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Last Minute Yule Hacks
Hang On To Your Pentacles, The Holidays Are Here!
It happens every year. All the stores are packed, half the stuff you meant to buy isn't in the stores, and come Yule day (and night) you haven't got time to get to the store. So what to do? Don't panic. Although I can't promise you miracles out of nothing, there is a lot you can do with what you have on hand.
Keep in mind we don't know for sure what our pagan ancestors did or didn't do. The customs we have today were gleaned from many different cultures and many new ones have been added as time has gone on.
Please don't treat this Hub as one more checklist of must dos. I've tried to provide alternate resources for those who can't do certain activities and alternate recipe or drink ideas. These are the things that matter to me for Yule and I could pull together last minute, yours may be totally different.
As always, all writing and photography are my original work. If using for the Internet please give credit where credit is due and a link back. All videos are used for educational and informative purposed only. If you hold the copyright and want something removed, or credit and a link, please contact me.
Oh, Gods. Here it is Yule day and you forgot all about today being the year for the big Yule log? Well, don't panic. For one, nobody said it had to be big or drug home from the forest primeval unless you are a Lord with a huge estate and a cavernous fireplace. This is also the place to add that some mosses and fungi will give you really groovy visions, or a trip to the ER, so leave those festive bits off if burning, especially around young ones.
I've see videos where the Yule log was plain and as tiny as a bit of twig, an tiny candle was included to be burnt alongside of it. For me? On my walks I found a short piece of branch, perfect for my aging bucket grill.
I put down rune inscribed paper and pine needles along with wood chips I had and tiny pieces of a now defunct tree and I now have something, after applying oils I prepared to do me well on Yule Day. Can't burn? That's what cyber Yule logs are for, with music and without.
Remember, this holiday is not one our Gods punish us on if we can't check off some list. The Yule log or bonfire as wonderful as it is, is optional. We will be having rain here so I'll be fortunate to have a sheltering roof overhead, but if you can't no sweat. It's my first year ever and depending on the neighbor's level of nosiness and cop calling, may be my last.
Oh, I don't care how people used to do it according to cozy books on the holidays, I'm removing the gold coins before burning before I get red hot shrapnel flying all over the place. Keep that in mind as wood can pop and some traditional items as corn can become surprise projectiles.
You can add anything that has meaning to you, so go nuts, even if you have one twig, that is your Yule log.
Want To Make Your Yule Log?
Get Outside, If Possible
While our Gods are still with us in the great indoors, getting outside can give you a few moments to recharge and feel the ground beneath your boots. I said boots, not feet unless you are blessed with a warm front. City and semi rural folks may want to see if the local park is open this day, or if you can't get out, five minutes of meditation can be all it takes.
While I did plan to go out to the park on Yule the truth is it will likely be raining, so I may delay that festive walk or take it a few days prior. The important thing is to remind ourselves that we are part of nature, not outside of it or above it.
And as you can see, the Gods decorate a Yule log much better than I can.
Take A Virtual Walk
Make Mulled Tea
This honestly takes only as long as boiling a gallon of water. Using what I had on hand, pumpkin and apple spice tea bags, softening oranges, sugar, agave, and some spices, I brewed up a tasty treat to bring prosperity, love and blessings to my door. Depending on your path oranges can represent wealth as they are gold in a way and round like coins, or the sun. I know my grandmother felt lucky to get an orange at Christmas when she was a little girl.
But make whatever recipe you like, and if mulled tea isn't your thing, try spiced coffee via Mexico. Don't like either? Hot water with your choices of add ins can make for a warm brew, or just plain if you prefer. There is no right or wrong way to do Yule.
I chose tea as I could make a gallon at one go and have plenty iced or cold as I like it for the days leading up to and including Yule.
You can work magic with the faintest covering of snow. The spell here was actually cast days prior to Yule 2015 thanks to a scant covering of snow. The basic idea is that when you inscribe with intent you have a spell that starts and keeps going long after the snow melts, the energies sinking into the warm ground, even a sidewalk or window will do in a pinch.
Here I wanted sweetness and harmony with the God in question, so inside a heart with His runes I included two gifts we have given one another to remind us of our loving bond. It worked so well I was inspired to make the tea after.
There are endless types of snow spells and in warmer climes use your imagination. You are using to positive energy of this blessed season to promote harmony, peace and love.
Merry Yule To Us All, My Dears!
Can't Celebrate Openly?
Maybe you came to the path like I did from a different faith and celebrating the holiday openly could cause you problems. Well, take heart. Not all witches or pagans celebrate Yule or any holidays for that matter, and our Gods still love us no matter what we do or don't do. I can't stress enough that They love us, and don't have a place of punishment awaiting us if we never attend a circle or cast a spell.
A big celebration or fancy statue does more for us than for Them to be honest, because it makes us feel good inside. It gives us an outward connection, but inner connections are important too.
Yule can be a day like any other to some, a day for a moment's reflection for others. Perhaps just taking a few moments in quiet contemplation of the Goddess and God suits you best this year. You can still good works in Their name, just quietly in your heart, tell them your kind works are for Them. (No, my darlings, you don't have to volunteer at the soup kitchen in your fanciest robe and pointy witches' hat.)
Our Gods would much rather receive gifts of love and service, freely and joyously given on this or any day. And the little actions, no matter how small are the ones that count. Smiling at a stranger, holding a door. Giving a can of soup to the local food pantry, donating that old coat that's two sizes too small to the local homeless or women's shelter. Our good deeds burn brighter than any candle or Yule log and remembering love and charity towards others this time of year and indeed, all year around is what matters the most.
May you all have a joyous Yule and a Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to my readers as well.