Yuletide Greetings!

Christmas wreath on white backgroundSo, you might have noticed that it’s the holiday season. (How could you not?) I say “holiday season,” but mostly we hear about Christmas. And that’s okay; a lot of folks celebrate Christmas. However, I would like to expand the conversation to include other holiday traditions. 

Growing up, my family celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah every year. It was great! I got extra presents and two feasts! As an adult, I don’t really celebrate either of these holidays anymore. For the past 15 years of so, I’ve celebrated the
Winter Solstice (usually on or around December 21). It’s the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. That means that every day snowflake_m1ka3ndd_lafter the Solstice, there is a little more daylight per day until the Summer Solstice when the days begin to grown shorter again. This day is also known as Yule to some.  

Every year, I celebrae Yule with some friends who are lucky enough to have a lake in their backyard.  Our Solstice traditions are simple. We gather together as many friends as we can and meet at the lake just before sunrise on the Solstice. (Ok, actually, we meet on the Saturday morning closest to the Solstice.) As the Sun rises, we make as much noise as possible to wake the Sun after the longest night of the year. We shake rattles and bells, play kazoos and horns. Sunrise over apple orchard in frosty snowy morning yodel, and yell. There’s even a didgeridoo. (If you’ve never heard a didgeridoo, count yourself lucky.) The neighbors love us.  Then, when the Sun has cleared the horizon and we’re all thoroughly frozen, we go inside for coffee, tea, bacon and fresh bread and a day full of gaming, geeking and snacking. Those that want to give gifts can, but there’s no pressure. It’s a pretty awesome day: I can’t think of any other reason I’d wake up that early on a Saturday.  

What holidays do you celebrate? How do you celebrate them? Please share in the comments section or come into the Vortex to chat with us about them! It’s always interesting to hear about others’ experiences!

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