest days of the year, and to remind us that the Sun will soon return. We set up a tree and other greenery to add cheer to the atmosphere, at a time when depression is so easily able to sneak into our psyches. We burn special incense and potpourri to ward off illness, negativity and wayward souls (also, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and oranges just smell SO fabulous together). We pay special mind to the less fortunate, because in winter, their lack is amplified. We hold intentions for peace on Earth, and choose attitudes of generosity and brother- & sister-hood. We set aside petty disputes and arguments, for the sake of maintaining a sense of magick and wonder, especially for the children. We spend time and show our gratitude for our families and friends, our homes and our many other blessings. We feast on luxurious foods and treats, many of which are enjoyed only at this time of year. We nurture belief and faith in St. Nicholas, knowing that he encompasses the true spirit of generosity, love and kindness that we all wish to embody ourselves, and pass along to our children.
Of course, I could go on all day long...