Yuletide 2014

We began our preparations with paper craft.

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Revisiting snowflakes,

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getting messy with glitter,

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tearing, cutting, glueing,

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and expressing our love of winter, and the rebirth of the sun.

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We strung popcorn necklaces for ourselves and to dress our Yule tree, and then late into the night before Yule I finished knitting warm winter gifts,

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and wrapped all the children’s goodies.

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The children woke us early on Yule morning, urging us out of bed, and so began the day of celebration!

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After lighting a candle, sharing a poem and reading the tale Mother Holle, the children unwrapped their gifts and were busily lost to enjoyment.

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Then after breakfast and saying goodbye to their dad who was off to work, we slathered pine cones in peanut butter,

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rolled them in bird seed,

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and hung our newly made bird feeders in the trees.

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Later in the day we gathered rocks and bark, and made a cave for Mother Earth and the newly born sun in our garden.

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A place of honour awaiting the darkness……….

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With Dad back home we shared a candlelit dinner of root veg and bean soup, with sourdough toast. Then with torches and careful steps, carried figures we had formed out of modelling wax (Mother earth, baby father sun, a rock giant, and a little elf), animals, incense, and candles, out to the cave to bless the rebirth of the sun after the longest night.

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Then back inside to the warmth to make golden syrup dumplings,

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and fiery sun pom poms!

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Our Yule tree brought cheer to our home for a week or so, before it was undressed and returned to the elements in our home fire.

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Our Yuletide days have been blessed by busy days, warm fires, refreshing walks, wet puddles, cozy evenings on the lounge, and tinkling fairy bells blooming on our roadside, how about yours?

 

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Snapshots of our Winter Solstice

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We woke to a frosted morning,

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and after breakfast gathered around our solstice tree, decorated with paper stars, snowflakes, and stringed popcorn. Shared a story, and exchanged gifts.

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The day before we’d made a Father sun collage together, decorating a layer each, to celebrate his rebirth after winter’s longest night.

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We then decorated our star biscuits, which we’d baked the day before, with icing and sparkles,

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and baked Mother Earth’s wish bread (recipe found in Circle Round), sharing our wishes for the new year as we shaped the dough with our hands.

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We prepared our solstice spiral with evergreens, placing a candle, vase of evergreens, and special rock in the centre,

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“Deep mid-winter drawing near,

darkness in our garden here –

One small flace yet bravely burns,

to show a path which ever turns.

Earth, please bear us as we go,

seeking light to send a-glow:

Branches green and moss and fern,

mark our path to trace each turn.

Brother animals, teach us too

to serve with patience as you do.

We walk with candle toward the light,

while earth awaits with hope so bright.

In the light which finds new birth,

love may spread o’er all the Earth.

Deep mid-winter drawing near,

may light arise in our garden here.”

From the Wonder of Childhood.

And I was so happy to walk our spiral outside in our garden this year! Last year was too wet, but this year was clear and very cold! I think it made our spiral even more meaningful to be experiencing winter’s darkness and biting cold as we walked the spiral, the light increasing with each candle, and guiding our path.

“Elki is walking to get his little light.

All the stars are watching him, by day and by night……”

“Now he has his little light,

and his face is shining bright.

Carefully he’ll guard it,

all through the winter’s night.”

24th june 2013 613After our celebration we were eager to get back inside to the warmth of the fire. We made tin can lanterns, which I had prepared the day before by filling with water and freezing. With hammer and nails we made patterns on our tins and ate a warming vege roast by candlelight, with our wish bread and star biscuits for dessert. We spent the rest of the night by the fire, playing board games and sharing another story. Then we tucked the little ones in bed to await Father sun’s return!

Mother Night

“Mother Night,

let them run in your fields of darkness,

let them drink from the cup of your milky moon,

rock them in your blanket of stars,

and when you depart,

kiss their waking souls with your wisdom.”

Bedtime Prayer

“There is a candle by my bed,

it dances as with cheer,

while I say preayers for those in need,

and those I hold most dear.

There is a candle by my bed,

it’s there to let me know.

The spirit hears my bedtime prayers,

in the low light of it’s glow.

And though I reach to blow it out

when my prayers are done,

that little flame lives in my heart,

’til the day returns the sun.”

(Seven times the Sun, Shea Darian)

And the night after we went along to a local lantern festival for the first time,

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Many Happy Winter wishes xxx