The adventures of a Witch who writes nonfiction and fiction.
Author of 9 books from Llewellyn, including Everyday Witchcraft (2015) and The Baba Yaga, Broken Rider, and Veiled Magic series from Berkley Romance
I have a confession to make: Christmas is not my holiday. Never has been. I
grew up Jewish, and the only time I ever celebrated Christmas was the couple of
years I was married, way back in the 1980's. And these days, as a Pagan who
runs an artists' cooperative shop (and sells her jewelry there), I am mostly
just grateful that it isn't my holiday, so I don't have to feel guilty about
focusing all my energy on making money...
This doesn't mean I don't celebrate at all, though. Every year, my group, Blue Moon Circle,
gets together for a Yule dinner party at my house. We don't do a ritual, so it
is a "safe" time for people to bring the husband who isn't
comfortable with witchcraft, or the kids who don't sit still well. We usually
invite a Pagan-friendly friend or two, too. BMC is really one big family
anyway, so for us it is a time to gather as an extended tribe and enjoy being
together and celebrating the light in the midst of the darkness.
We always have a big feast. Everyone brings a dish to share, all of them
made with love (and no little cooking talent). Unlike the post-ritual feasts we
normally have at the other sabbats, where we tend to sit around the living room
with paper plates on our knees, we actually put all the leaves in the dining
room table and sit down together. There are often over a dozen of us, so it can
be kind of crowded, but nobody minds.
We usually exchange gifts in one way or another; sometimes we play a silly
gift-stealing game, and this year we're each pulling one name and getting a
gift for that person. (The kids get gifts from everyone!)
I keep the decorations simple, since I haven't got the time or inclination
to put up a big tree (see "not my holiday" above, plus I have 5
cats). I have a couple of lovely evergreen and juniper swags (about 6' long)
that a local artisan made, and I hang them up, along with strings of white
lights to symbolize the light of the Yule holiday. I may put up a few shiny
ornaments here and there, but otherwise, that's enough to give the house a
My "tree" from 2010. Magic the Cat seems a bit dubious about my decorating efforts. And rightfully so :-)
If I'm really feeling the desire to go all out, sometimes I dig a small
volunteer pine tree up from my yard, where they tend to sprout up where I least
expect them. They're always a little "Charlie Brown" looking, but
that's okay. (See picture above. Yes, it is okay to laugh.)
Sometimes we light candles on a Yule log we've made, and talk about our
wishes for the year ahead. Mostly, we just enjoy being together. Friendship is
the greatest light in the dark there is.
Blue Moon Circle and friends in years past.
I hope that you get to share Yule (or whichever
holiday or holidays you celebrate) with people you love.