Yule’s emphasis (for me at any rate) is on family and community. The coming together, the sharing of food—it all strengthens the bonds between individuals as we move into the harsh winter months.
Gods know that 2016 has been harsh. We need celebration and family (chosen or otherwise) desperately.
I have mixed feelings about gifts. By and large, I decided not to do gifts, and have been greatly enjoying the freedom from giving up the practice. The exception to this is my mother, whom I want to spoil just a bit this year. But releasing oneself from the obligation of hitting the mall in search of things that we don’t really need is tremendous.
Grandparents do, however, delight in giving things to the kids. I think they would be sad if they couldn’t express themselves that way. And my son, well, this is certainly a holiday for children, and he’ll doubtless be enjoying the spoils, as it were!
It’s been wonderful to see our family traditions change, making space for the things we like, weeding through the things we don’t. And it’s even more wonderful to realize that we can continue to evolve our practices as we grow. This is what tradition should be: repeated activities which strengthen and inspire the people who perpetuate them.
Merry Yule to all, and to all a good night!