Yule or the winter solstice is the holiday our family chooses to celebrate. Something about putting all of that holiday cheer into the longest night of the year helps make it feel much more bearable. All of the fun, food, and gifts happen on this day so that the kids can be kept busy after the sun goes down.
Celebrating this day instead of Christmas also helps me deal with childhood trauma that always seemed to happen on Christmas growing up so I can fully enjoy the holiday and make great memories with my children. As a bonus when they are all grown up and with a partner that chooses to celebrate Christmas I will never have to worry about my kids having to choose what family to celebrate with.
If you are new to celebrating the winter solstice you may be wondering what you can do to make the most of the day. The truth is that you can do anything you would normally do on Christmas for Yule. The traditions Christmas is known for are based on Pagan traditions so you can happily embrace them even if you want to step away from the Christianized and commercialized holiday to create new traditions of your own.
A few simple ways to celebrate Yule or the winter solstice
Burn a Yule log. At one point the yule log was seen as a way to protect your home during the longest night of the year. We do not have a real fireplace so for us when the weather is favorable on Yule we will start a fire out in the fire pit and enjoy some time outside letting it burn for a new beginning. This is the perfect time to burn some herbs for prosperity or letters with your goals and intentions.
Decorate your home. If you haven’t already pulled out holiday decorations you can do this on Yule. Live potted trees make a great Yule tree that after your tree gets too large for its pot can be planted to live the rest of its life in peace. You can make wreaths of natural greenery to decorate your home or create a spell out of the old traditional clove buds in oranges to hang around your home for luck, prosperity, and protection. Pinecone wreaths are a fun and simple option. Add some Cinnamon essential oil to make your whole home smell amazing.
Bake some cookies. If you are not into holiday cookies you can try your hand at these super simple winter solstice cookies. If sugar cookies are not your thing try your hand at butter rum chocolate chip cookies. or peanut butter oatmeal cookies.
Spend some time in meditation. If you are not in the mood to celebrate or you simply need some time to decompress after celebrations you may find that some medication is just the ticket. Set up some space to relax and meditate so you can be refreshed to start a new day when the days finally start to grow longer again.
Give meaningful gifts. gifts are a major part of the holidays and Yule is a great time for Pagan families to make the most of this holiday tradition because it can really bring some light to the long cold days.
Hygge your home for winter. The winter solstice is the first official day for winter and the perfect time to add some hygge touches to your homes like warm light electric candles, cozy throw blankets, and a nice big stack of books to enjoy offer the winter.
Feed the birds and wildlife. The long cold winter ahead means animals need all the help they can get to stay comfortable. Set up bird feeders and even start to leave food out for the wildlife to help them get through the month’s head. If this is not something you already do you will find Yule is a great time to start giving back to nature.
Set up a Yule Altar. Alters are a very personal part of your practice. If you like to use alters in your home and your magic a Yule alter is a great way to celebrate the holiday. Add bits of nature, food for spirits, and some glowing candles for a lovely and simple Yule alter. for some adding a representation for the Goddess and the Greenman can complete the alter.
Make a hot cup of tea. Tea is a great way to celebrate the holidays and to help warm you through on a cold winter day. This simple money magick spell tea recipe is perfect for Yule with its cinnamon a warming deep winter spice.
Start indoor plants. Yule is all about new beginnings and renewal. This is the perfect time to plant some seeds for indoor plants that will help bring you some cheer as the winter rolls on. Try planting an indoor herb garden to help grow some herbs to help attract prosperity to you in the new year.
Ring bells. It is traditional to ring in the light of day after the longest night of the year by bringing bells to help drive away unwanted spirits that may have
Your Yule celebration can be as big as fancy as you want will a full-fledged feast or simple and relaxing all by yourself. Do what feels right to you and remember that this is a time of renewal.